Orchid Post Mortem

I’ve heard orchid growers say that if nothing’s dying, then you’re not learning anything. True to form, when I kill an orchid, I try to figure out what went wrong so that I don’t repeat the mistake. With my coroner’s hat on, I’ll show you these pictures from happier times, before this orchid kicked the bucket last month.

Chondrorhyncha flowerChondrorhyncha flower

This little orchid has quite a long name, Chondrorhyncha lendyana. It’s native to mountainous cloud forests from Mexico to Costa Rica. A few years ago I bought it at the San Francisco Orchid Show, and it bloomed reliably. This past spring, however, all its new leaves turned black and died. Thinking that it needed to be repotted, I discovered that this kind of orchid really doesn’t like having its roots disturbed. I repotted it anyway, and then it slowly dropped all its remaining leaves.

Chondrorhyncha flowerChondrorhyncha flower top viewChondrorhyncha flower top view

Ultimately, the problem was that I bought an orchid that I couldn’t properly care for.  This Chondrorhyncha should have been grown on a mount, not in a pot. When grown on a mount, repotting is unnecessary. However, mounted orchids with bare roots need constant high humidity and lots of watering. Since I don’t have a greenhouse or an automated watering system, that’s tough for me to guarantee all the time. In a pot, it only lasted about 3 years, but at least I could enjoy its flowers for a little while. Lesson learned, for now…

Explore posts in the same categories: Cool Growers, Mini Orchids, Orchids in the Wild, Photos, Problems

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4 Comments on “Orchid Post Mortem”

  1. nancy Says:

    omg! i don’t even want to try to prounounce that name. beautiful pics though. and it sounds like you learned your orchid lesson!

  2. Liz Says:

    If killing orchids should be teaching me things, then I should have a PhD in botany by now! But I like your glass-half-full approach.

  3. smc Says:

    Cool pics! I like the mini orchids, they always have so much character.

  4. Hanley Says:

    Somehow I feel better to know that you sometimes kill orchids too! You know so much about them but I guess there is always more to learn.