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Old 01-28-2008, 02:16 PM
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Wrinkled Phalaenopsis Leaves

I bought a phal at the Home Depot potted in spag. It bloomed beautifully. I believe I severely overwatered it. The entire plant has wrinkled leaves and I believe there are no living roots in the pot. It is now potted in bark. It's growing a new leaf, which is also very wrinkled. It is in the process of growing three roots which are growing straight out on the top of the potting mix. I was wondering if anyone had any advice for me. Should I try to cover the roots, even though I would almost have to bury a leaf to do so? Should I place a plastic bag over it to keep the humidity at a more even level? Any hep will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-28-2008, 02:30 PM
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Hi Nancy,
It sounds like your Phal. has been overwatered and all the roots have rotted, hence the wrinkled leaves. They aren't getting any water.

I would remove the plant and re-pot in spagham moss, making sure to get the new root growth into the moss.

Here is a link that will you show you how. The only difference is the plant in the demonstration is being re-potted because it has tipped over and doesn't look very nice.

Easy Orchids - Re Potting A Phalaenopsis

Your's just needs some fresh media. You'll have to be sure the top of the moss is kept damp until the roots grow. Right now they are trying to get water from the air (humidity).
Good Luck, you can save this plant.

Al
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:32 PM
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I took it out of spagnum and put it in the bark because I seem to be able to judge when to water bark than spagnum. It lost its roots in the spagnum. Do you think there is some kind of top dressing I can use just to cover these new roots until they decide to cooperate and go down into the bark?
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Old 01-28-2008, 09:14 PM
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You can try misting the new roots several times daily but this is dangerous as water left between the leaves or in the crown overnight will bring on crown rot. You can try a thin layer of moss on top of the bark and keep that damp.
Hopefully someone else will have some other ideas.
Good luck.
AL
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Old 01-28-2008, 11:39 PM
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Nancy, I would leave it in the bark the way it is. Those roots if they are the only ones on the plant may rot if covered, if that is even possible because of the way they are growing. Once the leaves wrinkle, they sometimes will always have the wrinkles until the plant grows new leaves. I have a fairly large phal that has a root growing straight up and I think it looks pretty cool. If I were to repot it I would have to cover the entire plant in medium to cover the root. You can make the roots more pliable by soaking them, but bending them too much will damage the root, making it a vector for infection or fungus. My arial roots get watered when the plant needs watering, as I do not mist Phals for fear of the water pooling and causing crown rot. This does not seem to effect the arial roots at all and they are still growing dramatically, and are very healthy.
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Old 01-29-2008, 01:54 PM
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I think a clear baggy over the plant may be a good idea for a while, but be sure to have the bottom open for fresh air to move in and out. This will raise the humidity, and shift the balance of water intake thru the roots and water lost thru the leaves. You may or may not have the leaves fill out again, but the young growth may be more likely to fill out. Also, if the leaves are going to fill out, they should do so within the first month of so of this change.
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:03 PM
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Thank you all for your advice. I've put it in a place that runs a little warmer. I think a plastic bag might be a good idea because I'm not share how to water it. If there is moisture in the bark below the surface roots, the roots won't be getting any water. I'll keep an eye on the plant to see if any of the three roots it is growing is orienting itself downward. I guess that's the best I can do for now.
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:42 PM
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Nancy if it helps, when I water, I just scoop some of the water onto the arial roots until I am sure they have been well wetted. They turn green after this, a sign to me that they have gotten enough water. If I get some water onto the plant or crown I dry it with a paper towel or cotton swabs. I also tip mine on their sides after watering to dry the crown, but mine are well rooted and the bark has settled and compacted into the pots.
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:52 AM
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That's the way most of my phals are. I'm very careful about water that accidently ends up in the crown. I just have done everything wrong with this one orchid. It was beautiful when it was in bloom. It's sort of a pink stripe. It will live, I've just got to baby it for awhile. How often would you suggest that I water the roots. My humidity is only running about 40% now, so the plants appear to be drying out fast. This little plant I think dries more quickly because it only has surface roots.
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:21 PM
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I use the skewer method on mine. If the plant has had some damage, regular watering when it approaches dryness, even for the arial roots will work. Some plants just fail to thrive. For example I had 3 Phal Brother Little Yellowboy plants. Two were in the same pot when I bought them. I repotted all of them the day I brought them home, and there were some issues, but I had other great plants that looked much worse when they first came home with me, that are well and growing now. The biggest and healthiest I walked up to one day and touched the leaves, and it fell apart. The other two were not happy together in the same pot and going down pretty bad so I depotted and separated. One is growing a new leaf and fine, the other is doing the slow dance of death (very sad and frustrating). Sometimes it just happens. Hopefully you will be able to nurse this one back, it will just take time.
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Old 02-04-2008, 05:54 PM
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I took a chance with this one. I believe now that I potted it too high. I repotted it so that the first leaf is right at the surface of the bark. I feel like it was a gamble worth taking. I have a yellow noid phal bought at Home Depot that grows roots, but nothing else. It has grown one leaf since I've had it, and this leaf is much smaller than the others, which look pretty droopy. Nothing I do seems to make this plant happy. I guess this is the nature of growing orchids. How long do you keep the plants that are doing badly? I'd really like to have the space this plant takes up for something I think will do better.
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Old 02-05-2008, 01:34 PM
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Just a brief update. The newest leaf that's coming is no longer wrinkled and the other leaves are looking a little less wrinkled. I think I might be on the right track with the repotting.
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Old 02-05-2008, 03:26 PM
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Nice growing, Nancy!
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Old 02-05-2008, 04:21 PM
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Nancy, if you belong to an orchid society, there are always people there that would like a challenge. So, if you decide to give up on any plant, just attend a meeting, and announce to the group that you have a give away that maybe some one would like to see if they could do better. You may find that you will get a whole host of ideas this way, and some opinions on the plant.
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Old 02-05-2008, 04:36 PM
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I've been thinking about joining The Maryland Orchid Society and I probably will this summer. I looked at the phal again and it doesn't really look that bad. It has a leaf that in most cases would have turned yellow, dried up, and fallen from the plant. This crazy plant is hanging on to it for dear life, maybe. I haven't had the heart to cut it off. I guess I might feel better about the plant if I did. There is a picture of this exact phal in the Photo Gallery. I think I'll go and search for it.
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Old 02-06-2008, 01:58 PM
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I think leaving a leaf like that might be a good thing, as I believe plants can reabsorb the nutrients from a leaf in the process of casting it off. So, this would mean that a leaf that is of no value in synthesizing food from light may still be of use to a plant that needs all the help it can get. This of course would be of no concern for a healthy vigorous plant that probably has more leaves than it needs.
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Old 02-06-2008, 03:52 PM
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Nancy I am sure that you and your plant will be okay, and the leaf will most likely fall on it's own. I missed your post on how long I keep a plant before I discard it. I give them a comfortable spot, and care until I am sure the battle is over. I am a total softy though.
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:57 AM
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I work in a profession where we maintain a patient for three years and then if there is no improvement we refer them to another modality of treatment. I think I will keep that philosophy with orchids. I'll cultivate them for three years and if they don't thrive, then I'll think about trading them. I hate to give up on any orchid. I read that yellow phals are more difficult to grow than phals of other colors. Has anyone found that to be true?
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Old 02-07-2008, 05:10 PM
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Well the three Phals that I discussed were all Brother Little Yellowboy. Maybe there is some truth to that statement.
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Old 02-08-2008, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy View Post
I read that yellow phals are more difficult to grow than phals of other colors. Has anyone found that to be true?
Nancy, brookn - I believe there's a lot of truth to this. All of my Phals., "Wedding Promenades" were the first to spike and grow thick spikes and lots of buds compared to my others. I do have one noid yellow/red lip that's older and hasn't spiked yet this winter.... I think some plants are just genetically stronger and predestined to flourish no matter what and visa-versa.

Last edited by sandra; 02-08-2008 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 02-08-2008, 08:42 PM
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Please don't tell me that!!! I just bought a Phal Kaleidoscope from Chesterfields. It arrived yesterday and looks amazing. Plump shiney leaves and a big long spike.
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:12 PM
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Debbie, I have something called Phal. Mystic Golden Leopard Cheetah (of course, it's just a yellow Phal., but sooooo pretty) It's one of the few plants I have that is not in spike right now. I bought it in spike last summer, so I am telling myself that it is one of those uncommon phals that do not bloom in the winter or spring. People on the forum talk about the need of some plants to get used to your environment and I am still hoping for a spike when the days are longer and the temps are warmer and it has been with me for a while I hope yours is just doing the same thing and we both get spikes. Yellow Phals are gorgeous

P.S. I'm going to try some worm tea...
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:17 AM
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Inoticed in watering my yellow noid phal that it is beginning a new leaf. I must be doing something right. Perhaps these yellow phals take more time to become aquainted with their new homes. I've had mine for about six months. My husband bought it from the Home Depot for $2.49. I'll try to remember to bring in the book in which the author talks about the difficulties of growing yellow phalaenopsis. Maybe together we can figure this thing out.
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Old 02-12-2008, 02:59 PM
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I brought in the book that contains the information on the difficulty of growing yellow phals. It's entitled," Growing Orchids Indoors" by Jack Kramer. This is what he has to say," Generally, the yellows are not as easy to grow as other Phalaenopsis. Too much moisture affects them adversely, and these plants are not as strong as other hybrids. Lately, I have been resting the yellows slightly after they flower-about a month or so-with less water than usual.Bloom season is variable but usually at its peak in spring." Hope this helps some. I think it will just take time to get it right. I was wondering, is there anyone out there who grows yellow Phalaenopsis really well?
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Old 02-12-2008, 04:39 PM
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well, i've got a sogo benz that keeps blooming for me; i'd prefer if its leaves were a little fatter, but it's not doing too badly for a $10 plant.

(someone else's sogo benz:

Phalaenopsis Sogo Benz pictures from hobbies & interests photos on webshots )
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:45 AM
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I'm glad to hear that you're doing so well with your yellow Phal. Are you growing it indoors or in a greenhouse? Can we have the particulars, please?
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:44 AM
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Hi Nancy,

I have a yellow NOID phal. She lives in my kitchen and seems to love it there.
Although she is rapidly outgrowing her spot on the windowsill I am reluctant to move her. I think the kitchen is possibly a little more humid.

I bought the plant in 2006 (in flower - a kind of yellow with a green tinge) she is NOID so I nick-named her Nauseous Nelly.

She grew three spikes in 2007, 2 sucessful flower spikes and one remained dormant and developed into a basal keiki when the flower spikes were eventually removed (Sept/Oct '07)

The basal keiki and leaves have grown like mad and at the moment she has two new "growths" which seem to be really slow and starting out the same way as the keiki did. I'm hoping at least one of them is a spike.

I don't do anything special with her. I move her away from the window in the morning sun. I use the skewer method of watering - at the moment I submerge the pot probably once every three weeks. In the summer this increases to once every week. APart from that?????????? Weak solution of feed at each watering.



Basil Keiki


Whole plant


New growths.
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Old 02-13-2008, 01:08 PM
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That looks like a beautiful, healthy plant. This goes to show that when you place a plant in just the right position and give it everything it needs, it becomes glorious. I don't know about the name, though. Keep up the great culture and I can't wait to see her in bloom.
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:39 PM
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Well, my actively dying Little Yellowboy may just pull through. It's very strange, when I pulled it out of the pot that it shared with the other one, it had one very bad small root. Over the last week or so, I have watched one leaf (the oldest) shrivel up and fall off. The only other one, is shriveled and dying from the tip down. The crown area of the leaf looks very healthy. I went to water it the other day, and peeking out of the mix is a very small, very green root. I am actually not sure what to do. I think I may lop the bad part of the leaf, and leave the healthy part. I am hoping it decides to grow a new leaf before it loses the only one that it has left. Any suggestions?
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:23 AM
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I've found that plants grow roots first in preporation for a new leaf coming. Mist the new root on a daily basis to keep it hydrated. Place the plant in a fairly small pot in good medium. It sounds like your baby wants to live. Place it in a warm spot with low light. Just keep it hydrated. It sounds a lot like my wrinkled leaf plant and this is the way I treated mine. Don't worry, I'm sure someone will come along with more information than I have to offer. Don't give up. Oh, and Happy Valentines Day!
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:08 PM
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Brook, I'd leave the leaf. Short of a very fast moving color change or a wet look, leaving the leaf may let the plant reabsorb the nutrients in the leaf to help in growing the root and possibly another leaf. The browning from the tip may be the result of reabsorption.
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Old 03-03-2008, 12:33 PM
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I left the ugly old leaf on the yellow Phal. Do the wrinkles ever leave the leaves entirely? Mine haven't. The newest leaf looks good. That poor plant was a mealybug hatchery when I looked at it yesterday. i cleaned tham all out with alcohol and I plan to do this once a week. My question is: Do mealybugs get on the roots, too. What do you think that my next step withthis poor little plant should be?
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Old 03-03-2008, 05:38 PM
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tizzycat, I think your 2 "new growths" are flower spikes. Spikes tend to come from leaf crotches just as yours are.
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:55 AM
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I'm hoping so Kevin; they're very very slow and not making any headway at all. They've been in that state for a long long time. although the plant overall seems to be growing all the time.
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Old 04-23-2008, 06:11 AM
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Mealy bugs are evil, they seem to eat everything they can find and some bury themselves in the soil. I think they may have made the tips of my Phal wrinkle by slightly damaging the little leaves while they were growing. I know the most common explanation for leaf wrinkle is root rot, but the roots are quite healthy. Does anyone know what else could've caused it?
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Old 04-23-2008, 06:21 AM
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