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Old 05-11-2014, 09:21 AM
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Disease or Virus?

Hi,

My phal is looking a bit droopy, at first I thought it was losing leaves like they do occasionally but now I'm not so sure
I've got some photos which will explain the problem better than I can.
The good thing is that it's still growing buds and the flowers are fine.
I'm thinking that maybe it's having too much sun? It's on a North facing window

This was my very first orchid so I hope it's not going to die
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:31 AM
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we're on the same boat! hope your phal and my vanda become healthy soon. i cant lose my first orchid

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Old 05-11-2014, 02:47 PM
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First picture, I see wrinkled older leaves, but the newer ones are not wrinkled. That seems OK.

Second picture - well, I am not sure what you are asking about?? Also, it is a bit out of focus. I see a split in the center of the leaf, but that is neither a virus nor is it another disease (it would be mechanical damage - happens to me sometimes when I am moving plants).

Regarding your other question, a north window should not be a problem with respect to direct, or too much, sun.

I hope some of this is helpful, but if not, maybe someone can help after a description of the problem.
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Old 05-11-2014, 04:28 PM
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Yeah I realized the photo was out of focus when I posted it.

You know when a phal gets rid of it's old leaves and they go leathery and limp, they all seem to be like that at the moment.
The top one is better but it's got some dark patches, I'll get some better photos up tomorrow. I'm really not very good at explaining myself.
Thanks for your help
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Old 05-11-2014, 07:22 PM
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The medium looks a little dry to me. Good luck with it!
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Old 05-11-2014, 07:27 PM
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Have you checked the roots?
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Old 05-12-2014, 12:05 PM
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Right, I've managed to get some better photos.

I haven't checked the roots, I didn't want to disturb the plant.
Do you think I should?

I noticed that it was dry so I gave it a really good water

I'm hoping that it's too much sun and lack of water that's the problem and not that it's diseased!
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Old 05-12-2014, 12:48 PM
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You should be able to see the roots adequately in that clear pot - looks to me like you're just keeping it too dry? How often are you watering and how are you watering? Depending on how much that media absorbs water and your environment retains it - the needed frequency could vary dramatically. Usually on clear pots like that you can see moisture on the inside of the pot if it is damp enough - when completely devoid of condensate/moisture on the inside of the pot it usually about time to water again......
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Old 05-12-2014, 02:04 PM
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Well I used to water weekly like clockwork but then I was told at the garden centre, by an expert, not to do that. He said I should water them fortnightly and maybe even longer.
I have 8 orchids altogether so I put them all in the bath then use my watering can (without the thing that makes the water like rain, no idea what it's called ) to give them a good soaking. I leave them a while to drain off because they don't like soggy bottoms, then put them back.

I might go back to weekly because I'd had no problems before then.
It was sitting on the windowsill, I've moved it now until I can get it back under control again.

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Old 05-12-2014, 04:18 PM
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The manner in which you water (good drenching, followed by a drying period) is fine. The frequency (fortnightly) is not often enough.

Try inserting a bamboo skewer vertically down through the bark medium. This is a simple means to check moisture. For a Phal., you want to water again when that skewer is barely moist, but not wet. For most people, that will be once a week to twice a week
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:06 PM
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The "expert" forgot to mention the golden rule about growing orchids. ESID.

Every situation is different and what works for one person might not for another. Drenching only once in a fortnight might work for that fellow, but his growing environment and media might also retain moisture and humidity more than what you have. Follow your senses when it comes to orchid care. Watch the plant and how it performs and react accordingly. Don't take culture notes verbatim, instead use them as a guide and tailor to your exact needs. There are too many variables out there for an all encompassing culture method, else we'd all be doing the same thing
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Old 05-18-2014, 09:18 AM
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Thanks for all your help I've had it sitting away from the window for a while. I've watered 2 or 3 times since I last posted and I have to say it's looking better already!

What a relief, I'm so glad it's not diseased!
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Old 05-18-2014, 01:47 PM
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Just be careful not to swing the other way and water it too much. You can also tell by the colour of the roots when it is time to water. If they are green don't water, when they turn silvery white then give them a good drink.
I don't think it will thrive in a north facing window, do you have any other window options?
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:53 AM
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Yeah I'm going back to once a week at the moment and see how I get on.

I don't really have any other windows without it getting direct sunlight, I have nothing in the window to protect it. I've placed it with my other orchids and they seem to be doing fine at the moment
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:48 AM
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I glad that they are doing well! You will know over time if they are getting enough light by the colour of their leaves and if they rebloom or not.
I only have North or South facing windows myself, without any window covering on any of them. I keep my Phals a few feet away from a huge southern window and they do get some direct sunlight but nothing intense.
Good to hear that your Phal is perking up!
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Old 05-21-2014, 02:35 PM
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The best way to water right for phals is to look at the roots (if grey go water) and eventual moisture still in the pot (if so, don't), you can even with habits check the weight of the pot.

It's impossible to tell "water every whatever", for me it varies depending the time of the year (less in winter, more in summer) and the type of substrate I'm using with the phal.
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:38 PM
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Thanks for the advice I'll have to keep an eye on it, I'll do the same for my others too.

It's looking even better now than it was then, the leaves feel thicker and less leathery! YAY
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Old 06-21-2014, 02:47 PM
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Great news!!

I've just spotted a new leaf growing!!

It's looking so much better and the last bud is about to open
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Old 06-22-2014, 04:48 AM
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It is so warm and dry here in UK just now - even in SW Scotland where it rarely stops raining - that my regular watering regime has been inadequate. That's the beauty of the translucent pots. One of my Phals was behaving like yours but it is in terra cotta so I can't see the roots. My little Zygo is so grateful for its translucent pot as I have nearly dried it to death in the past.
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:20 AM
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ok..how about the humidity???watering is fine but low humidity might be the cause of the wrinkles..micro climates aroung the plant are easy to manage..clear plastic and humidity trays might help..my 2 pence..but I only have a hapney{half penny}
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Old 06-22-2014, 10:07 AM
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It's my usual day to water on a Sunday. Today I found that some of my Phals don't need watering yet and they haven't been watered since last Monday (I was at an orchid show on the Sunday ).

I thought they would need watering twice a week at this time of year, especially with this weather. I do mist them almost every morning, I have to with my Vanda.

They all seem to be doing ok at the moment except for my Miltoniopsis, it's not growing any new roots and the old ones all look dead to me
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