Thursday, August 18, 2011

Big Box Orchid

I make it a practice to at least slip new orchids (no matter what the source) out of the pot to evaluate the roots. The roots are more important than the top.

Since I grow and collect orchids I get offered lots of free orchids. Many of these are orchids that originally came from Big Box in bloom and are now out of bloom. If I am lucky, they have just dropped the flowers and they are pretty much in the same condition as when they were bought.

Big Box orchid slipped out of the pot

The top of this plant looks great but the pot tells another story. The plant was taken out of the growing pot at the nursery. It was in a bark mix and some of that came loose. The plant went into a new pot and sphagnum moss jammed in to hold the plant and fill the pot. This would not be good as a long term arrangement.

I washed off the medium and checked the roots. The result was not encouraging. About two thirds of the roots, especially lower in the pot were dead. This plant is not beyond saving but not ready for prime time. One generation of new growth ought to bring it back to blooming. If this plant had had a tag I might keep it but this Brassavola nodosa hybrid (I think) will be passed on to a new home.


  1. Brassavola nodosa is a cool species. Any idea what else might be in the hybrid? Did the person you got this from tell you what the blooms looked like?

  2. No I don't. This was a bit of the orphan on the doorstep situation. It is probably attractive and with some color, knowing the kind of thing they sell in those stores. There was a dried flower in the pot that had the basic shape and the stalk indicates that it stood above the plant like a Catt.