Posted by Amy on July 13, 2003 at 18:29:05:
In Reply to: Encyclia Cochleata posted by Austin M on July 11, 2003 at 11:50:04:
Hi, Austin. Iam not an expert with orchids either as I have only been growing them a bit over a year. So please take everything I say with a grain of salt...I'm really just trying to help as I have received much help from others in this hobby.
Enc. cochleata is one of the orchids I have and have successfully bloomed. It likes to stay rather dry. In fact, when mine stops blooming, I'm going to mount it to allow it to dry out more. I have seen several mounted Enc. cochleatas that are fluorishing and as I tend to overwater orchids, I believe this will help me out. Given your indoor growing conditions, I do believe you are watering too much. I let the bark dry out *completely* before I water again. I grow mine in basically direct sun for 5 hrs a day in 75 degree temps outdoors in a West exposure (in a courtyard, so not soooo direct)in my So. Cal. coastal weather. We have tons of wind, so it dries out quickly (within two days) but I only water 2x's week in Summer. It does not take a rest period as some other orchids and lose leaves. Mine is pretty much constantly in bloom now.
I do not believe your orchid is getting too much light. I do think it may be getting too much water. Try cutting back to watering only when the media dries out entirely. If in doubt, use a stake in the media (about 1/2 way down) and pull it out. If it is damp or cool, wait another day and check again. This is not my trick but something another orchid grower taught me that was VERY helpful when I was first learning not to overwater my orchids. Just be sure to be cautious and not stake through the roots. I still make mine suffer from overwatering occasionally.
If you like watering this often, consider changing the potting media to something that does not hold water. On that note, what is it currently growing in? Perhaps the media is broken down and needs changing? In fact, if the plant is really in the quick state of decline that you say it is, you may consider unpotting to check the roots. If they are white and firm or green/gray and firm, excellent. If they are soggy and rotting, email me and we'll chat about repotting.
Good luck. Let us know how it goes.
: I'm a little concerned about my new plant. It's a small specimen with three pseudobulbs and some new growth shoots. I purchased it from a reputable grower. When I bought it one of the pseudobulbs had no leaves on it and I was told it won't bloom until September. After a few days the leaves on the other two pseudobulbs began to yellow slightly at the base and look less healthy. Since there was one bulb without leaves I thought it might be a normal dormant period before it regrows leaves and blooms. Is this the case or is it possible getting too much light or water? I water it every 4 to 5 days and it's only under 2 fourty eight inch flourecent bulbs. As suggested by a couple books I read, I have the lights on a 16 hour time schedule. Any insight?