If you’re new to orchids or planning to start collecting orchids as a hobby, one inevitable problem that comes with orchids is stem or crown rot.
Crown rot is caused by a collection of water in the crown area, leading to a rot in the crown area (as suggested by its name). Stem rot is basically the same, just that the collection of water is found around the stem area.
Crown refers to the head of the stem. If water is accumulated in the crown or there is contact of water around the stem area, its best to immediately take a kitchen towel to soak up every last bit of water because the crown and stem are sensitive towards water. This will avoid the possibility of crown or stem rot.
What does water collection in the crown area means? It simply means that you might have thought watering orchids is just like watering any other plants, paying no attention to where the water ends up on the orchid. Especially for phalaenopsis orchids, extra attention has to be paid when it comes to watering. The safest way to water phalaenopsis orchids is to place the orchid in a bucket of water. Make sure that the level of water reaches just about the bottom of the orchid, without touching the stem.
I have ever made the mistake of not being precise with the level of water but I immediately remove any traces of water on the stem to prevent any stem rot.
Of course with every situation there are always exceptions. I have seen and read about orchid growers showering their orchids, meaning taking a water hose and sprinkling water on orchids.
I was appalled to find out that orchids are more than happy to receive showerings and having water on their leaves. I haven’t quiet master the technique of showering because some of my orchids did die because crown or stem rot. Thats why I would not recommend any beginners to shower their orchids. Factors could be environment as well as type of water used that I am not able to provide in my home. Most importantly, the orchids have the chance to dry off the water on them so there is no chance of crown or stem rot.
I think this is one of the areas of orchid care which as much as you try to avoid such mistake, it happens. So if it does, don’t blame yourself too much. Its a learning process and you will get better at it.
In order to decrease the chance of stem or crown rot, I have changed the potting medium of all of my orchids with a new set up! Stay tuned and sit tight for the next post!