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Old 03-03-2013, 03:10 PM
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Unhappy Phal (?) In Distress!

Hello All!

My husband got me an orchid for my birthday in January, and as well-intentioned as was trying to be, he didn't really inspect it. There were 3 leaves on it when I got it and 2 were cracked. The last one was a little tiny one and almost yellow. I've been trying to nurse it back to health, but I am not very experienced with orchids. There were no tags on it, but after some research I believe it is a Phla and that it is experiencing crown rot.

The leaves have been falling off over the last 2 weeks, and the final one fell off today. I took it out of the moss and trimmed off the brown roots, but some of the remaining roots look yellow while others look green (none look stellar). Still, there are three healthy looking flowers and 4 buds that look alright.

I'd love to save this plant, but I'm not sure what I should do next. I've read about spag and bag, but then I would have to cut all of the flowers off, correct? I've also read about hydrogen peroxide, cinnamon, and cutting off all of the roots and using root hormone in water to resurrect it, but I am not sure of what route to take. Any help would be appreciated because I'm running out of ideas that aren't drastic and I don't think this plant has much time left without some sort of immediate action.

Attached are pictures of what the last broken leaf looked like about a week ago, where the leaf joined the base, and then pictures of what the plant looks like today. Please help!

Thanks!

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Old 03-03-2013, 05:02 PM
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That was definitely a phal. If you don't have any leaves left at all, I'm afraid it's a goner. Phals can grow new roots if they have leaves to do photosynthesis & "feed" themselves that way, but roots without leaves can't do much of anything.
Don't feel bad, we have all killed plenty of orchids. Buy another one and try again. It will feel so good to get it right the second time around.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:22 PM
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Personally, I think you have a chance. At least I would try, since I've brought rescues back from the brink and actually, three of them are at last beginning to spike after about four years. Long road, but at least worth a try.

Also, I think this is really how one learns, even if it's the "hard way"
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:33 PM
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The crown is rotted (black at the base where the leaves met up w/the roots)...I'm afraid there will be no bringing it back. It happens...I know I've lost my share...just part of the learning curve.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulB View Post
Personally, I think you have a chance. At least I would try, since I've brought rescues back from the brink and actually, three of them are at last beginning to spike after about four years. Long road, but at least worth a try.

Also, I think this is really how one learns, even if it's the "hard way"
I'd at least like to give it a shot. What should I try to do? It seems as if people have so many methods and I'm unsure which would work in this scenario. If this one is a goner, what should I look for in another? Any specifics?

I don't know if my husband knows what he's gotten himself into. I have a pretty green thumb with my copious amount of house plants and my summer garden is usually really fruitful, orchids seem to be a challenge and I like that.
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:15 PM
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If you really want to try it, I would make sure all of the rotten material is off of the plant, cut the flower spike off so the plant can focus its energy on growing instead of blooming, then soak it in some Physan 20 solution (per label instructions). Pot it up in some fresh medium and hope for a keiki.

If this was my plant, I would cut the stem and put it in a vase, then buy another, healthier Phal.
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BGGraham1 View Post
If you really want to try it, I would make sure all of the rotten material is off of the plant, cut the flower spike off so the plant can focus its energy on growing instead of blooming, then soak it in some Physan 20 solution (per label instructions). Pot it up in some fresh medium and hope for a keiki.

If this was my plant, I would cut the stem and put it in a vase, then buy another, healthier Phal.
I agree, there's no harm in trying and nothing to lose.

Here's an earlier thread where some opionions on the issue as well as options were discussed.
http://www.orchidgeeks.com/forum/new...ust-roots.html

If you happen to have some moss or medium size bark mix for orchids, you might want to try potting the remaining roots and keep them slightly moist but not wet for a few months, avoid getting moistures on remaining stump, and see if it might produce some growth along the way. Adding some seaweed to the watering seem to contribute to the overall vitality of the plant. You can check the moisture periodically buy placing a barbeque skewer into the pot and moist the medium again only when it's almost dry and the pot is light.

Some also throw a plastic bag over the pot to increase humidity. It's important to let it breath by making a hole in the top and making sure it's not blasted by the direct sun.

I wonder if Paul would like to share what he did for his surivors.

I'm currently caring for a rather healthy keiki that was "born" that way - from a Phal with a crown rot and that grew roots via sphag-n-bag method. (I did not know at that time that it was a keiki as a new leaf emerged from the centre but now it's obvious that it IS a keiki, and yes, there was a prior crown rot that started it all for a newly bought Phal.)

Good luck! This hobby is certainly addictive!

Lilia

Last edited by rlilia; 03-04-2013 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:24 PM
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Agree with the comments, you can still try to care for it..it all just depends how far along the rot is setting in. But if it does succumb, do not feel bad..sometimes there are things just beyond our control. On the flipside..a good excuse to get a new healthier one to care for.
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:38 AM
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I agree to cut off all the bad parts. If you really want to try it will be a long haul with it I've seen some throw a basil growth. But for now i think you need to get it a new friend for encouragement if it doesn't make it at least you will have the companion you got it.
Good luck with it.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:00 PM
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DON'T cut off the spike! Just pinch any flower buds that start once you're sure they're flowers and not vegetative growth. The spike is the biggest part of the plant right now, and you have a better chance of saving it if it can use the carbs/photosynthetic capacity of the spike. It may also start keikis that will root more easily than the current crown. Personally, I would mount the whole thing and try to keep it very humid and shady. Actually, if it was mine I'd throw it in the garbage but you did ask about trying to save it...
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:29 PM
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"I wonder if Paul would like to share what he did for his surivors."

I really didn't do much. Some, were rescues I got from an actress who had gotten them as groupy gifts. She gets a lot of them, so she gave me quite a few, thinking that because the blooms had dropped, they were dead. I love sending her photos of those "dead orchids" every year. Most of these were most likely florist shop arrangements, because I also got some very cool pots along with the plants.

But basically, I did what some have suggested above: Getting all the tightly packed spagh out; cleaning the dead and mushy roots out, treating with a good Physan/water mix, and repotting in a more open media. This could be a medium size (or a bit smaller) bark with charcoal and perlite mix, and some, I've also mixed in a bit of coco husk chunks, just to hold a bit more moisture. Loose mix. Good air movement either by overhead fan or a breezier part of my growing area (outside).
Then, it's a matter of watching the moisture carefully like any other healthier plant. No feeding until some promising new growth appears. It's a long process time-wise and one can expect not to see blooms for a long time, but in my case, seeing a new nubbin of a leaf appearing is just as exciting as seeing a new spike appearing. Maybe that's why my wife's eyes roll back in her head when I tell her I have a new leaf.

The hardest part is patience
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:03 AM
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[COLOR="Navy
I love sending her photos of those "dead orchids" every year.

Maybe that's why my wife's eyes roll back in her head when I tell her I have a new leaf. [/SIZE]
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Old 03-06-2013, 04:13 AM
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Mittens, what did you end up doing with the orchid?
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:08 PM
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Mittens, what did you end up doing with the orchid?
Well, after trying everything advised and then some, the phal from the photos is no longer with us. I now have 2 mystery orchids, one tiny one and another my husband just got today. Hopefully these two are much happier since their leaves look much better.
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:22 PM
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You could always take him on a "buying orchids training mission" which might result in another new addition or two?? Even if it doesn't, when he does buy you another one there is much more chance of getting one in decent condition!!!
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