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Old 03-22-2013, 10:43 PM
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Manager @ trader joes gave me a FREE phal!!!!! but it needs some help, and so do i :)

So I tried to get this "miniature" orchid (so they call it) for half price and the manager said well we usually just donate them.... I suppose I can donate it to you. I said EVEN BETTER!!! So I adopted it.

Honestly I don't think its too far beyond repair, but it definitely needs some help for sure. The spike is firm, flowers are nice and the leaves are firm but they're light, one is yellow and one has a brown patch. The roots also have segments. There will be a bad spot, followed by a not so bad looking spot.... but the bad spot is higher up than the part that looks decent, which is on the end.... if that makes sense.

Some of the roots appear to be dried but some roots are still green and healthy. It has sphag, which will be changed as soon as I get some input as to how I should attack this thing. The sphag is dry as a bone. Not sure if I should soak it now to soften the roots and change to bark tomorrow or change now and water real good after. Also should I fertelize just yet?

This orchid was outdoors under an awning during the day and I suspect they wheeled the cart indoors at night.

OK that's all the info I know about this little plant. Please let me know what you think. Thank you.

PS- this forum really is a bad influence. I've added four new orchids since joining
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:06 PM
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Hello,
I LOVE rescuing Phals, so this is what I would do if it was my new orchid.

-Soak the rootball immediately in the warm/lookwarm water for 30 min or so. Sounds like the plant was badly dehydrated. If you have some seaweed this would help, but just plain water would do for now as well.

-Cut the spike and place it in a vase -it would last just the same. Phal now needs to focus on regrowing its roots.

-After good soak, take all the moss out. You could do it by using some chopsticks or under the running water, or just by pulling at the strings. Do it very carefully, slowly so not to break the roots.
After all the moss is off wash the roots under the slow running lookwarm (not cold!) water. Inspect all the roots and trim off anything that looks rotting, hollow or dead.

-If you have Physan 20 it would be helpful to desinfect the roots. If not, just leave it bare roots in in the empty pot or bowl. The roots need to dry up and heal a bit before repotting.

This should take it through the night. Leaving a Phal over night bare root would not hurt it. It can last like that even a few days.

-Next morning inspect the roots. If they look silver-grey, this is a good sign. They should be dry by now. Soak the rootball again for 30 min or so, better with seaweed solution but that's optional.

-Air dry roots again and pot the plant in the empty pot. Place some small pebbles on the bottom. Cover up roots very lightly with bark, do not pack the medium, leave some air pockets for the roots. You would need to monitor the roots, their color and condition for at least a month.

-Water only when almost dry (look up the skewer method) and when there's no water condensation on the walls, roots look silver-grey, not bright green. Sometime it's better just to lightly mist the roots instead of soaking them wet.

-Also, trim off any bad parts of the leaves and dust the cuts with the cinamon.

-Place Phal in warm, bright spot but take care not to expose it to the direct sun.

I hope this helps.

Welcome to the Orchids Addicts club!

Lilia

Last edited by rlilia; 03-22-2013 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:13 PM
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Petals, you are one lucky person, Trader Joe's usually is pretty resistant to letting orchids escape that way.

Yes, the leaves look pretty bad, sunburned I would guess. But if you have any green roots, there is hope. I would soak the plant-and-spag right away, but try not to get the crown of the plant wet. Wetting the spag will make it much easier to remove it, which I would do as soon as possible. If roots are rotten, cut them, but if they have "segments" as you call them, leave them alone. They may still be able to absorb some water and help the plant. Then I would repot ASAP. I fertilize with pretty much every watering, and so I would not hold back on the fertilizer.

You should be looking for a new little leaf to start in the very center of the plant. Cutting the blooms off to enjoy in a vase will allow the plant to devote its energies to growth.

ETA: totally cross-posted with Lilia, who gives good advice. The only place I'd differ is in the advice to pot loosley. In my experience, orchids grow better if they are firm in the pot. It looks like you will have enough roots to hold it well.

Last edited by Fishmom; 03-22-2013 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:13 PM
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Yep, I think I'm officially addicted

This sounds like one heck of a rescue mission. And I'm absolutely ready and willing to do it to save it. I would like to hear some other members opinions.... not that I don't trust the info, I just like to know its the absolute best option. It all sounds pretty logical to me though

By cinnamon, you mean just plain old cinnamon? I've always had pretty good luck with my orchids and haven't had to do any surgery as of yet, and I've never adopted a sickie, so this is all new to me
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:17 PM
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Oh and as far as "bad spots" on the leaves goes. One of the leaves is bright yellow.... I assume this should be completely removed? And what about light yellow hues on the leaf? If its pale but firm, just leave it?

Ahhh, it'll hurt to cut the blooms, can I leave at least one node
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:21 PM
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What is your goal in leaving the node? Are you hoping for a sub-spike? That would make it harder for the plant to generate new leaves. I would not leave a node.

Regarding leaves, if they are still firmly attached, I would not cut them off. They may still be functioning at some level. The plant will drop them when they are totally dead.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:23 PM
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Okie dokie.... 2 opinions giving relatively the same info.... I'm convinced.... be back later! I plan on keeping this thread updated from time to time, especially if new growth emerges.

On closer inspection, the roots are kind of a minty green with lots of silver, not particularly bright green.

Off to my adventure with my new freebie!!

Ps- if I have success with this one, maybe I'll hit up trader joes a bit more often asking for "donations"
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishmom View Post
What is your goal in leaving the node? Are you hoping for a sub-spike? That would make it harder for the plant to generate new leaves. I would not leave a node.

Regarding leaves, if they are still firmly attached, I would not cut them off. They may still be functioning at some level. The plant will drop them when they are totally dead.
Okay. I'll cut the spike completely. It makes sense to give it the best chance possible.... I just don't wanna, it hurts a little
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:49 PM
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I see one partly sunburned leaf - the yellowish cast of the leaves- maybe due to indoor, incandescent lighting? Is a photo in natural daylight possible?

If the leaves are a good "Kelly green", IMO it may not be necessary to cut the spike, though you could if you'd just like to save the plant some energy. Different story if the leaves are seriously yellow; then yes, cutting the spike is probably best. Regardless, don't cut the leaves unless there is some disease process going on.

Last edited by Catt Mandu; 03-22-2013 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:50 PM
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Leaf and spike surgery complete. Now... to cut the roots or leave them as is.

There is nothing mooshy or hallow. But some of the ends are dark brown and there's lots of "segments" where it looks healthy, then there's a tough skinny string of root in the middle, then a healthy root again (it goes fat healthy root----skinny root string---fat healthy root, all connected)
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Last edited by PETALS; 03-23-2013 at 12:32 AM.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catt Mandu View Post
I see one partly sunburned leaf - the yellowish cast of the leaves- maybe due to indoor, incandescent lighting? Is a photo in natural daylight possible?

If the leaves are a good "Kelly green", IMO it may not be necessary to cut the spike, though you could if you'd just like to save the plant some energy. Different story if the leaves are seriously yellow; then yes, cutting the spike is probably best. Regardless, don't cut the leaves unless there is some disease process going on.
After reading this, I decided to leave the very lowest node because the roots weren't nearly as bad as I expected. I did cut the bad part of the leaf, frankly cause I don't wanna look at it lol. I did leave the light colored splotchy leaves alone cause they're not too bad. And I left the smallest, bright yellow leaf alone as well.

Overall, this lil guy isn't quite as bad as I initially thought, just needs some TLC. I was expecting some sriviled roots with barely any viable ones and inside the sphag, there was a decent number of nice green ones
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:29 AM
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Are there missing posts? Or do I need more coffee?

Good luck PETALS I'm sure you have saved the life of your new Phal.

Brooke
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:56 PM
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Are there missing posts? Or do I need more coffee?

Good luck PETALS I'm sure you have saved the life of your new Phal.

Brooke
Hahaha I was wondering the same thing! I don't know what happened, they WERE here but somehow they just went away
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
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PS- this forum really is a bad influence. I've added four new orchids since joining
you have had it!!!

I had a phal which had bad spots further up than the good bits. If I had cut out all the bad bits there would have been hardly any root at all so I left most of them (because the ends looked so good I figured that the roots must be doing something!!). I eventually lost patience with it because it didn't get worse but plant didn't do anything either and then someone suggested a bit of tough love. I ignored the plant (and all the other Phals in my collection which were not playing ball either) for a couple of months and HEY PRESTO, they started producing new roots, new leaves etc!!!

I know this doesn't go very far advice wise but that is what happened to me and my (not so) naughty Phals!!!

Phals (IMO) are very (almost too) picky for their own good!!!

Hope you get your new addition sorted!!!
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooke View Post
Are there missing posts? Or do I need more coffee?
Brooke
Quote:
Originally Posted by PETALS View Post
Hahaha I was wondering the same thing! I don't know what happened, they WERE here but somehow they just went away


So glad it's not just me!!!

Wrote a reply to what appeared to be a post with no replies. When I submitted it suddenly there were loads!!!

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Old 03-23-2013, 07:13 PM
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you have had it!!!

I had a phal which had bad spots further up than the good bits. If I had cut out all the bad bits there would have been hardly any root at all so I left most of them (because the ends looked so good I figured that the roots must be doing something!!). I eventually lost patience with it because it didn't get worse but plant didn't do anything either and then someone suggested a bit of tough love. I ignored the plant (and all the other Phals in my collection which were not playing ball either) for a couple of months and HEY PRESTO, they started producing new roots, new leaves etc!!!

I know this doesn't go very far advice wise but that is what happened to me and my (not so) naughty Phals!!!

Phals (IMO) are very (almost too) picky for their own good!!!

Hope you get your new addition sorted!!!
By ignoring do you mean zero water and fertilizer at all for the whole 2 months?
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:21 PM
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I think I watered them once over the space of two months but that was it - it was during late summer, just after they had flowered etc so it was their rest period I suppose. Once I stopped stressing over them they seemed to do more, could just have been I stopped watching the pot to see if it boiled?!?!?
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smurfette View Post
I think I watered them once over the space of two months but that was it - it was during late summer, just after they had flowered etc so it was their rest period I suppose. Once I stopped stressing over them they seemed to do more, could just have been I stopped watching the pot to see if it boiled?!?!?
That's actually good advice. Sometimes I struggle with "loving my plants to death" lol. The first time I did zucchini, I flooded them daily.... I got one puny zucchini that year. Now I purposely forget about them and last year, we prolly had around 30-40 lbs between 6 plants lol
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:26 PM
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My Phals are doing so much better now they are not cuckoled all the time. It's a bit naughty really because I can write my name in the dust on the leaves at times!!!!
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:28 PM
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My Phals are doing so much better now they are not cuckoled all the time. It's a bit naughty really because I can write my name in the dust on the leaves at times!!!!
Lol, some plants need some neglect. My ponytail palm tree gets cranky if I water it more than 2-3 times a year. I swear it thinks its an air plant lol. It grows like a weed when its dry as a bone but drops leaves when its watered
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:34 PM
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Ha ha ha!!! Even more temperamental than children/ parents/ pets!?!?!
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:28 PM
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Are there missing posts? Or do I need more coffee?

Brooke
I deleted mine.
Lilia
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:37 AM
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I deleted mine.
Lilia
Ahhhh now it makes sense lol. How come u deleted it? I went back to read it and it was gone lol
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:25 AM
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I deleted mine.
Lilia
Why did you delete it?

And how did you get the entire section disappear. I know you can edit out all comments but didn't know you can make the whole thing disappear.

Brooke
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:03 PM
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Why did you delete it?

And how did you get the entire section disappear. I know you can edit out all comments but didn't know you can make the whole thing disappear.

Brooke
Ummm.... sorry, I'm not sure what's happened here. I only deleted my post with no comments attached to it, which was an early reply to the original question and to which Fishmom referred. And yes, there's a timeframe when one can delete his/her own post (I don't know exactly what the timing is before it locks up and only "edit" option remains available. Question on that to Fred, I guess.)

I'm not aware of the rest of the section as I wasn't following the thread.

And in regards to my reasons... I changed my mind....Sorry.


Lilia

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Old 03-24-2013, 09:03 PM
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I'm glad I initially got to read your post. It was very helpful information my freebie orchid seems to be doing well, the cinnamon on the cut edge of the bad leaf is healing it nicely. The roots weren't too bad actually, after soaking them in some water, they plumped up a bit. I may just be optimistic, but the leaf color seems to be improving as well. In time, I'm convinced it will make a full recovery and hopefully in a couple years it'll bless me with another spike. It was labled as a miniature phal, which I think means its just a young one forced into an early first bloom, so I don't expect blooms next year, hopefully the following year it'll happen

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Old 03-25-2013, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlilia View Post
Ummm.... sorry, I'm not sure what's happened here. I only deleted my post with no comments attached to it, which was an early reply to the original question and to which Fishmom referred. And yes, there's a timeframe when one can delete his/her own post (I don't know exactly what the timing is before it locks up and only "edit" option remains available. Question on that to Fred, I guess.)

I'm not aware of the rest of the section as I wasn't following the thread.

And in regards to my reasons... I changed my mind....Sorry.


Lilia

I really don't care if you delete a post but I did not know you could delete everything including the avatar, etc. Usually when deleted you can see who deleted the comment because the avatar and everything else is still in that space.

Brooke
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:05 PM
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I'm sure my post missing wasn't a huge loss for anyone on this thread........

I hope we can all move on now and focus on growing orchids.

Lilia
I found it informative, and I appreciate the help, thank you




My orchid is doing great so far. Clipping the bad spot and soaking the roots and using cinnamon on the cut appeared to have made it very happy.... as happy as a recovering orchid can be anyway
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:07 PM
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I found it informative, and I appreciate the help, thank you




My orchid is doing great so far. Clipping the bad spot and soaking the roots and using cinnamon on the cut appeared to have made it very happy.... as happy as a recovering orchid can be anyway
You're welcome. Glad the orchid is doing well.
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:24 PM
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I really don't care if you delete a post but I did not know you could delete everything including the avatar, etc. Usually when deleted you can see who deleted the comment because the avatar and everything else is still in that space.

Brooke
I don't think that's true, Brooke. I delete stuff all the time, usually after I've read it back to myself and don't like what I've written, and the whole thing goes away, avatar and all. No one wants to see just a picture of my smilin' mug.
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:40 PM
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This is getting a bit silly.... lol
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:50 AM
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No one wants to see just a picture of my smilin' mug.

How true Paul.

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Old 05-11-2013, 06:05 PM
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So I can safely say this orchid rescue was a complete success! A little more color on one leaf and it'll be perfect. I have 4 new roots sprouting and some new leaf growth yay!!!
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:04 PM
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Nice going! Next year that baby is going to show it's gratitude to you with a good show--I'm predicting!
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Fishmom View Post
Nice going! Next year that baby is going to show it's gratitude to you with a good show--I'm predicting!
Thank you! I can't believe how far this little guy has come just since march I think I'll get some good blooms too. The spikes on this one were very thick and sturdy.

Thank you for everyone's advice, it proved to be extremely helpful. This is my best rescue to date! My other rescue is having a tougher time with still fairly limp leaves, but hopefully it'll perk back up in time
orchids4me likes this.
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