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Old 04-09-2008, 11:36 PM
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Yellow spots on bottom leaves (Phal)

Hello,

I had a nice fragrant phal that was doing well until recently, it had flowered into nice little fragrant flowers (which fell only two days ago).
A couple weeks ago, the bottom leaf started shrivelling and yellowing while leaving round, green spots. When it was really yellow and sagging I cut it. Then I don't know what happened during the following week as I was away from home but when I was back the next bottom leaf had yellowed as well. Not really knowing what to do, I also removed it.
Now there are only 4 leaves left and the bottom leaf is starting the same thing (the one on the picture).
The other leaves are still green but the lower ones are starting to shrivel instead of being smooth and sturdy.

Could you please tell me if you recognize what's going on, and what I should do?
Thank you so much.

Leela
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:02 AM
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Have you repotted this or checked the roots? It could need a repot, the roots could be bad, the leaf looks like it is shriveling from either lack of water or too much water. I say check the roots, and let us know the condition. Also, could you go to your userCP in the upper left hand corner of this page, click it, and update your location? This will help us to give you better advice, as we have members from all over the world with different growing conditions. Thanks.
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:40 AM
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Thank you. I checked the roots and indeed they were awful, not a single one that is not brown, soft and shrivelled. I actually wonder how the plant isn't dead yet... The depressing thing is there's not a single sign of new root growth. Should I simply repot it in new medium and hope that it is going to grow new roots? Thanks.
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:45 AM
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Well, that is the one hundred dollar question. Are you prepared to do it tonight? I know it is late. I can guide you through it, and would be happy to give you some instruction. First you need to get all of the old medium off of those roots, and soak them.
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:04 AM
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I'll just give you the rest of the rundown, cause I am going to bed soon. Soak the roots after carefully removing as much of the old media as possible. This will help to get the rest of the old media off of the roots. When that is done and they are fairly clean, you need to inspect them, and cut off the brown dead mushy ones, do not cut them if they feel firm. Once this is done, soak them again in peroxide to clean out any rot or bacteria (10 minutes or so). I then rinse mine and inspect again to see if I have missed any dead ones. I then spray the whole works with cinnamon spray (1/2 tsp cinnamon extract, 3 drops dishsoap, and a quart of water in a spray bottle) I then put them in an appropriate size pot with a couple of styrofoam peanuts or some clean rock in the bottom. I then place the plant in the pot at a level that I like and hold it while filling the pot with medium, and gently shaking and tapping the pot on my table to get the medium to settle. I fill the medium in being careful not to bury the crown too deeply. When it is done I just clean it up and gently tamp the medium with the back of a spoon and fill. The trick is to make sure there are no empty pockets in the medium around the roots. Those are instructions for bark. If you need instructions for sphag, let me know.
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:12 AM
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Thank you so much!
So the really depressing thing is, *all* the roots are brown and mushy. Really. Which is why I don't understand how the phal is still alive.
I only have sph. to repot. But I wonder how I can repot with no root ball at all. (close to the crown the roots are brown and very hard, but a bit like paper, not like healthy roots).
Do you have any suggestion? Thanks.
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:20 AM
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Mayres and Phalpal are the ones who would know how to nurse a plant like that back to health. These are a little more difficult and the recovery is long. You would plant it just like you would as if it had roots, but I think the watering timing is different. Don't know for sure and don't hold me to that. Mayres would know more about it.
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:23 AM
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Well clean it up and get back to the forum. Once it is clean, look for signs of new roots forming, you might be able to save it, but it will be a long time before it is ready to bloom again. New roots will look like nubs coming from the root ball if you have any of those, there might be hope. When I repot with sphag, I squeeze the excess water out of it after moistening, and loosely weave it around the plant until it forms a ball, then I set it on top of a layer of spagh in the bottom of the pot. Then I place the plant in it's ball of sphag into the pot and lightly pack sphag around the pot until the plant is in the pot and does not wiggle around. You will probably have to go down in size on the pot, and if it is in spike, cut the spike to give energy to the plant to grow roots. Be sure to follow the other directions I gave for cleaning it up, the peroxide does wonders, and then you will be able to see better if all the roots are dead. These plants are tough. Clean it up, and let us know what you find. I will be on here a little longer, and you can PM me if need be. Do you know about the skewer method for watering?
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:39 AM
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Leela, don't panic. I have killed my share of Phals, it happens. If you didn't kill a few you would never learn. Here's the weird thing for me, every orchid that I have bought with a yellow flower, and not just Phals, has died on me. The rest are fine and growing, go figure. I will conquer this problem eventually , and if this doesn't save the plant, you can get another and try again, or just get another to keep it company while it slowly recovers lol.
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:42 AM
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Thank you very much for all the suggestions.
There are nubs but they are not green or whitish as on another orchid I have - they are brown and look tired and dry.
I had to cut all the roots, they were all dead and broken, hanging from the plant from only a thin thread.
So don't know if there's hope but I repotted it all the same, we'll see now.
I looked on the forum and just found a long post explaining the skewer method. I'll try to use that.
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:46 AM
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Good luck. I hope that helped you and your plant. Nubs aren't a bad thing. I hope it works for you, don't be discouraged. I know it's sad though.
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:55 AM
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Well I have some den. growing wild to keep my poor phal some company if it doesn't die :-) And a baby phal that has never flowered yet but is very cute and healthy.
Too bad the rootless one was kind of my favorite, it had such a sweet fragrance. See, the flowers were cute, just 3 weeks ago.
I'm not discouraged, orchids are survivors after all! Who knows, it might heal and be happy again.
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Old 04-10-2008, 03:59 AM
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It is a beautiful phal and a scented one! Did you have the name of this phal? Or was it or NOID?
I hope you will save her.
I know it is frustrating to lose an orchid, but sometimes with patience and good care everything is possible.

Good luck
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Old 04-10-2008, 04:15 AM
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Here's the name: Phal. Sweet Memory 'Bubble' (Deventeriana ' Treva' x violacea)
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Old 04-10-2008, 07:37 AM
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leela you have a great phal and need to try to save it. Here is a link where I described reviving a totally rootless phal. It can be done but takes patience but worth the effort if you are attached to the plant.

Big Leaf Orchids • View topic - Saving a Rootless Phal

If you have any questions regarding the method, I will be happy to try to answer them.

Brooke
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Old 04-10-2008, 10:30 AM
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Brooke's right, that on has been one my wish list for a while.
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Old 04-10-2008, 11:09 AM
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I did something similar Brooke. I live in a warm climate all year around...I wrapped a rootless Phal in spag and then wrapped the spag in a sheet of cocounut hairs. All this mounted on a small piece of cork. I spray it every two weeks with 20-20-20 and superthrive and so far so good. I let it almost dry out between waterings.
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Old 04-10-2008, 11:19 AM
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it is on my wish list now. I have already investigated the english market. I think it is going to be hard to find it here. Maybe, it will easier to find some seeds...
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:21 PM
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Thanks! I'm happy you guys like my cute Phal :-)

Brooke: I read your post and am going to try today. I have a couple questions:
- When "soaking the leaves for several minutes", should I put fertilizer in a bowl in the concentration I normally use on my orchids and bathe the leaves in that for several minutes? Or more concentrated? Or just spray it on the leaves?
- is superthrive a root hormone?

Thank you!
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Old 04-10-2008, 03:51 PM
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Leela I use whatever the ratio of fertilizer I am currently using - i.e. in the winter it is 1/4 t. MSU and now it is spring 1/2t and I always add two drops of Superthrive to the gallon of fertilizer.

I turn the plant upside down and cover all the leaves in the fert water. Yes, this includes the crown of the plant but I wipe it dry when I turn it upright. When the two root nubs became exposed, I then soaked the sphag in the same mix (I actually just poured the water over all of it).

The part that amazed me was the leaves never got wrinkled or dehydrated without roots for moisture uptake. I lost one of the original leaves but you can see the other original leaf still on the plant. It has continued to grow leaves, albeit they are small.

I would like to take credit for this method but a lady on the Garden Web was the first to do this technique and when I had the opportunity, I tried it. She had more pics to support the effort but I didn't take any pics until the roots appeared.

Yes Superthrive is supposed to be a rooting vitamin/hormone/whatever and I use it because I have it but I can't really say if it does or doesn't help.

Good luck you have a gorgeous phal - I'm sure you can grow some roots on it.

Brooke
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Old 04-10-2008, 04:21 PM
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Thank you. Let's say today's the first day of my phal's long recovery :-)
Leela
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Old 04-10-2008, 04:39 PM
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Hi Leela! You have a wonderful Phal; she is definately worth the effort to save her! If you have leaves on your orchid you can save it. Follow Brooke's advice and try misting the leaves, undersides too, with Superthrive or worm tea a few times a day. Be sure to sop up any drops that fall into the crown; you don't want water to stay in this area. Keep the moss slightly moist and you will see new roots in no time.

Some growers will put a baggie over the entire plant to increase humidity. I find it encourages fungus and no longer use this method. Here is the link to the skewer method; it helps me tremendously. Good luck and keep us posted!

http://www.orchidgeeks.com/forum/orc...f-orchids.html
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:30 PM
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So it did indeed take a looooooooooooooooooong time and nothing much seemed to be happening, but I kept bathing my phal every day as the leaves stayed green.
And then there one day, an eye appeared, and now there are two baby roots out there as you can see on the pic! The phal is even growing a new leaf.
Thank you so much for all your advice, I would never have guessed :-)

I'm wondering, when should I repot her? Should I let the leaves grow a bit more? I think she likes her daily bath but at some point I want to return her to a pot. I have baby 2'' pots, so she wouldn't be too lost. What do you think?
Thanks again.
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:53 PM
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Oh my goodness, look at that! Amazing! Good job! I think it was worth all the effort to save such a beautiful orchid. It's on my wish list now. Congrats!
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Old 06-03-2008, 10:26 PM
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Until you hear from Brooke, or Brookn, I would hold off on repotting and keep doing what you're doing, and by the way, CONGRATULATIONS!! It looks like it's going to make it:-)
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Old 06-03-2008, 11:13 PM
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Well, I am not sure what Brooke would say, but I would keep doing it until they are about an inch or so, then pot it up. Great to see it's in recovery!
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Old 06-04-2008, 12:05 AM
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Excellent - keep doing what you are doing. These things DO take a long long time - I've taken 6-9 months to reroot either paphs or phals - but the effort is worth it for a plant like yours. Add me to the list of people who think this is a wonderful flowered plant - I'd go to any length to save it. It would be ideal to have at least 3-4 leaves a couple inches long before potting up if possible. Please keep updating this thread so we can all continue to chear you on and eventually even see it BLOOM again! YEA!
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Old 06-04-2008, 12:59 AM
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What a cutie. Violacea are on my "to buy" list! I'm glad that it's getting new root nubs. I would wait until the roots are a bit longer (at least 1-2") to repot because those nubs aren't going to be able to absorb enough nutrients to sustain the plant. The roots will probably grow pretty quickly. It's DEFINITELY on the road to recovery though! Congrats!
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Old 06-04-2008, 02:41 AM
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Thanks so much for the encouragement!! I read them aloud to my Phal and she says thanks :-)

Well if it has to stay on the near-daily bathing regimen for longer then I'll have to find a trustworthy friend to do it for me, as I'm leaving home for nearly three months next week, and the kind lady who takes care of my plants (orchids *love* her appartment) will probably not go as far as babying my Phal for me...
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Old 06-04-2008, 07:40 AM
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Congratulations leela, you have saved your beautiful phal.

Would your 'chid sitter object to spraying sphag to keep it moist? You could arrange a sphag bed for it to sit on with the sphag wrapped loosely around the roots. You mentioned a 2" pot - you could fill the pot with sphag and rest the leaves on the pot.

Hopefully when you return, your phal will have grown an inch or two of roots and be ready for a permanent home.

Brooke
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Old 06-05-2008, 02:24 AM
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What an amazing story! Congrats leela!
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Old 06-05-2008, 03:39 AM
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Congrats on an awesome save! Would love to see a pic of this bloom again
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Old 06-05-2008, 04:16 AM
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Well, I owe it all to you guys, you know :-)

By the way I did not mention that I actually put my orchid with no sphag or anything at all. At the beginning I tried to put a bag on it but then there was some mold, so I removed it and only wrapped damp sphag around the roots but there was some kind of ugly stuff growing on the bottom of the phal so I ended up just putting it in an empty plastic pot; the humidity is not very high in my place but I thought the regular bathing should be enough, and indeed the remaining leaves did not change (either wither or turn yellow).
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Old 06-05-2008, 05:19 AM
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Awesome "save"!!! Keep us posted!
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Old 09-01-2008, 03:53 AM
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I'm back home and got my Phal back from the friend who agreed to try and keep it alive while I was away. The baby leaf and the roots grew! But there are some bad signs -only, I don't know how bad. I think my friend tended to let the orchid soak too much.
1- There were a couple spots on the old leaves (see pic.1)
2- What looks worse is at the root level: one of the root is very loose as if the hidden part of the root (inside the orchid) was rotten. The slit through which the root is growing is all black; and there's a black color around another root as well.

So far I bathed it in Physan and I thought I was going to keep it a bit on the dry side before repotting. If you have any comment or suggestion, I would be very grateful!
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Old 09-03-2008, 09:45 AM
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leela

The damage on your Phal leaf is not active so you can ignore it. The old leaves may be dying off naturally.

Do not let it dry to where the growing tips of the roots die. Once the tip dies on any orchid root it will not grow further and the plant will have to put out another.

Physan is an algaecide made to wash greenhouse windows and it does a bad job at that. It has no use in Orchid care. You will notice the label does not list a single disease that it claims to cure. The only thing it does is make money for its manufacturer.
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Old 09-03-2008, 03:18 PM
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Leela, I would use some peroxide and then some cinnamon dabbed on the black areas.
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Old 09-04-2008, 02:16 AM
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I'm saving my phal that only has one tiny nub root, a little smaller than the single photo you posted. How long did it take for the roots to grow out to.... say, 1/2 inch?
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Old 09-04-2008, 02:29 AM
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Hey Sara if you look at the dates, it was about 5 months. Now her's did suffer a bit of a setback because she had to leave it with a caretaker, so I would imagine if leela had been able to stay home with her Phal she might have had even better results than she does now. The good news though, is that her Phal is making a nice recovery, even with the slight setback.
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Old 09-05-2008, 02:29 PM
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Thanks for your suggestions!
I tried the peroxide and cinnamon as you told me. The loose root withered and fell - but i was expecting it, i think that root was already doomed. So far the others are doing alright and the black area doesn't seem to extend. Fingers crossed!
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:57 AM
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I think she'll pull through. She obviously WANTS to live! No point in giving up now! I trust that with the same love and care she'll make a full recovery.
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Old 09-08-2008, 01:00 AM
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Good for you Leela! I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 09-08-2008, 10:53 PM
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Thank you all!
It's kind of depressing to see my cute little phal struggling - she did suffer from the excessive watering during summer and looks kind of sad, like she has to do it all over again. But I have strong hopes she will make it!
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Old 11-22-2008, 05:34 AM
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Has anyone soaked the rootless phal to rehydrate it for more than a few hours daily? I mean - have you left it in water for days?

I haven't tested the water and after changing the source the leaves seem to wrinkle. i was wondering if it was the water or the fact that I forgot the plant in it for 2 days. (ups!)
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