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  #1  
Unread 03-26-2009, 02:13 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 15
Default No good roots left on phal :(

Hi there,

Awhile ago, the leaves on my phal have gone a bit floppy. it's been weeks and they are still floppy, but i don't think they are getting worse. I had cut off two really floppy leaves awhile ago, just so the bigger leaves can get as much nutrients as they can. Today I checked the roots for rot and I found two with some rot so I cut off a portion of those two roots. When I first purchased this phal, it was full of rotten roots so I had already cut off a lot of them. Now, there are only 5 good roots left, and one of them is an aerial root that is starting to shrivel. I'm afraid my phal isn't getting as much water as needed because there's limited roots.

There are no more open blooms. I have a big bud that I had recently found mealies in so I am not sure if that will even open. There is a really tiny bud growing at the end and I REALLY want that to grow into a nice bloom.

Can anyone help me with this? How can I get my phal to grow more roots? To what point should I start the sphag-n-bag method?

Thank you
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  #2  
Unread 03-26-2009, 05:06 PM
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I don't think you need the sphag-n-bag yet if you still have 5 good roots. I have one with just 2 ex-arial roots which I have been trying to rescue for several months and which I currently have potted.

Personally I would sacrifce the bud/spike in favour of resuing the plant. Mine tried to spike twice after I noticed it had lost it's roots and I cut the spikes off to allow it to put energy in to staying alive. Better to save the plant and wait a bit longer for more blooms when it's healthy again.

I lost all but 2 leaves on mine, and the two roots were just about able to keep those 2 going, although they regularly go floppy and are permenantly wrinkled.

I have found that watering with luke warn (even slightly warmer) water has finally prompted root growth in the last few weeks. I now have 3 short roots to go with the 2 ex-arial ones.

I am also trying KLN which is recomended by a lot of people on Orchid Board but have not been using it long so the jury is still out.

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  #3  
Unread 03-26-2009, 05:17 PM
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The other thing to consider is to ensure you are not over-watering.

When a Phal's leaves are floppy/wrinkled it is tempting to water more and then cause the remaining roots to rot as a result of overwatering.

You want to still let the roots go silver between waterings, just as you should with a healthy Phal. I check the roots and leaves every day and decide every day whether to water.

Several times when the leaves have been particularly limp and the roots still not dry I have taken it out the pot for a couple of hours to let the roots dry and get air, then I've potted it back up and watered it again. (No idea if this is the right thing to do but it has stayed alive this way for arround six months and is now growing the new roots).
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  #4  
Unread 03-26-2009, 06:33 PM
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Thanks Rosie. So do you think I should cut the spike down? is 5 roots even considered a weak phal or still ok? I am very new so I am pretty clueless.
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  #5  
Unread 03-26-2009, 11:17 PM
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5 good roots is not great but acceptable for a young plant with not too many leaves. I would agree that if the plant is weak it would be a great idea to sacrifice the spike - cut it at the base and let the plant concentrate on rebuilding its strength for the next blooming season.
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  #6  
Unread 03-27-2009, 09:11 AM
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I agree with Rosie and Mayres, cut the bloom spike off. You have to realize that the whole potential of any blooming plant, including our beautiful orchids, is to produce blooms which eventually close up to initiate the formation of seed pods. If you prevent the formation of blooms, all of the energy will be synthesized back into growing roots instead. SAVE YOUR BABY! Cut off that spike and give her some much needed TLC.

I would recommend you repot this phal in a clear pot, but drop it inside another container the same size. It looks visually more appealing, but you can slide the clear plastic pot out from time to time to get a good visual of her root structure

Best of luck and I hope your 'chid gets better soon! No one likes to have a sick 'chid. LOL...
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  #7  
Unread 03-28-2009, 05:15 AM
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As mayres said, 5 roots is not good, but it can still live with that, although it can probably only support a few leaves.

Mine was originally a large plant with 9 leaves, it can now only support 3 leaves with it's two roots and it has lost all the others. But now with three leaves and new roots starting to grow it is living and getting better.

I would cut away the spike, it's a sad thing to do but look to the big picture... you want to save the plant so it can grow more flowers when it is healthy again.
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  #8  
Unread 03-28-2009, 05:23 AM
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I would also agree with learning2letgo about using a clear pot. I also put my clear pots in an outer pot which look more attractive. It makes it so easy to see what is going on with the roots and you can judge how much to water by looking at the colour of the roots (wait until they go silver before watering again).

It can be good to have the outer pot a bit bigger than the inner pot. It gives better air circulation. I like the ones at the top of the web-site below, although that's an English site so not sure what is available elsewhere.

Burnham Nurseries - Pots

These have a buldge at the bottom which stops the inner pot from sitting in water. They are also glass which lets some light get through to the roots, Phal roots can photosynthasise and like light.
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  #9  
Unread 03-29-2009, 11:14 AM
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Rosie, I did not know that about phal roots and I am glad I am still reading over this post!

Leen, I hope that you're getting a good bit of info that you will find helpful
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  #10  
Unread 03-29-2009, 11:17 AM
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I find it takes a while for the plant to send out new roots- my Bllra. Tahoma Glacier Green, which I bought it Mid February lots all of its roots after a repot, and I am still waiting for new root growth.
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