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Old 10-28-2006, 09:32 AM
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Phal - Problem

I have one phal that the leaves are shriveling. The plant is putting out new leaves and roots but the older leaves are shriveling up much sooner than my other phals. The leaves do not get as long as they used to get before they shrivel up. Any ideas on what can cause this?
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Old 10-28-2006, 02:31 PM
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Check the root system. The roots will begin rotting away before the leaves show the after effects. My guess is that you are either over watering or the media has broken down and is holding water too long. Normal phal behavior is for the bottom leaf to slowly turn yellow and slough off while the others remain totally normal - usually about two per year. What kind of media are you using and how often do you water? Have you repotted it or is it the original media and how long have you owned the plant? Just a few questions that might help answer. Roots should all be thick and firm - a light grey/tan color with green (sometimes reddish green) tips is normal.
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Old 10-29-2006, 07:59 AM
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I bought the plant last year in full bloom. After it finished blooming I repotted it using a prepared orchid mix from Home Depot. I water all of my Phals once a week. I built an orchid box with a gravel tray which I keep moist and fluorescent light fixture above them. The box is enclosed with a fan that keeps the air moving during the day. After I water I use Physan 20 and spray the plant especially around the base since I lost several to rot about 2 or 3 years ago. The other Phals seem to love it but maybe this one is a little bit more finicky.
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Old 10-29-2006, 04:46 PM
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When you say the leaves are shriveling do you mean the lower one or two is slowly turning yellow and being discarded by the plant? If so, this is normal for phals. If it is more than this I still would be suspicious of the root system. Depending upon the environment - if it is cool - once a week can even be a little too much if it doesn't get dried out enough. How about the pot size? Sometimes they get put in too large of pot and that is why it doesn't get dried out enough between waterings. Do your plants drain into your rock/water tray? Sitting in water and wicking water back up can do it too. Just trying to come up with a few scenerios......
A digital photo of your plant might provide some insight if you can post one.
Good luck - mike
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Old 10-29-2006, 10:28 PM
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Thanks for the help. I just took it out of the pot and found that many of the roots were rotted off. I trimmed the dead one off and repotted it in a smaller pot. I wonder if I should take the others out and check them out too? Four of them are starting to put flower spikes up so I don't want to damage them. Will it hurt them if I don't repot them now and just give them less water??
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Old 10-30-2006, 12:50 AM
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Reports are that phals can take repotting just about any time. I don't think you will hurt their spiking if you want to check them as well. In the conditions I grow my phals they only get watered every other week at most and seem to do very well. Better to go too long than too short. If you go too long you will notice the leaves start to sag a bit, but they will perk quickly back up when watered. You might want to try Cynthia's concept (sticky on this forum) of using a bamboo skewer to determine when they need to be watered.
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Old 10-30-2006, 06:56 AM
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Thanks for the help. I think I will change to the bamboo skewer method to make sure I do not over water them.
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