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  #1  
Old 04-04-2014, 10:24 AM
Lizzles Lizzles is offline
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Help with wilting yellowing leaves on young phal.
Default Help with wilting yellowing leaves on young phal.

Hi there,

I purchased a new orchid recently and some of the leaves are wilting a turning yellow with some strange discolouration. It is a young phal, I first thought it could be a light issue so I moved it from the windowsill (which is north facing and doesn't get much light anyway), but I'm really worried it could be something more serious! The top two leaves are ok, but I'm worried the problem could move to them too. Any ideas what this could be? The roots and blooms are both very healthy. Could it even be shock and moving environment? Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 04-04-2014, 11:47 AM
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orion141 orion141 is offline
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Help with wilting yellowing leaves on young phal. Male
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The top leaves look ok I think (someone more qualified will probably chime in to agree or disagree). Phals will sometimes shed their bottom most leaves and this is a normal process and could be whats happening in your case. Do you get water in the crown of the plant when you water it?
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  #3  
Old 04-04-2014, 11:56 AM
Lizzles Lizzles is offline
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Help with wilting yellowing leaves on young phal.
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Hi there,

I so far have only watered it once and always make sure the leaves are completely dry when I'm finished. I did wonder that it could be naturally shedding leaves, but it's affecting the bottom three and the top ones are fine - that seems like quite a lot of leaves to be wilting? There's around 5 yellowing with that strange discolouration (it's also a very young/small plant) in total - I'm not sure if that's normal?

Thank you for your help!
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  #4  
Old 04-04-2014, 12:01 PM
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orion141 orion141 is offline
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Help with wilting yellowing leaves on young phal. Male
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On second look I do see that discoloration, and I'm not sure what it is (could be an infection of some sort). I will leave it to someone more knowledgeable to answer your question.
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  #5  
Old 04-04-2014, 12:38 PM
RandomGemini RandomGemini is offline
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Help with wilting yellowing leaves on young phal. Female
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The water shouldn't get on the leaves at all if you can avoid it. Phal leaves cannot handle having standing water on them. It creates a perfect storm for bacteria to set in. In the wild, these plants grow upside down. We are asking them to go against their nature by growing them in pots.

I think this could be one of two things, either the plant is receiving too much light, or it's not getting the nutrients it needs, for whatever reason.

The last time I saw that kind of yellowing, my plant had an extensive case of root rot, but it could be caused by other things. The plant does not look water logged. The roots I can see look ok. I see that your plant is growing in a clear pot, can you take a picture of the side of the clear pot, where a good portion of the roots are visible and post it please?

It sounds like you haven't had this plant long enough for either of those events to be your fault. Garden centers often overwater orchids and treat them as though they are a typical house plant, which they are not. This is why I like them. I can forget to water them and they won't dry up and die.

Hopefully we can help you get this guy squared away, if not, don't get discouraged. Try again with a healthier plant. I've killed a couple of orchids so far, I'll probably kill more before all is said and done. Losing a plant isn't the end of the world, even the most experienced orchid growers lose plants.
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:48 PM
Lizzles Lizzles is offline
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Help with wilting yellowing leaves on young phal.
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Hi there,

Thank you so much for the reply and advice! I have attached a photo (I've cut holes in the side for extra root airation). I have also taken the plant out to check the roots incase of any problems there, and they are all very healthy and no mushy/brown ones). The shop I got it from is usually very good and their plants are well looked after and good quality. I think it might be possible for me to take it back actually if there is a problem. I gave it a water yesterday and all the roots went a nice green colour as expected and I always make sure not to get water on the leaves (if they do I dry them with) and leave to drain all the excess water away as per my research. It was on a north facing window as it doesn't get direct light, but is a bright indirect area. I have moved it away from the actual window incase that was too much light for it. I've been trying everything so It's a little frustrating!

Thanks so much for your help and advice!
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Old 04-04-2014, 01:05 PM
RandomGemini RandomGemini is offline
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Help with wilting yellowing leaves on young phal. Female
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The roots look healthy. Odd. I'm still pretty new to orchid growing myself. I've only had one plant with a virus and I threw it in the garbage the second I discovered it. I didn't wait to see what happened.

A north facing window should not have enough light for a phal, but it doesn't sound like you've had it long enough to have results this dramatic. It would take a month or more of these conditions to make it turn that yellow.

My gut says you should take this plant back and get another one. I'm not sure what's going on here, but I can tell you that this plant is not going to thrive for you and you would be better served by trying another plant.

Make sure that you make space for your new phal in an east or south east window before you bring another one home and sterilize everything that the old plant has touched, as a precaution. If you do not have access to a window facing these directions, you can grow phals under ordinary CFL bulbs put into a standard desk lamp. Just make sure to get the "daylight" type of bulb (that has 6500K color temperature) and let it get about 12 hours of light from this lamp. I have mine on a timer that I picked up at the hardware store. I use one of these as supplemental lighting for my oncidiums right now and they seem to love it.

Good luck.
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Old 04-07-2014, 11:46 AM
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RosieC RosieC is offline
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If it seems at all soft or mushy I would cut away the leaf ASAP.

It first made me think of Erwina, but I'm not sure if it's that or not, however if it is (and it would be soft and mush if it was) then it could spread quickly.

If it does seem to be spreading I would also cut away the leaf away.
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Old 04-07-2014, 06:07 PM
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For the record - I have, and do now, grow and bloom some Phals in a north facing window (as well as some other orchids).

At worst, if it was insufficient light, the plant wouldn't bloom, but I wouldn't expect foliage to suffer like this.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:52 PM
dounoharm dounoharm is offline
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this one stumps me too....whats your weather like just now over there? could it have gotten a chill on the way home from the shop? your care in a week or so wouldn't do this to the plant...unless you sat it in a glass of water, then it would be all mushy...but the roots look good....very odd....I think I would return this plant and get another, when they start out funky, it will be an uphill battle keeping it alive....good luck!
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