Why can't I keep my orchids alive?

by Nol5246971
a friend has orchids and his grow with only getting fed fortnighly with orchid mix. i do the same and mine die. his sit in water when all literature i read says that they must not sit in water. when the flowers died on the 2nd seven that i purchased, i cut off the flower stems and repotted them in orchid mix thinking i was doing everything right. they all died. i nearly cried. however i have purchased another 7 and thought maybe i have over fed them in the past. i have five of them on a windowsill and three of them are looking very sick. thought maybe they got sunburnt thru the glass, but why only 3 of them and not the other 2 that were sitting on the same windowsill. i have two on the kitchen table and they are looking good. i havent watered them as much. is that where i am going wrong.
HELP please.
Nola Day.. Timaru.
  6 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on May 29, 2017

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on May 29, 2017
    All our orchids are planted in the wood chip orchid medium in a plastic liner with a outer decorative pot. About once a week we fill the entire thing with tepid tap water and soak for ten to fifteen minutes. We then take out the inner liner and drain it in the sink and dump the water out of the outside pot. Leave it to drain for a few, then return the orchid to the outer pot. Ours are in a south facing window that gets light, but not direct light. Orchids can't take direct sunlight. We may remember to fertilize maybe a couple times a year. Our orchids almost continually have flowers. Perhaps the ones on your kitchen table are getting the correct lighting and the others need to be moved to a window with a bit less intense light.

  • Emmer Holbrook Emmer Holbrook on May 29, 2017
    i agree with nancy. my experience has been similar. also, i have some growing in a self watering pot and their roots reach down into the water. i wonder what kind of orchids you have. some are beginner-friendly and others are notoriously picky.

  • Janiel Phillips Janiel Phillips on May 29, 2017
    I agree with the other comments. Mine are in a course bark mix (ie Orchid Mix) & get a good heaping of slow-release fertilizer once a year. They are all in a well-lit area, but away from direct sunlight. And I am very hard on them, as in I water when I remember. They flower every year without fail & I believe they like to be root bound as I have only repotted once in the 10 years I have had them.

  • Alex Alex on May 29, 2017
    I'd be asking your friend to mix up some feed for them, as he does seem to be doing something right!!
    Talk to them, sing along to the music (if I sang, I'm sure my plants would commit suicide, but it works for others!!)
My friend kept hers in her bathroom, and they thrived, but she had a large bathroom and several Orchids, all of which made her bathroom so lovely & colourful!!

  • Nol5246971 Nol5246971 on May 30, 2017
    thanks for the comments. think i am being overkind to them so will reduce the watering and feeding and see how that goes. will not put the5 i had on the windowsill back there and hopefully they might survive. they are still in the bark sorta mix that they came in, so there shouldn't be a problem with that. i will be truely gutted if these ones die. i don't seem to have a problem with anything else i plant or grow, only orchids. blast. they are so lovely to look at and flower for a long time but are really expensive to buy in New Zealand. thanks for all your coments. good growing. cheers Nola