Saving Orchids with no Roots-Part 1

So, I have obtained many of my orchids from Lowe’s….which isn’t excatly a great place to get them, many of the orchids are hit or miss on their health and I recently obtained 5 that were basically a miss, and my very first orchid which came from Lowe’s has also suffered the same fate because I didnt yet know how to identify the warning signs of sick orchids.  I unpotted all of the orchids that I purchased to find that all of them were suffering from severe root rot, 2 of which were so bad there wasnt one healthy root.  This was devistating to me because its not fair to the plants to recieve such poor treatment.  Some sites I found said there was nothing you could do for the plant, it was dead throw it away get a new one….but I just couldn’t give up that easily.  So after a lot of research I came across a process known as “Sphag and Bag” method.  So I have decided to try it with my orchids and document the process and progress.  I am hoping this will save them but only time will tell.

Orchid #1:

This orchid is my first orchid and my baby, I dont think there is much hope for this orchid because the crown broke

This orchid is my favorite orchid that I have, however I got it when I was a beginner orchid owner.  It was partially in bloom when I recieved it as a gift however the remaining buds didnt blooms (This is an early warning sign that you orchid might be getting over watered)  After the flowers died I attempted to repot this orchid at which time I didnt know about root rot (if I would have I would have realized how poor of health it was in at that point) and repoted it without trimming any roots, all of which were rotted.  Two weeks later the leaves started turning yellow and upon doing more reseach I realized my repotting efforts were pointless due the condition of the roots.  In the process of attaching the orchid to the spike I broke off a piece of the crown…so there is probably little hope for this orchid, but I’m going to try this method anyway because I dont want to lose it.

This orchid was a $1 purchase, I had high hopes for it because it has a new leaf but also such severe root rot there are no roots.

This is a new purchase, I got it because it had a new leaf so I thought it might have hope, however the leaves are completely dehydrated.  There are several small roots attmepting to grow so I hope this method gives it the opportinuity to grow.

This was a very large orchid, complete root rot, hopefully it will return to some of its former glory

This large orchid had absoluly no roots that were healthy, Im attempting the sphag and bag method on it, I orginally wasnt planning on purchasing this orchid, however my boyfriend (who works at Lowe’s) said its flowers were beautiful before they fell off….so I was suckered into buying this guy.  He was $5 so I am hoping I can revive him.

The way this process works is to first cut off any dead/rotted roots, in my case…this was all of them.  Next find a cup in which the base will fit into and the orchid leaves are still coming out of the top.  You should place damp sphagnum moss or some other type of medium that will hold mositure into the bottom of the cup.  Twist tie the orchid securly to a spike that you can place into the cup however you dont want any part of the orchid touching the sphagnum moss that you have put into the cup.  Next place gravel of some sort onto a plate and pour water into the gravel.  This water, as it evaporates creates moisture and humidity which the plant can supposidly absorb through its leaves.  Place the plant in the cup on top of the plate and cover it with a clear plastic bag.  The bag should not be sealed tight, there should be a small opening to allow for some air circulation to the plant.  Place the plate and plant next to a bright window, but not one with direct sunlight.  Now all that is left to do is wait.  Monitor the plant and make sure the moss stays damp and the gravel still has water in it.

I have also started a video diary of my attempts to revive these orchids….these are only 3 of the 6 orchids that I am attempting to revive, I hope this works!

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cfWw12Whpo

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