Phal in Recovery, may need extra advice? Two Large Leathery Leaves?
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  #1  
Old 03-20-2010, 10:34 AM
Triffid Triffid is offline
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Phal in Recovery, may need extra advice? Two Large Leathery Leaves? Female
Default Phal in Recovery, may need extra advice? Two Large Leathery Leaves?

~The History~
I acquired a Phal (Unknown but apparently has white flowers) over the Christmas season which had not been kept in ideal conditions.

It had been left in standing water on and of for about 9 months. Kept in a kitchen window which caught all the evening sun. Fed regularly on cacti food.

What I got was what seemed to me to have overgrown leaves, a bit of sun burn, and over 75% Root decay. Luckily no Fungus or pests.

It was Root hacked (only way! The offending roots were pretty much all black and squishy! Don't worry I used clean equipment.) leaving four stubby healthy roots which were formed at the leaf base. Re-potted and left on the dry side. New roots have appeared and are now growing. Some are now over two inches in length now and have a healthy thickness. Still a long way to go though.

After looking at other threads, I have now moved it to an even more less lit position than before (No I didn't have it in the kitchen). I had kept it in the Bathroom, hoping the air humidity would encourage new roots... Seemed to work.

~The Recent Concern~
Now, a concern for two of the older leaves. Since new roots started I continued to water as and when the roots started to become silver. However Two of the leaves seems to be dying back? Maybe? They weren't exactly great to begin with.

They seem overly large and leathery to appearance but has no discoloration other than the sun burn. The texture of the leaves is some what leathery, well like wrinkled skin. They have not yet reached that yellowing colour in any way, that a lot of foliage seems to get when it dies back. And even with a regular watering scheme the leaves do not regain that plumpness. Both are the oldest at the base of the plant.

I have had other orchids loose their leaves at the base, to be expected as the plant grows (I guess). But none of them acted quite like this pair? No colour change or that deathly thinning?

The other leaves are fine and plump and a new one even started to form. It started sprouting a new leaf bud about six weeks after I started it's recovery.

~The Question~
Should I be concerned? Am I just worrying over something perfectly natural?

Sorry no pics available yet.

Any tips, advice, comments, etc. welcome as always. Thank You in advance.

PS To all with sick plants out there "Keep Your Chin Up!"
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  #2  
Old 03-20-2010, 12:52 PM
King_of_orchid_growing:) King_of_orchid_growing:) is offline
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First of all, hi!

Next, I wouldn't stand the pot in water, it creates too much moisture being available to them.

Then, how large is the pot? If the roots on your Phal are that badly damaged, the pot should really be very small compared to the plant itself and should be very top heavy.

Unfortunately, I think this plant has received too much water. This is a classic sign of over watering.

On a separate note...

Check out this link, it will show you how they grow in the wild:

Phalaenopsis in situ - Flickr: Search

This should give you an idea of what to expect about the way they grow, etc.

Have any further questions, just ask.
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  #3  
Old 03-20-2010, 02:01 PM
Izzie Izzie is offline
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Phal in Recovery, may need extra advice? Two Large Leathery Leaves? Female
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King- Are you saying that the withered leaves are a sign of overwatering? I've seen them more often in underwatering- could be wrong though, it's just my experience.
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Old 03-20-2010, 02:14 PM
Triffid Triffid is offline
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Phal in Recovery, may need extra advice? Two Large Leathery Leaves? Female
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Sorry, Hi.
Cheers for getting back to this one.

Unfortunately it was the previous owner that left it in standing water.

I water at the moment about once a week, being in bark I've watered from the top, let the bark soak it in a bit (approx 30 min) then let drain before returning it to it's site. Seems to work fine for the others? Is there a better way?

It's back in the pot it came in, I'm hoping to get some more appropriate pots soon.

Current pot size Top diameter 4.5 inch, height 4 inch, base diameter 3 inch. Clear plastic.

Current leaf size, in inches. From newest to oldest. SG = definitely still growing, LT = leathery.
2.5 SG, 7 SG, 10, 9.5, 10 LT, 8 LT.

Best I can do with no image facility at present sorry.

Thank you very much for the link! Will be perusing that with a cuppa in a bit.

Last edited by Triffid; 03-20-2010 at 02:16 PM.. Reason: because I'm (incert appropriate insult here)
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  #5  
Old 03-20-2010, 02:16 PM
Zoi2 Zoi2 is offline
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With the previous environment and the standing water issue you are bound to lose a leaf or two. Since they are the two bottom leaves and you have new root growth, I wouldn't worry much about them. They will fall off on their own. Sounds like a good rescue.
Joann
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Old 03-20-2010, 02:24 PM
Izzie Izzie is offline
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Phal in Recovery, may need extra advice? Two Large Leathery Leaves? Female
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I've seen mentioned by some knowledgeables on here that the dying off of leaves can sometimes be the orchid's way of saving itself- it takes the moisture and nutrients from the oldest growth in order to continue growing.
Hence, why I was scolded for cutting off my withered leaves before they turned yellow and my orchid had gotten what it needed. :X
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Old 03-20-2010, 02:41 PM
King_of_orchid_growing:) King_of_orchid_growing:) is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Izzie View Post
King- Are you saying that the withered leaves are a sign of overwatering? I've seen them more often in underwatering- could be wrong though, it's just my experience.
As a whole, these are signs of over watering.

1. "75% root damage".

a. Black and mushy roots along with hollow beige remnants of roots. Sometimes the "wiry" white or beige/light brown core of the root is evident without pulling off the dead velamen.

2. Leaf wrinkling due to insufficient water, which ironically is due to root damage from too much water.

3. Leaf dropping either with signs of yellowing or without.

a. Often the site of the leaf disconnecting with the petiole is tender and waterlogged.

b. Sometimes the petiole itself is the one that turns yellow, and the leaf just drops without turning yellow at all.

4. The dead give away is the fact that Triffid mentioned the previous owner put it in a pan of standing water.

When diagnosing, you gotta look at the whole picture, not just focus on one aspect of the problem.

Sometimes the cause is singular. More often than not, there are multiple causes to the ill health of the plant.

There are times when getting to the root problem itself and bypassing all the other lesser factors will bring about the cure. Other times all the factors need to be taken care of. In the case of viral infections, nothing can be done, and the plant must be destroyed.

Last edited by King_of_orchid_growing:); 03-20-2010 at 02:46 PM..
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  #8  
Old 03-20-2010, 02:46 PM
Izzie Izzie is offline
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Phal in Recovery, may need extra advice? Two Large Leathery Leaves? Female
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King_of_orchid_growing:) View Post
As a whole, these are signs of over watering.

1. "75% root damage".

a. Black and mushy roots along with hollow beige remnants of roots. Sometimes the "wiry" white or beige/light brown core of the root is evident without pulling off the dead velamen.

2. Leaf wrinkling due to insufficient water, which ironically is due to root damage from too much water.
Oh duh, I knew that. Sorry, I wasn't thinking. Of course the leaves would wither if their root system no longer works.

Speaking of that wiry core- can it still draw up nutrients/water? I've noticed them when repotting sad 'chids, and always wondered if I should leave them after removing the rotten velamen or not.
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Old 03-20-2010, 02:48 PM
King_of_orchid_growing:) King_of_orchid_growing:) is offline
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Oh, yeah...

Context is very important!
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Old 03-20-2010, 02:49 PM
Izzie Izzie is offline
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Phal in Recovery, may need extra advice? Two Large Leathery Leaves? Female
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So what does one do, if they have an orchid that has lost most of it's roots, has been repotted, and has....2 good green roots that I know of (on a 4" plant), three leaves- one of which is small and somewhat new, and the other two are withering- one withered more than the other, and beginning to yellow.

All while the poor thing is budding from an old spike. It looks like the buds will open in another few weeks, so I'd hate to cut the spike off- but I'm afraid that it's taking too much energy from the plant and it's killing itself.

I've moved it to a shady location and am keeping it humid. :/
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