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  #1  
Unread 01-12-2010, 04:09 PM
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Default Over watered Phal

Hi all,
I am looking for some help after trying something new, I have overwatered my plant (about 3 days ago) and the roots are rotting. I have cut it out of its basket, taken it out of the bark so both can dry. Cut back black and mushy roots to clean roots and rolled them in cinnamon. It is now lying on my floor until both dry out. Have I dont enough or is there anything else I can do to save it? It was a fabulously healthy plant before I made such a stupid mistake. I can post pictures of the roots if it would help.

Thanks
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  #2  
Unread 01-12-2010, 04:29 PM
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so far so good ...if you have fresh bark I would use new bark and start freah myself.

Be carefull watering after you do and it should be fine......but learning to how much to water is the hard part and keeping it a little too dry is much bretter than to wet as you have already found out.
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  #3  
Unread 01-12-2010, 04:34 PM
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Lying on your floor might not be the best place for it to recover. Roots need light and air circulation for healthy growth.

I would repot it as soon as possible, in a net pot or something with side slits, so the roots can have plenty of oxygen. Also, make sure the light requirements are correct. Light from a south or east window is best for Phals.

It seems unlikely that one over watering would lead to root rot, unless it was in standing water. The air / light / water combination is important.
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  #4  
Unread 01-12-2010, 05:10 PM
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Photos would help, if you have any.

Did you put cinnamon over all the roots, or just on the cut ends? Putting cinnamon all over the roots is not a good idea because it's a strong dessicant, and will actually draw moisture out of the roots. Have you even put cinnamon powder on your tongue? It dries out your tongue, and does the same to the roots! Putting a little bit on the cut ends of the roots is usually more than enough.

How many roots are left on the plant? If there still quite a few nice ones, repotting and placing it in a warm spot out of bright light is enough, until it recovers.

If there are very very few, you need to get it into a somewhat humid enviroment to limit evaporation of water through the leaves, since the plant will have trouble taking up water with it's limited roots.

Get fresh medium, and repot it into the smallest pot the roots will fit into. I had a phal in the same situation as you this past summer (with only 4 very short roots) and I didn't have such pots, so made a pot out of the bottom half of a 0,5 liter water bottle, with plenty of drainage holes in the bottom. I stuck it in a clay pot for stability. Then I put the entire thing in a large transparent bag with some damp sphagnum moss at the bottom for humidity. I left the bag a bit open at the top and stuck it in a shady spot, out of the sun. The large plant looked ridiculous in such a small pot, but it worked! Now the plant currently has about 6-7 new roots growing, and soon I will need to put it into a larger pot. I also kept the plant on the dryish side for a few weeks in the beginning, waiting a bit longer than usual to water. This helps encourage new root growth from what I've seen in the past.
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Last edited by camille1585; 01-12-2010 at 05:12 PM..
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  #5  
Unread 01-13-2010, 04:48 AM
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Thank you all for your responses. I have taken the Orchid and washed the cinnamon off the roots. Its now sitting with the other orchids in a very small glass at the window getting a lot of light. No direct sun. I will re pot the orchid in fresh bark as soon as I can get to the garden centre. I have included a picture I took last night while it was still in the cinnamon. I think there are a lot of roots. I am hoping they are healthy?? Thank god i have only done this to one of the plants.
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Over watered Phal-roots.jpg  
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  #6  
Unread 01-13-2010, 05:01 AM
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That is actually a very healthy looking root system! From your first post I was under the impression that there wasn't much left. To know if all of those are good roots or not, it's very easy. Good roots are hard to the touch, bad roots are anything that feels hollow or squishy.

I think that all your phal really needs is to be repotted! Be careful with garden center orchid mix, they tend to be bagfuls of bark mixed in with all sorts of other fine stuff, which don't allow enough air circulation. If that all you can find, you can always sieve it to remove some of the fine stuff. I used to do that before I found good bark, and it gave good results. Don't forget to soak the bark overnight before repotting, and after that go easy on the watering since the bark will stay wet for a while.
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  #7  
Unread 01-13-2010, 07:45 AM
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If you saw how many I had to cut off. I thought I had killed the plant. The bark I had is quite dry now, it was soaked before. Could I put it back in there until I ordered some decent mix from online. I dont want to use substandard products. Could you recommend a good brand?
I am just worried because my hybrid is loosing its flowers though looks healthy other wise and my Cymbidiums leaves are turning brown and yellow and now drowning a perfectly good phal. I wanted to get more plants but I am so new to this I dont know if this is just cyclical or as a result of something I am doing.
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  #8  
Unread 01-14-2010, 03:42 AM
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Hi nibbler,

I see you are in Ireland. Not sure if this website in England may be a good one for you or not, not sure where they ship to but you're not too far away.

I find their media to be very good quality and that's where I get mine.

Orchid Accessories - www.orchidaccessories.co.uk
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  #9  
Unread 01-14-2010, 05:09 AM
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Thanks Rosie, I will check them out and if they deliver I will get it sent over asap.
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  #10  
Unread 01-14-2010, 05:13 AM
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Nibbler, I wanted to ask you; is that your ghost orchid in your profile pic? If so, where did you get it? They are nearly impossible to find in Europe, and I would love to get my hands on one!
And if that is your plant, great job blooming it, they really are difficult little boogers.
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