Orchid care

(Question)

I was given a Phalaenopsis Orchid over a week ago. One of the bottom leaves has died and another is dying.

I have watered it about once per week by placing the pot in the sink and flooding it with water. I am not sure how long I should leave it for before draining it totally. Does it matter how hot or cold the water is?

It is a lovely plant and I would hate to kill it.

Do I need to fertilize it? If so with what and how often?

I really appreciate your help.

 

(Answer)

As you’ve only had it for a week, it’s likely that the causes for the leaf die-back happened in the shop – depending on where the plant came from. If, as often is the case, it came from a supermarket or big-box store, it might have been sitting in less than ideal conditions. Another small possibility might be if you are using softened water, which can be high in damaging salts, but I would not have expected this to kill two leaves so quickly.

Keep your orchid out of direct sunlight while it’s in bud, enjoy the blooms, and keep doing what you’re doing while the orchid is blooming. For more information about aftercare, the Toronto Master Gardeners has an excellent fact sheet on growing orchids for beginners:

https://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/index.php/factsheet/growing-orchids-a-toronto-master-gardeners-guide/

Enjoy your beautiful moth orchid.