Hello everyone! I just registered here in hopes that someone can offer advice about my Phal. I received it as a gift in November 2011. It was in bloom at that time and has had the same beautiful and large flowers ever since. I didn't expect it to flower for so long! Everything had been going great, until a couple of days ago..
The flower closest to the end of the stem closed up and looked a bit shriveled. At first I thought the flowers were just naturally ready to start dropping. Over the next two days, the other 3 flowers on that side of the stem also closed up, and their individual stems have turned brown. Still, I thought this seemed natural; it had been bloom for 7 months!
I also noticed several new roots above the surface of the medium. They look healthy -- white, green, some with red tips. I thought this was probably a sign of good health.
But next everything became terribly scary - I noticed A HUGE SPLIT on the stem!!!! AHHH I have no idea how this could have happened, or when. It had to have been fairly recently. I can't find ANYTHING in my research that even mentions this occurrence.
I examined the roots as best I could without disturbing the plant and everything looks fine; all the roots are plump, solid and green/white (some have maroon tips). The only thing I noticed about the new roots is that they are all bursting out above the medium, and one new one is actually shooting out over the top of the planter. This seems to me like it's getting too large for its pot.
Right now, my plan is to cut the spike off below the split and re-pot the Phal. I might try to propagate the spike I cut off by making a second cut above the split
I'm afraid that this huge wound is going to get infected. I know I have to act quick but at the same time, I'm worried about doing the wrong thing.
Does anyone know how this could have happened? Does my Phal have a disease? Can I save it? Advice?
I'm so upset about this - my new Phal has been such a source of joy since November.
One more note -- just now, I noticed one tiny ball of sticky, clean, sap-like substance on the stem, near the flowers.