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  #1  
Unread 09-11-2010, 12:34 PM
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Default Repotted Phal w/only aerial roots slow to establish...what to do?

Hi all,

Thanks everyone who responded to my Cattleya thread that I posted last night. Now I have a Phal. question...

A few weeks ago an orchid-growing friend of mine gave me her Phal. Red Hot Imp 'Dorothy Martin' AM/AOS because she was downsizing her Phal. collection to make room for other orchids. Now, the thing is, she's an experienced grower but she HATES to repot. This Phal. had been growing in the same pot & the same media it was in when she purchased it NINE years ago. Of course it had mostly grown out of its pot by this time! It seemed overall to be healthy, however, and so I did what I always do with Phals that have grown a "trunk": I lopped it off right below some big bunches of roots (on this plant they were all growing will-nilly out into the air) and repotted the top portion into some fresh medium (mostly moss, with some fir bark).

The problem is, it doesn't seem to have taken very well to this handling. The youngest two leaves seem firm and healthy, but all other leaves seem limp and are not a good shade at all--hard to describe, kind of a muddy yellow green "dying" color! The roots (those that are still sticking out of the medium that I can see) have stopped growing as well. Yet, it is still flowering (fragrant!) and actively producing new buds on its flowering spike from which it has been flowering sequentially for a long time.

So, what to do? Will it just take some time for those formerly aerial roots to adapt to pot culture? Should I have done something differently when I repotted this? I'm afraid to disturb it now even just to look at its (pot) roots. Also, would it be a good idea to cut off its flowering spike--maybe doing so would shunt more of its energy into root growth?

Thanks for all your help--I'm not usually big into Phals, but I like this one--it's the first red one I've ever had, and also the only fragrant one!

Claire
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  #2  
Unread 09-11-2010, 05:01 PM
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I would be great for the plant to cut off the flower spike. It can then spend its energy making roots and new leaves and getting used to its new pot. You can always stick the spike in a glass of water to prolong the flowers.

cheers,
Jason
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  #3  
Unread 09-11-2010, 06:41 PM
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I have 3 phals and have recently taken them out of their pots and mounted them. I know It's not that same in your case but, your phal will "pout" for a few weeks until it has established it self in it's new environment. All plant's will go through shock when they are first transplanted. You also just moved it from it's old environment at your friends house and brought it into you home will also shock it a bit.

Also, How far down did you put the Arial roots?? because if the roots are not getting any light or air anymore you might find it will take a lot longer for it to get used to it's new environment. I would suggest taking some of the moss away and allow it a gradual change from full air to medium. I must stress making sure that there is enough air getting to the roots because they have been in full air for nine years.

Hopefully that will help you out!

Rachelle
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  #4  
Unread 09-11-2010, 09:52 PM
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Thank you both. I think I will definitely cut off that flowering spike now, even though it kills me to do it! And I guess I need to give it a little more time...if I'd known the amount of shock this repotting would cause I definitely would have tried to acclimate it more slowly to being potted. It still has quite a few roots poking out of the surface of the medium, though, so I hope there's enough left there to sustain it while it gets used to the idea of being in a pot again! I'll keep you posted...
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  #5  
Unread 09-11-2010, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire25 View Post
Thank you both. I think I will definitely cut off that flowering spike now, even though it kills me to do it! And I guess I need to give it a little more time...if I'd known the amount of shock this repotting would cause I definitely would have tried to acclimate it more slowly to being potted. It still has quite a few roots poking out of the surface of the medium, though, so I hope there's enough left there to sustain it while it gets used to the idea of being in a pot again! I'll keep you posted...
Good luck!!! Your little guy should pull through and be very happy.
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