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I've just recently (2013.03.08) bought a lilium and an orchid plant from a big hardware/gardening chain store. The day after, I watered them early in the morning with room temperature water (unfortunately chlorine treated tap-water) as instructed and by the end of the day I noticed that some of the leaves of the Lilium have started to dry out and wither.

The plants pick a bit of the air stream of my air-condition, but it is set to 19°C (warm mode) and the room temperature is at 21°C - both of which might be the reason why the upper layer of the soil was dry 5 days after watering. They receive constant, but not direct, sunlight throughout the day.

I've been pruning the withered leaves, as they came off with ease and I thought it wouldn't do any additional harm.

Is this normal or is the plant unhealthy? Am I doing something I shouldn't be doing?

On the other hand the orchid is doing fine, but I am still concerned as I read somewhere that when something is wrong with an orchid plant it dies suddenly.

Also, are there any other tips for taking care for these plants I should know?



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Its possible you're not watering enough, given the conditions it's currently living in - this should be done when the surface of the compost is slightly dry to the touch, but not so dry it's shrunken away from the sides of the pot. Don't leave it standing in water in any outer tray or pot 30 minutes after watering, empty that out. The Lilium plant is a bulb - it's a short term, temporary resident in the home, with the flowers lasting, if you're lucky, about a fortnight. Once the flowers are gone, the bulbs can be transferred outside to the garden, if you have one, or stood outside in their pot, though there are a few varieties which aren't hardy enough for this. The normal flowering time outside is summer, so if you live somewhere it can be planted or potted outside, that's when it will flower next year. If you want to keep them in a pot, feed with a general purpose or higher potash feed weekly (depending on the product you choose) after the flowers have faded until the foliage dies back.

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