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Old 06-24-2007, 10:09 PM
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Phalaenopsis 101

SO my husband and I got our first orchid- white phalaenosis- and we are hooked! But already, we've got issues. 1st- 2 of the 3 closed buds on the stem turned yellow and fell off- one seems to be healthy. The flowers are all looking lovely. We moved it from a North/East exposure to a shaded Southern- is this right? I got the impression bud loss could be from lack of light.
We have it in a gravel tray for moisture- but we are in So Cal- do we need more humidity?
Also, one of the leaves is split- I think it may have been that way when we got it- should I do anything to it??
Finally- watering- let it dry all the way?? I know not to let it sit in moisture- so like once a week watering? And fertilizer- I am using Shultz Orchid Fertilizer- the dillution is 1/4 teaspoon to one gallon- so how much water do I give each orchid w/ the fertilizer in it? And how often?? I know this is a long question- but we are newbies and really in love w/ the whole idea of collecting orchids- please help if you can!! Thanks!
The Fitz's.
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Old 06-24-2007, 10:40 PM
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hi and welcome to the forum
I hope that you enjoy your stay here with us

I think you will find the following links helpful
http://www.aos.org/aos/uploadedfiles...lturephals.pdf

http://www.orchidgeeks.com/forum/orc...m-orchids.html
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:04 AM
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Welcome Fitzdiva!
Buds commonly turn yellow and fall off when being moved from the location from which they first developed (grower's greenhouse environment) regardless of what you do - good or bad. Put your phal in a location where it does not get any direct sunlight on the foliage unless it is a few feet from the window - then early morning may work OK (east). I have personal experience with putting phals next to NE window and have "cooked" it. If the leaves are getting warm - too much light. Good bright indirect light is usually the best. It not likely that the lighting had anything at all to do with your bud drop. I have found warm stuffy environments to be very hard on phal blooms - good air circulation is always good as long as they are not cold winter drafts. A gravel tray will help - I use them - adds up to 10% humidity to the immediate vicinity. Overwatering is the #1 problem with phals - watering frequency is different for location, media, time of year, etc. Generally water just before it drys out - for me that is weekly to every third week depending upon time of year. Some people mount them - and then they must water every day. The skewer method noted on this site is a good place to start learning when to water if you are learning. The weight of the pot and plant together will tell you a lot. When they are significantly lighter it is time to water - you will note this when comparing with the bamboo skewer (method). Eventually the skewer can be removed and not used, but it is a good initial teaching tool. Many people use a weak fertilizer solution and then use it every time. Water until plenty of water flows out the bottom and flush under running water every couple of months to reduce any mineral deposits that may be accumulating over time. Hope this helps! Enjoy. Mike
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:47 AM
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Thanks so much!!

This is really helpful stuff- we did a lot of research, but some of it contradicts itself so it's good to hear from experianced people. Anything about the leaf splitting? And have you had a good experiance w/ misting it? If so, how often?
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Old 06-25-2007, 01:43 AM
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Fitzdiva,

Welcome to the forum. I see Mike did a great job of answering your questions. You'll find lots of friendly helpful folks here wiht practical advice. Regardign the contradictory information you have found. I always recomend people go directly to authorative, reliable sources of info like the American Orchid Society (which Fred directed you to) or a reliable reputable orchid nursery (not the local florist) and that they ask lots of questions on a forum like this of at their local orchid society meetings. Doing so will eliminate a great deal of confusion and will save you a lot fo time.

Happy Growing!
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:03 PM
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I would be careful with the misting. Make sure it is a light misting. If water sits in the crown at the base of the leaves you could get some rot problems. It may dry on the leaf surface quick enough there in SoCal but it's something to be mindful of.
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Old 06-25-2007, 01:57 PM
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Hi Fitzdiva,
I am not an expert but watering will really depend on what medium your phal is in. I have had one in sphag that I only watered once every 10 days in San Diego (although I have recently repotted it because the roots were starting to rot). Now it is in bark, perlite and charcoal. Since I am a beginner I find this an easier medium to monitor. Good luck with your phal! (Out of the three phals I have brought home, one dropped all it's buds and two did fine even though they were in the same location, so go figure).
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Old 07-02-2007, 01:57 AM
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Much better-

The 2 buds that turned yellow dropped, but the last youngest one opened. We saved it by moving the phal to a southern shaded window w/ better airflow- and I am actually watering more as its been very hot here and the medium is drying out about 2Xs a week. Thanks to all who answered- you were life savers!!
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Old 07-02-2007, 08:11 AM
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Welcome, Fitzdiva. I'm a little late on the intros, I'm on vacation, so I'm not around a lot. Sounds like you have gotten great information. I can't think of anything to add except, Welcome!
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Old 07-05-2007, 09:25 PM
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Hi welcome to the group, I have several phals also, and at the moment they are my favorites. Good luck with the plant.
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Old 07-07-2007, 02:41 PM
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Hi Fitzdiva and Welcome to the forum. I live in So Cal (OC) and 2x a week watering is too much. What type of medium is your plant growing in? (bark, moss?) The easier and quickest way to rot the roots of a phal is to overwater. Very often it will appear that the medium is dry on top, but at the roots it is still very wet. The following link is a great help to knowing when to water and takes all of the guesswork out of it.
http://www.orchidgeeks.com/forum/new...f-orchids.html
I rarely water my phals more often then once every ten days but how fast they dry out varies considerably throughout the year.
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Old 07-07-2007, 11:32 PM
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I am also new to orchards with my first phal. Bought it last fall at a home depot. I cut the stem about an inch above ground level. The plant has endured a lot. My son mistakenly knocked it over with another plant landing on top of it.The leave split, but it seemed healthy. I now have a new stem about six inches long.It is not straight.The green root like growth under the surface seems healthy. One is actually come up above the surface. My concern is a yellowing leaf. Should I be concerned.
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Old 07-08-2007, 07:26 AM
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Hi jdh467,
One yellowing leaf at the bottom may not be a concern in that Phals will
loose their bottom leaves normally and grow new ones at the top. If it's a
top leaf, then there might be some concern. Also surface roots are not uncommon.

Last edited by Tobi; 07-08-2007 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 07-08-2007, 09:17 AM
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phalenopsis 101 - condition of leaves

What does the condition of the leaves tell you about the health of the plant? My new phals (bought in bloom 2 1/2 weeks ago) now have leaves that are looking slightly "curled up" and have lost that glossy green color and texture. They are looking a bit more "shriveled" and one tip is getting brown. I know what a burned orchid leaf looks like - this is different. Just watered them thoroughly 5 days ago. Any thoughts?
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Old 07-08-2007, 10:57 AM
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Marqueritedavis,
Can you post a picture of the leaves? Are the leaves getting shrieveled?
Change in leaf pigment could be a sign of inadequate lighting. Could also
be a problem with improper watering or root problems. Check Fred's link above
on Phall & Paph culture. This will help!!!
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