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Old 02-26-2007, 05:33 AM
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Sick, rather sad little Phal -

Hi all.

My yellow phalaenopsis is looking a bit sad at the moment. I bought it back in December and re-potted it in this orchid coir I found at Bunnings in January. It was doing well for quite a while, but now the leaves are pretty flexible and the flowers are starting to droop. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that one of the small leaves on the underside has turned yellow, and that the top of one of the roots (which isn't below the soil line) has sort of rotted or something.

Sorry if I'm sounding really stupid here, but I'm a bit worried about my "baby". What should I do?
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Old 02-26-2007, 05:38 AM
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Also...I forgot to mention that the phal had already stopped budding when I repotted it. I had done some research, and it indicated that I should wait until after it was done. Was that wrong?

If someone could give me some tips on repotting my dendrobium as well, I'd also appreciate that. I think it needs it, but I'm really hesitant to try it before I know what's wrong with my phal.

Thanks!
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Old 02-26-2007, 09:51 AM
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Phalaenopsis accepts to be re potted anytime, so this is not the cause of the problem. Your plant shows signs of dehydration which appears when the plant is under watered, or when over watering kills the root system.
If you suspect that the second situation is the case, checking the roots is the first step to do. If you find dead roots (soft, hollow, wiry) but some healthy, firm roots too, than it's OK. By cutting off all the bad, re-potting and watering correctly the plant can be saved easily.
If the root system is completely destroyed, the last hope is the sphag&bag method.

Dendrobium can be re potted when has new growth and new roots appear.
Aniko.
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Old 02-26-2007, 05:41 PM
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Did you rinse the coir well and get all the salt out of it? Coir is tricky to water. Do use the skewer to determine if it needs water.

The dendrobium likes tight pots, so unless you know that the medium has deteriorated, you might want to reconsider repotting it. If you do decide to repot, put it in the smallest pot you can that will accommodate the roots. And don't use fertilizer with high nitrogen. I use fine bark on my dendrobiums because the roots are fine. Medium bark would also be acceptible.
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Old 02-26-2007, 05:57 PM
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adding to what orchid126 has noted, I currently am using a mix of about 75%coir, 20% perlite, and 5% charcoal and it is working GREAT. How often are you watering your plants? You have to really be careful not to overwater when using coir. Good comment on flushing your coir real well as well as it often has excess salt from the ocean air. I would pull it up and inspect the roots and remove any material soft/black/mushy/stringy etc. If you are using straight coir you might want to mix a little perlite and charcoal into it as noted to help aerate and keep it fresh. mike
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Old 02-26-2007, 07:32 PM
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Thanks, everyone! I'll definitely check that today and probably end up repotting it.

When I got my dendrobium, it came with a small pot without a drainage hole. Should I use a pot with a drainage hole, or is it okay to use the one I have? Right now, it's in one of those clear plastic pots. I'd like to get it in a nicer one if possible.

Thanks again!
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Old 02-27-2007, 01:07 AM
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I'd vote for putting your plant in a plastic pot with excellent drainage and then find a decorative pot that you like to insert the plastic pot into after you complete the water/drain cycle. Often times orchids come like this and people are just not aware that there is another pot inside due to decorative top dressings over the media or the fit is so tight that it is just not noticed. Every few months you want to pour a good quantity of water THROUGH your media to flush away excess mineral deposits - this will require good drainage.
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Old 02-27-2007, 02:20 PM
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My formula is 3 parts small perlite to 2 parts coir or Canadian peat, with a little dolomite or oyster shell to off set acidity. But watching the moisture in the pot with a skewer makes them all work.

I like to see Dens put into something fairly airy, as they need to dry out well during winter.
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Old 03-06-2007, 07:00 AM
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Things are looking bleak for my poor little phal. =( The flowers were all wilting and starting to fall off, so I took them off (as I had read to do). I took it out of the pot today, and this is the result:



Is there hope for my baby? When I originally re-potted it, the roots were about twice as thick and green. Now they're all yellow and thin. From what I can tell (with my extreme lack of experience), it looks like root rot or something. The roots are turning brown and dying close to the base of the plant. I have no idea how this happened. I didn't think I watered it that much. Just once or twice a week.

Help! =(
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Old 03-06-2007, 11:27 AM
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That MAY be too much watering for coir (depends upon your weather conditions). I can only water mine every 2-3 weeks - it retains a LOT of water. At this point you might want to get some root stimulant (like superthrive) and add to your watering and think about using the skewer method noted on this forum. The pot should be very light when you water - indicating most of the moisture you previously applied has now evaporated. Also, you don't want to overpot a phal - keep the pot on the small side - whatever you can squeeze your roots into. If you are down to very few roots do to the problem(s) you noted, maybe 3-4 inch pot would be enough now - certainly not over a 5. Good luck in your efforts to bring your phal back to health. mike
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