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Old 08-19-2013, 08:50 PM
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Basal rot?

My poor phal seemed to deteriorate very quickly after I repotted it a month or so ago. It dropped one leaf that seemed like it rotted. Since then the other leaves have not yellowed or dropped, but the stem started turning yellow. Do I need to cut off the leaves? It isn't squishy, and I am keeping it on the drier side. I poured some peroxide on it and there was no fuzzing going on like when I have dealt with crown rot in the past. What do I do? Is this plant doomed?

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Old 08-19-2013, 09:22 PM
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Can you try totally removing all the media around it, for more airflow. For me as long as I see green, there might still be a chance. I will definitely remove the sphag moss too. It may still try to form an outer dried out scab.
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:03 PM
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But, that sphag seems pretty dry. And, the roots do not seem rotted at all. If anything, they look like my phal aerial roots: good at the base, then a bit dessicated at the ends where they didn't get enough misting. Could something else be going on with that pbulb?
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:32 PM
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If something else is going on I would love to know what it is. My bottom most leaf started turning yellow today, and it looks like I will lose it in the next week or so. Should I just cut it off now?
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:46 PM
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How are the roots beneath the surface? The portions of the roots above the medium seem a little dessicated to me. Phials will lose bottom leaves, it is possible that could be occurring.
What are your conditions like? You say you're keeping the plant on the drier side; maybe it's being kept to dry. Remember when you repot you're going from a medium that was probably broken down some and retaining more moisture than your new medium. I wouldn't cut the leaf off, I'd let it fall off naturally.
If you can give a bit more info on your conditions, etc we might be able to figure it all out.
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Old 08-20-2013, 11:16 PM
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When I repotted I potted it in SH but the roots and plant completely freaked out so I moved it into the mix you see now. The first leaf it dropped was mushy at the base and turned yellow very quickly, completely falling off when I just barely touched it. I am concerned that it was rot and that the rot is spreading. That is why I have let it dry out somewhat, maybe even too much. The roots are still firm but not the nice green they used to be. I am not entirely sure what the best course of action is to try and get this plant happy again.
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Old 08-20-2013, 11:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Love_my_soldier View Post
When I repotted I potted it in SH but the roots and plant completely freaked out so I moved it into the mix you see now. The first leaf it dropped was mushy at the base and turned yellow very quickly, completely falling off when I just barely touched it. I am concerned that it was rot and that the rot is spreading. That is why I have let it dry out somewhat, maybe even too much. The roots are still firm but not the nice green they used to be. I am not entirely sure what the best course of action is to try and get this plant happy again.
Ah . . . this may explain things. Perhaps the plant did NOT like the SH and indeed began to rot; or, it is simply in shock from the change. In either case, I would just rest it. Let it dry a bit because that could initiate some new roots.

Also, I would cut that yellow leaf off. I'm new at orchids and sure could be wrong, but . . . I've gardened many years and I believe orchids are just plants and follow the basic principles of photosynthesis and energy budget. A leaf that is more than half yellow could be sapping more energy than it is giving and, in an emergency situation like this, the plant needs every bit of restoration energy it can get out of its "budget". Sending some energy to a dying leaf that gives nothing back simply depletes its bank with no return on investment.

Again, I'm new at orchids, so could be wrong. Need more opinions!! Good luck, Nicolene!
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:27 AM
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The yellow at the base of the stem coupled with the rapid leaf loss could mean you have rot in the stem. I assume the yellow started at the stem and went to the tip. It is the same rot that that causes crown rot except it starts at the bottom of the stem and goes up. Once in the crown, it is dead. Since you have treated it with peroxide, you could also treat with Physan and alcohol.

If this were mine I would remove it from the mix, soak the roots in water to see if you have good roots instead of dehydrated or rotted roots and go from there. A Phal doesn't want to dry out, they want to be evenly moist. Put it in a container with no media, make sure to keep it out of sunlight, and treat it as a mounted Phal until the yellowing of leaves stops or the stem rot kills it. You can put a pad of damp sphag in the bottom of the pot to hold moisture longer.

If you end up losing the plant, buy yourself two new Phals to console yourself.

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Old 08-21-2013, 09:34 AM
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I am having a similar problem with a phal I'm trying to rescue. Was given to me as a "spare" for a mass order my housemate did for her office. It came in tightly packed sphagnum with two spikes of flowers. Very quickly it lost one spike and two of the basal leaves, so I pulled it out to check the roots. Of course i found root rot, so I trimmed and repotted in a bark mix. But now another leaf is yellowing and I'm not sure what to do. I've left the spike of flowers on, but now I'm thinking I might need to cut it off in order to save the plant.
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:12 AM
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I pulled it out of the pot this morning and removed the bottom leaf. I then ran water over the roots for about 5 min and this is what I have...I think it looks hopeful at this point. I will continue to treat it with peroxide and alcohol since I don't have Physan. There was a slight bit of fuzzing I could hear this morning with the peroxide. I have a mount I'm not using at this moment, so maybe I'll mount this guy when I get home this afternoon and see if it is a bit happier then.

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Old 08-21-2013, 10:48 AM
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Save your mount until you know whatever the problem was has stopped. If the plant continues to decline then you will have to either throw the mount away or sterilize it with bleach.

Clarevh are the leaves yellowing from the base of the plant or does it start on the tip and progresses to the base? Anytime you lose roots whatever those roots were supporting will die. If you have as many good roots as Nicolene, then I wouldn't sacrifice the spike. Also going from a moist media like sphag to a dry-er media like bark, it could be a less moist issue causing the problem.

Brooke
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:02 AM
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Hi Nicolene

IMO your last picture looks fine. I would not over-do the peroxide and alcohol treatments; what you have done so far is probably fine, but I would be worried about tissue damage from frequent and extended treatment. I would say treat again if indicated by any symptoms (plant tissue deteriorating, mold growing, etc.).

I may be wrong, but I think Brooke's suggestion to treat as a mount for a while is meant to be temporary, as in keep the roots out of growing medium until you are fairly sure the plant is not deteriorating. Like a mount, water the roots periodically, Brooke's suggestion with the sphagnum will maintain the humidity a bit.

If the plant were mine, I would eventually grow it in a pot again, with a growing medium that works for you. Hope it all works out.
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Old 08-21-2013, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooke View Post

Clarevh are the leaves yellowing from the base of the plant or does it start on the tip and progresses to the base? Anytime you lose roots whatever those roots were supporting will die. If you have as many good roots as Nicolene, then I wouldn't sacrifice the spike. Also going from a moist media like sphag to a dry-er media like bark, it could be a less moist issue causing the problem.

Brooke
Brooke I'm not really sure what direction the yellowing started in in as I was away for a couple of days and came back to find it yellow/green almost mottled. It does have a good amount of healthy roots (I've attached a picture of the leaf)
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Love_my_soldier View Post
I pulled it out of the pot this morning and removed the bottom leaf. I then ran water over the roots for about 5 min and this is what I have...I think it looks hopeful at this point. I will continue to treat it with peroxide and alcohol since I don't have Physan. There was a slight bit of fuzzing I could hear this morning with the peroxide. I have a mount I'm not using at this moment, so maybe I'll mount this guy when I get home this afternoon and see if it is a bit happier then.

The plant still looks promising...BUT I am a bit concerned with that blackened roots. I think just let the plant stay dry for now and observe a little more. If it continues to spread..sadly, just have to let it go. You have done what you can.

Who knows, it may still try to form a keiki of some sort as a last effort to survive.
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:12 PM
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I think you are a long way from last-ditch efforts here.

Relax, give the roots daily water with moderate drying in-between (i.e., not constantly wet), see what happens. When in doubt follow Brooke's instructions from 7:27 this morning. Use the disinfectants IF indicated by symptoms. Remember, these are TOUGH plants.
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:18 PM
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I know I probably hit freak out mode a little early, but it was doing so well and bloomed FOREVER and then I had to go mess with the medium instead of just straight up repotting it and it did NOT like that. I guess I would rather freak out too early rather than too late
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:20 PM
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Who knows, it may still try to form a keiki of some sort as a last effort to survive.
Trev, you are absolutely right. If it truly is time for this guy to go, it may suddenly spike and bloom or, more likely, form a keiki. In most plants, blooming out of season is pretty much a death knell. (Save the circumstance of the plant acclimating to regular care after being forced into bloom by those &$#* growers that love to sell us blooming plants, no matter what time of year. That's another post!) It is the plant's last-resort attempt to propagate itself.

A few years ago, our old crabapple decided to bloom in SEPTEMBER!! Hubby said "Oh, look - it's blooming again! Must be healthy!" I said "Uh, no, honey - it is probably dying." Sure enough, the next spring it was a goner.
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
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Brooke I'm not really sure what direction the yellowing started in in as I was away for a couple of days and came back to find it yellow/green almost mottled. It does have a good amount of healthy roots (I've attached a picture of the leaf)
I don't think you have anything to worry about. The yellow leaf on yours is a nice bright yellow and looks like the leaves that have dropped naturally on my phals in the past. The bottom leaf that dropped on my phal was not a healthy yellow if that makes any sense at all. It had more of a brown to it, happened extremely quickly, and was mushy at the base and just fell of when I touched it. Yours looks like it is still relatively firmly attached to the plant and will drop when the plant is ready to let go of it.
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:56 PM
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Nicolene, you are observant. Clarevh's leaf does look a healthy yellow - you can see the natural senescence (aging and death of a plant part) in her leaf as there is green that fades to yellow. Oh, I sure hope you can save yours, though!!
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