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The roots appear to be aerial which probably means it's an epiphyte. Is it in a bark mixture or something else which is airy and well-drained or is it in soil? The leaves appear to be fairly large and spread out. Is it a plant with a single stem (monopodial) which continues to grow after it flowers or is it a plant which has only a few leaves on each stem with several stems growing from a rhizome (sympodial) where each stem has flowers only once? Did you see the flowers? What shape and color were they? See if you can find a picture of a typical species or hybrid in the genus Phalaenopsis. This is commonly called a Moth Orchid and several medium size flowers on a large arching stem. Hybrids (and some species) are readily available and relatively easy to grow.

Posted by joem50 on 2009-07-05, 04:14:20 Offensive  Report this as offensive.

Ok, so this is all I know... it was a gift; so please forgive my lack of knowledge. The flowers were bright purple spotted with a light pinkish/white background. They grew on two stems that protruded up from the center of the large leaves. The flowers were oblonged shaped with thin connection to the stems (which grow completely upward). I have had it since February 2009 and only seen it bloom the one time for a couple of weeks after it was given to me. The original soil (that it was bought in) is a bark mixture. I have a green thumb but have no idea how to care for this plant. I do so wish to keep it alive. I appreciate all your information and help (Joem50)! Could you please give me a idiot proof directions on how to care for it (it is not looking so good and I am very worried... Thank you so much; it truely is appreciated!

Posted by homegrown_loulou4 on 2009-07-08, 22:48:18 Offensive  Report this as offensive.

Unfortunately, it's been years since I grew any Orchids. Most of my houseplants tend to die of thirst. I am currently growing 5 plants, 4 of which are epiphytic Cacti and they sometimes go months without water. Since your Orchid is in a bark mixture, it is probably an epiphytic Orchid. The best advice I can give you is to find a general book on growing Orchids by Rebecca Northen. I think I spelled the name right. Check the library near you. One thing about bark mixture, they don't usually have many nutrients. Do you use a fertilizer when you water? Try a very weak solution of Fish Emulsion or Seaweed fertilizer, less than one tenth strength. Some epiphytes can absorb nutrients through the leaves. You can spray the fertilizer on the plant instead of watering it in. You should probably let the bark mixture dry some between waterings and misting the plant with water will keep it firm without rotting it. Now get to a library fast, in case I've given you bad advice.

Posted by joem50 on 2009-07-09, 04:32:56 Offensive  Report this as offensive.

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