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Old 09-02-2015, 10:58 PM
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Question Newbies need help, limp wrinkled leaves, don't look healthy

My wife and I have slowly gotten better in getting the standard "I bought it at the grocery store" Phalaenopsis to do well, to the point where they've rebloomed for us. For knowledgeable experts taking pride in such baby steps must seem laughable, but that's where we're at.

Or better said, where we were - now 4 of our 5 orchids aren't looking good - they still have some new growth, but all the other leaves are really wrinkled. I'm new so I can't post URLs or links directly to the pictures here, but I've uploaded them to my album, if I can ask you to go to the extra hassle of going there to check them out.


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Old 09-03-2015, 06:50 AM
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Sounds like they are dehydrated. Have you inspected the roots A lot of those grocery store phals are potted in sphag. It's like 3 layers and it's just packed really tight in the middle which doesn't get a chance to dry out like the top. With the roots sitting in that packed wet,tight sphag leads to root rot. Sphag is an excellent medium once you get the hang of it.

Once you get 5 posts you can post pics. So you have 4 post left. Just do something random like hi, test etc.
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Old 09-03-2015, 12:49 PM
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Welcome! Your album is working fine. Echoing what sunshine said, I would repot immediately, probably with a chunky bark mix to allow plenty of air flow. Trim off any obviously dead roots (black, rotten) and then give good care in a not-too-sunny location. Keep them on the dry side. I use seaweed fertilizer to help prompt root growth, so I would give the plants a good soak in that mixture as a part of the repotting. The limp leaves will probably not rebound much, but any new growth will be a sign of survival. Good luck!
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Old 09-03-2015, 02:08 PM
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Hi Barrettn, welcome!

Looking at your gallery photos, the medium in the pots looks OK (looks like bark, possibly with some coconut husk). You have some growing leaves, which is good. The few roots I can see also seem OK (not sure how the ones down in the pot are doing, let's assume those are OK too). So far, so good.

If you repotted after you bought the plants into the medium they are in now, you should be OK. If you have not repotted (that medium was what the plants were growing in at the store), I would re-pot as a precaution (eliminates the chance your medium is carrying any bugs, etc. from the orchid nursery; also gives you a chance to check out the roots). If you decide to re-pot, you can clean & use the old plastic pot for the same orchid, or you can try using a new terracotta pot Why I __LOVE__ terracotta pots for Phalaenopsis Plain old "orchid bark" from the home improvement store garden center works very well.

I would skip the glass vase - just grow typical hybrid Phals in a pot.

I have a question: How do you water, and how often? For Phals indoors, I take them to the sink, run a lot of water through the pot and medium (still less than a minute), and let them drain in the sink for a few minutes before returning them to their growing spot.

For really dehydrated Phals that have good roots, place the pot in a container larger than the pot, gradually raise water in the container up to the pot rim, soak 15 minutes and drain (when watering multiple plants, dump the water in between plants, wash out the container). Watering this way for a couple weeks will help hydrate the roots and leaves; you may be left with some wrinkled leaves but they will be less wrinkled.

Indoors, I water Phals about twice a week; I only water if it seems the bark is nearly dry from the last watering (that is the best clue to see if your need to water again).

I think your plants are in OK shape, and will recover once you make some cultural adjustments. Good luck!
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Old 09-03-2015, 04:15 PM
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Hello and welcome to the forum! It is great to have you here!
I would dump out the orchid and check the roots. It is always good to eliminate various potential problems so you can figure out what is happening.
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:31 PM
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Hi and welcome. Nothing here is laughable; we're all here for the same reason and that is we love orchids. The flip side to what Sunshine said is you might be overwatering. When we overwater( and we all have) the roots can't dry out and get the necessary air they need. I would certainly be checking the roots below the surface. If they are desiccated more frequent watering is required. If the roots are rotted; ie. black soft and mushy, then you're overwatering. With either scenario correcting unfortunately will not unwrinkle the leaves. Once you determine which way to go you should be ok.

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