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Old 11-04-2009, 08:55 PM
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Help!

Hi there- I am having problems with a somewhat newly purchased orchid (about 1.5 mths living with me now). When initially purchased this plant had a series of flowers, developed buds and 6 leaves. Over the last 1.5 mths the plant first dropped the buds (which seemed to dry out) flowers and has now started to drop leaves. The leaves have begun to slowly yellow (usually taking 3-6 days) and eventually fall off entirely. The plant now has three leaves left and the roots appear quite dry and unhealthy although the potting mix remains moist. The plant is potted in sagnum moss and is in a clear plastic pot with drainage wholes on the underside. Parts of the potting mixture appear dark in colour and I am concerned that the plant is suffering from 'crown rot'- although I'm unsure. Following some on line reading I liberally applied tumeric (apparently recognized for its antiseptic qualities) to the top of the potting mix but this doesn't seem to have helped. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Amy
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:24 PM
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G'Day Amys

Can't really help, someone more knowledgeable than me will be along shortly I'M sure. Meantime welcome to the forum.

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Old 11-04-2009, 09:52 PM
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I'd check here:
(ok, won't let me put a link in, even to an orchidgeeks site, so...
go to the forum main page, then select "orchid care cultivation," then "Sticky: Orchid Care for Phalenonopis & Paphiopedilum Orchids" by fred.

Looks/sounds like you probably have one or more of the following problems:
1. Over/under watering
2. The atmosphere around the plant is too dry ( increase the humidity by misting, pebble trays, vaporizers, etc)
3. The media has gotten old and/or the orchid is in too large a pot.
4. The plant might be getting too much light.

Hope this helps. I'm new to the forum, but have been growing orchids for 5 or 6 years. I've killed many a phalaenopsis, and have only recently gotten any good at growing them with predictable results. Good luch
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:08 PM
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How often are you watering? Is the sphagnum moss still a bit wet when you water, or sopping? or bone dry?
I've found it difficult to grow phals in sphag alone in my climate, it gets a little too chilly in here and it takes forever to dry. when I pot them I usually use about a third sphag to 2/3 coconut husk chips with a little charcoal to sweeten it up, works well for me.
Are any of your roots shiny or green?
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Old 11-05-2009, 12:45 AM
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Good to reference the "sticky" given you by Choodles. Hello to both of you by the way and welcome.
I'd pull the plant out of the pot and check the roots. Trim any dead or mushy ones and touch any new cuts with dried cinnamon. I've not heard of tumeric. (But do like that spice)
Repot it in small pot just to accomodate roots. I prefer terra cotta orchid pots and bark but every one has their preferences. I grow outside.
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:51 AM
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look like there no roots to the plant. So i would use fresh sphag and bag method to encourage it to grow new roots . Also put it into lower light to reduce water loss through transpiration.after it has grown 1 to 2 inch roots , you can put it into a new pot and wait for 2 years before you can see flower again.
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:10 AM
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http://www.orchidgeeks.com/forum/orc...m-orchids.html

This is it, if you can't find it

to the forum nice to have you with us
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Old 11-05-2009, 11:23 AM
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It is dificult to say for sure, from your pictures, but there do appear to be some dead roots in there. I think there are a couple of green roots showing on the first photo, and if they are still good and there is no crown rot, you may be okay. I cannot recollect any advice on the use or turmeric, are you sure that shouldn't have been cinnamon. (apologies if I'm wrong).

Phals do lose their bottom leaves to natural wastage, but a photo of the whole plant would help to determine whether the rest of the leaves are healthy.

If you could remove the moss and post another picture of the roots and possibly the crown, that would be of great help in trying to advise you.

Also read the Care Sheet to which Orchidlover55 sent the link.

My personal preference of potting medium for a Phal. would be bark and a clear pot so you can keep an eye on the roots, but different climates and growing conditions dictate the best medium to use and also the frequency of watering. For this I suggest you take a look at:

http://www.orchidgeeks.com/forum/new...f-orchids.html
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Old 11-05-2009, 10:54 PM
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I've been very weary of over watering as I think I have killed previous plants this way in past. I've been keeping a watering log for the last mth. It was watered on the 3rd of October and again on the 28th. The moss still seems moist to the touch when I stick my fingers into the centre of the pot (maybe 1/2 inch deep). Usually I've tried to wait until the plant is quite dry before watering. In terms of the potting medium sometimes I find it difficult to tell if the plant has dried sufficiently when using bark mixes. I've tried the pencil trick but I find it doesn't work. Any thoughts on the watering schedule? my apartment is heated by rad. and I don't control the heat- I've wondered if it's too dry- but the potting medium doesn't seem to dry out.
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Old 11-05-2009, 10:56 PM
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Digitalgate- Do you have a reference for the "bag method" I'm not familiar. Very much a newbie.
Thanks so much for your hep.
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Old 11-05-2009, 11:04 PM
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tizzy cat- thanks for your reply. i've attached a few more pictures of the entire plant. I would be happy to post a clean pic of the roots without potting medium but I don't have any new medium on hand to repot. How long can a phal (especially one under stress) go without being re-planted? Do you have suggestions on the type of potting mix that I should be buying (specific brand would be extremely helpful) and any hints on where it might be available (is this the type of thing I can only find at a nursery?).
Thanks so much!
Amy
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Old 11-05-2009, 11:28 PM
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Hi- welcome to the forum. It's kind of hard to tell from your photos if there are any viable roots. But from your second set of pictures I would definitely cut the spike so the plant doesn't expend a lot of energy in that. You want the plant to use what energy it has to grow it's root system. What digitalgate mentioned was sphag and bag. Sphag and bag is simply putting the rootless plant into a ziplock bag with a little mostly wrung out sphagnum moss, with or without touching the moss, and zipping it up. This should be kept in bright light but never in direct light (about 70%-80% shade). Then it is a waiting game. With 100% humidity, the plant can survive in nearly perfect condition for a vary long time. You are basically waiting for the plant to feel the need to continue root growth for monopodials, or for the correct season to produce a new growth for sympodials with roots on the new growth to follow. The plant is removed from the bag when new rooting is noted and potted up. If the plant has been in the bag for a very long time, some sort of fungicide should be used as the plant is very tender like a seedling coming out of flask. I generally open the bag every week or two to inspect the plant. This is not for plants with any amount of viable root. Those should be potted up, maybe temporarily in moss, and a baggy over the plant with an opening around the bottom to raise the humidity, but not to 100%, for awhile if the amount of root is very small. With roots, the plant needs a wet dry(or mostly dry) cycle to maintain root health.
Another option which I have done with good success is repot your orchid using a good draining bark mixture. I use medium firbark, charcoal and perlite for this. Cut away any black or brown and mushy roots and pot it in the smallest pot to fit whatever roots may be left.You definitely don't want to over pot it. I give it a good watering with superthrive which will help stimulate root growth and then I leave it be. I put it in an area that does not have a lot of bright light. I usually will use a north facing window for this. I may not water again for a couple weeks. I have actually gone longer than that before watering with no ill effects. It's not going to be an overnight fix, if your orchid has no root system left, it's going to take time for it to start getting new roots. But it can be done. If this doesn't seem like a good option for you, I might suggest buying yourself a new orchid; instant gratification!
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Old 11-05-2009, 11:55 PM
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Hi There- More pics to share. I have taken my phal out of the potting mix and it appears that the root system is pretty damaged. Some roots are white, while others (the majority of the root mass) are brown, dried out and appear dead. There are some green roots on one side of the plant that seem salvageable but I am concerned that the crown (or at least what I think is the crown) might be rotten.
Thoughts?
Amy
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Old 11-06-2009, 12:01 AM
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You definitely have some good roots there. I would cut away all the roots that are black or mushy. I would also then rinse with some hydrogen peroxide and sprikle the cut ends with cinnamon. Again, I would use the smallest pot just big enough for the root system. As far as crown rot, I don't see it from your pictures. I think you can save your orchid if you are patient and can give it the right culture.
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Old 11-06-2009, 12:09 AM
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Ok last photos- I swear. These are some post "hair cut" pics. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Thanks for all of your help!
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Old 11-06-2009, 12:18 AM
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Looks like you did a pretty good job getting rid of the bad roots. give it a good rinse with hydrogen peroxide, sprinkle the cut ends with cinnamon and repot it. You don't want to overwater. It's goning to be a waiting game. It may seem like nothing is happening, but keep at it. Its going to take time.
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Old 11-06-2009, 12:45 AM
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Thanks again for all of your help. I've re-potted as a quick fix in some of the old potting medium and will go in search of a proper mix tomorrow.
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Old 11-06-2009, 08:19 AM
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Amys, If I may repeat myself : Please consider adopting the http://www.orchidgeeks.com/forum/new...f-orchids.html
It's simple and almost foolproof, especially for Phals.

I think you can save the plant with the correct care, (Synda has given excellent advice above) and definitly go for a bark based medium.
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:46 PM
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Hi there- I've run into some more problems with the re-potted orchid. As indicated in my last post I re-potted in a fir bark, charcoal, perlite medium. I re-planted in a pot with holes for air circulation and put the plant atop a pepple tray in an effort to increase the moisture content. Yesterday two of the remaining leaves (still healthy looking and attached to one another) fell off followed by a third today (which I accidentally knocked off when looking at the roots). By the looks of the root system most the remaining roots which were healthy (pictured above) have died. Now my plant is leaf-less with few viable roots left. Any recommendations would be very much appreciated. Still hoping I can save this plant. Please see pictures attached.
Thanks!
Amy
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Old 11-17-2009, 11:48 PM
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Oops- it seems as though my pictures werent properly attached. Sorry!
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Old 11-18-2009, 12:01 AM
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Help

please find pics associated with the above post attached.
Thanks
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