The Orchids in my new outdoor set up seems not to be working out too well

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Graham Hilton

May 18, 2023, 8:07:55 PM5/18/23
to SDCOS Orchid Doctor
I have an outside balcony on the north-facing gable end of my house and about 4 weeks ago I located a few orchid plants on the wall of the house under the roof overhang, so not in direct sunlight at any time. Initially, all seemed to be ok but in the last few days, the largest orchid a zygopetalum that was super healthy is looking pretty peaky. I am new to orchid care so do not know what to do for the best.  I live in Del Cerro by Lake Murray in San Diego. I was told to not water the plants very often so have been dampening them once a week. I see that the roots on the Zygo are white/silver and I think they should be green. and white is a sign of insufficient water. Please help. I can send more photos..Zygopetalum.jpg

 Graham Hilton

Deborah Halliday

May 18, 2023, 9:52:06 PM5/18/23
to SDCOS Orchid Doctor
You're almost there.  You can water thoroughly once a week.  Let the water run through the pot.  Fully hydrated roots are green, but most of the time they are white.  This is normal and fine.  The plant looks pretty good from what I can see.  Zygo's do not hold their flowers forever.  The flowers may be beginning to age and turn brown.  When they wilt, you can cut them off, and then focus on growing the plant.  More pictures would be helpful.  Most orchids can take some morning sun and then partial shade the rest of the day.  I'd like to see a more complete picture of your growing area to see how shaded it is.  You should also be fertilizing lightly with every watering.  Another option is to put some slow release granules in the pot.

Hope this helps.

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