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  #1  
Old 12-12-2009, 06:19 PM
karey96 karey96 is offline
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Tiny Rust Colored Spots on Roots of Phal &amp; White Scale on Leave Female
Default Tiny Rust Colored Spots on Roots of Phal & White Scale on Leave

Hello, I am new to this Orchid Forum and this is my first Phal Orchid. It has been in trouble for a while and I have been trying to get it going. I had re potted it into just bark, but the leaves started getting wrinkled and I figured it was not watering it enough. I then re potted it into moss and bark combination to keep it a little moister.

I was keeping it indoors and just moved it outside thinking it needed more humidity but then I started to get these tiny rust colored dots - do these look like spider mites? There is no webs from them, so I was not sure.

Also, there is a small white scale on the underside of one of the leaves.

Any help and guidance you can provide would be great. What should I do to save this plant.
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Tiny Rust Colored Spots on Roots of Phal &amp; White Scale on Leave-close-orange-dots-jpg   Tiny Rust Colored Spots on Roots of Phal &amp; White Scale on Leave-img_5966-jpg   Tiny Rust Colored Spots on Roots of Phal &amp; White Scale on Leave-img_5968-jpg   Tiny Rust Colored Spots on Roots of Phal &amp; White Scale on Leave-img_5971-jpg   Tiny Rust Colored Spots on Roots of Phal &amp; White Scale on Leave-img_5970-jpg  

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  #2  
Old 12-12-2009, 09:31 PM
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King_of_orchid_growing:) King_of_orchid_growing:) is offline
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Hi.

Red-orange spots = red spider mites

Pic 2 = physical damage

Pic 3, 4, & 5 = black fungus (don't know the species of fungus - there's no way to tell for sure unless you have a microscope and proper training in the field of mycology - the study of fungi)

1. Clean the plant up as best as you can. Be careful. Use a pair of the smallest and sharpest scissors you can find and cut the dried up part of the leaves (petiole) down the middle where the crease is and gently manipulate them apart until you can safely cut them off the plant. If the roots are in the way strategically cut the dried petiole so you can remove it without damaging the roots.

2. From what I see it's over potted (unless the root mass is much, much bigger than what I imagined it to be and actually does fill the pot).

3. I also recommend a clear plastic pot, here's why...

Their roots are photosynthetic. Yeah, I've read the argument that they don't need to have their roots photosynthesize. But what the heck, why not allow them to do their thing.

You can see what's going on with the roots.

When using a clear plastic pot I recommend (you don't have to) teasing the roots so that they are against the inside surface of the pot. That way some of the roots are not hidden amongst the bark so you can see them and they can photosynthesize.

4. I've posted a lot of information about the natural habitat of a Phal, posted links to other people's pictures that show you where Phals grow in the wild and how they grow, and I've posted numerous cultural advice about them. Do a search on the OB website and you'll find them (...tons of them).

In fact I'll give you a lead on the most recent posting:

Soft leaved, neglected orchid

Here's what a healthy Phal in cultivation looks like:

http://www.orchidboard.com/community...-my-spike.html

If you want to know how to mount Phals, please check out the "Styles, Setups, & Enclosures" section of the OB, and look up the "Growing on Mounts" forum.

If you'd like to see my Phals, ask away...

However, if you really want to know how to get rid of red spider mites, I don't know how to do it. Hopefully other members will tell you how. I recommend posting spider mite problems in the "Pests & Diseases" forum.

BTW one of the roots is turning yellow.

Last edited by King_of_orchid_growing:); 12-13-2009 at 02:50 AM..
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  #3  
Old 12-13-2009, 11:18 AM
karey96 karey96 is offline
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Tiny Rust Colored Spots on Roots of Phal &amp; White Scale on Leave Female
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Ok, thanks, I peeled off the old portions of the leaves which were dead. See the photos of the root system of this plant. There are a few green roots - can it be saved?
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Tiny Rust Colored Spots on Roots of Phal &amp; White Scale on Leave-img_5974-jpg   Tiny Rust Colored Spots on Roots of Phal &amp; White Scale on Leave-img_5975-jpg   Tiny Rust Colored Spots on Roots of Phal &amp; White Scale on Leave-img_5976-jpg   Tiny Rust Colored Spots on Roots of Phal &amp; White Scale on Leave-img_5977-jpg   Tiny Rust Colored Spots on Roots of Phal &amp; White Scale on Leave-img_5978-jpg  

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Old 12-13-2009, 01:06 PM
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Sure, it can be saved. I'm certain it will pull through. Your plants have got enough roots to do it.

First of all the dead roots should be removed as well.

Secondly, I recommend mounting it onto a piece of cork bark. If you can't find cork right away, Armstrong nurseries carries a kind of bark mount, that works too and it's beautifully textured.

With so little roots and such a small root mass, potting the plant will be problematic.

1. It'll be too top heavy.

2. There's a greater chance of over potting.

3. The plant will constantly fall out of the pot (very frustrating - grrr...).

Like I said mounting the plant is a better choice. Once it's on the mount, it's not going anywhere. Please refer to the "Growing on Mounts" forum and observe the links to the pics of Phals growing in the wild as well. You'll get it.

Just know you will be watering everyday. Sometimes twice a day.

I currently do not allow my Phals to dry out completely (as in I used to dry them out completely, that is until I fully understood what it means for them to grow in a tropical swamp forest type habitat). They dry out but only to the point where the moss is damp, then I water again. Although if they do dry out completely, it's not a problem, just water as soon as you find out about it.

Last edited by King_of_orchid_growing:); 12-13-2009 at 01:22 PM..
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:44 PM
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So much great info...thanks King
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  #6  
Old 12-13-2009, 02:13 PM
karey96 karey96 is offline
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Tiny Rust Colored Spots on Roots of Phal &amp; White Scale on Leave Female
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Thank you. About removing the dead parts - if you look at the fifth photo of my last post - do I also cut off the dead part of the root base (not sure what its official term is). The main root part where the roots grow out of. It looks about two inches of dead and seems dried out.
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Old 12-13-2009, 02:16 PM
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I'd leave that part alone for now. Maybe several years from now, it might be okay to remove.
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Old 12-13-2009, 02:29 PM
karey96 karey96 is offline
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Tiny Rust Colored Spots on Roots of Phal &amp; White Scale on Leave Female
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Thank you for the great info - I appreciate the fast responses and you sharing your knowledge. I will look through the mounting posts and photos
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:50 AM
Undergrounder Undergrounder is offline
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In addition to what KOOG has said, i just want to add..

The fungus growth seems to have mainly been on the dead petioles, which were dead, and you expect those to attract fungus. So there was nothing really wrong with the plant itself. The roots aren't that bad, there are some nice plump green ones and some nice plump white ones there. No growing roots, which suggests the plant was kept a little dry, and possibly not enough light. But good culture and time should get those new roots growing again.

The orange spots are just another type of fungus, not spider mites, so no need to worry about them now that you've peeled off the petioles.

I would not mount this plant, because mounting is a very drying method of culture, and you need either constant high humidity or daily watering for it to really work. There's nothing to be gained from mounting that you wouldn't get from pot culture with this plant, so it's just a matter of your own choice, whichever method you prefer. Plus, its only got two healthy leaves, so drastically changing the culture method probably isn't something i'd recommend.

I don't like bark/sphagnum mixes. The tannins from the bark tend to degrade the sphag quicker, and the acidic conditions of the sphag in turn degrades the bark. If you do a mix with sphagnum, try something inert, like chunks of styrofoam, perlite, or clay balls.

Apart from the fungal growth on the dead petioles (which is now fixed), and the general lack of root/leaf growth, i don't think the plant really needs a radical change in the media. I would go back to the sphagnum or a sphagnum/inert mix that it is used to. Drastically or regularly changing the type of media will do a lot more damage than just sticking with one and letting it adapt.

And move it to a position where it gets better light if you can.
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:48 PM
karey96 karey96 is offline
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Tiny Rust Colored Spots on Roots of Phal &amp; White Scale on Leave Female
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Undergrounder View Post
In addition to what KOOG has said, i just want to add..

The fungus growth seems to have mainly been on the dead petioles, which were dead, and you expect those to attract fungus. So there was nothing really wrong with the plant itself. The roots aren't that bad, there are some nice plump green ones and some nice plump white ones there. No growing roots, which suggests the plant was kept a little dry, and possibly not enough light. But good culture and time should get those new roots growing again.

The orange spots are just another type of fungus, not spider mites, so no need to worry about them now that you've peeled off the petioles.
In regards to the fungus - I have read about the use of Physan. Should I purchase this and does it get rid of both the black and rust fungus? Thanks for your reply.
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