About five years ago, I bought a fully grown and blooming Phalaenopsis orchid. After a month or so, the blooms fell off as expected. I continued to care for it as directed, but it never flowered again.

Instead, it produced four keiki, which I carefully transplanted into their own bowls with moss. None of them ever grew leaves larger than about 3.5 inches. Four of the keiki and the mother plant eventually died after about three years.

I have just one of the keiki left, and although it seems healthy, it has not grown much. It has three healthy, green leaves, none larger than 3.5 inches. I fertilize it about once a month, change its moss when the moss gets green, and keep it in a constant temperature with some sunlight throughout the day. I've starting watering it with ice cubes to see if that makes a difference, but it hasn't.

How can I get this last survivor to thrive? After five years, shouldn't it have at least grown to a full size?


1 Answer 1


What happened to the orchids when they died? Did they yellow or turn black? Did the leaves die one by one? Did the roots rot?

As a first response, I would suggest they don't like the moss they're potted in or they're being over-watered. Is the drainage good, or does the moss stay constantly soggy? When you say the moss is turning green, do you mean it's putting out green growth or algae is growing on it? If it's algae, that's surely a sign it's too wet. How often are you watering it and do you make sure the pot isn't standing in water? Generally, Phalaenopsis growing in free-draining potting medium like to be watered once a week.

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