Overwatered phalaenopsis rescue attempt
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  #1  
Old 07-16-2017, 08:42 PM
Fishkeeper Fishkeeper is online now
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Overwatered phalaenopsis rescue attempt
Default Sun-cooked phalaenopsis rescue attempt

Edited to properly reflect the issue. Turns out the plant was suffering more from being roasted than anything else.


Picked this poor thing up for a couple of bucks at Lowe's. The leaf damage is from sunburn, they'd put it out on the clearance rack in full Texas sun. The white parts feel like regular leaf, just dehydrated, so I'm waiting to see what happens before I cut those parts off.


It looks like the plant was growing really well in this pot before being brought to the store. Lots of nice long roots. My guess is the grower watered a lot less and the plant did fine until it got to the store and was soaked. Moss was breaking down, but the roots weren't as bad off as I thought. They were all green down to the tips, though some had patches where only the center strand was left. I didn't see anything that looks like a fungus to me, just some dead areas, so I took the risk of not cutting any of the big roots off. They seem to still be working.


The new pot is a bit larger than the old. Substrate is Better-Gro phalaenopsis mix with a bit of LFSM added in, which is working out well for my mini phals. Hopefully this one will like the mix as well. I haven't watered it today, I'm guessing the roots will benefit from a day or two to dry out.


Any tips? I'm planning to let it go a couple days without water, then just start treating it like a normal phal, albeit very slowly introducing it to light. It'll be in front of a South-facing window, but the window has UV blocking film on it, so it doesn't burn more sensitive plants. My other moths are doing fine in front of it.

Last edited by Fishkeeper; 07-17-2017 at 12:21 PM..
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  #2  
Old 07-16-2017, 09:14 PM
ShadePlant ShadePlant is offline
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I normally love to purchase the phals from Lowe's as they keep them indoors until they go on clearance and then they move them to full sun. If you don't get them the first day there is nothing left. I took one home that looks a bit like this one only more sad. It has a lot of mechanical damage but good roots and a sunburn. Hopefully both of ours will recover.
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  #3  
Old 07-17-2017, 08:21 AM
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Traci - Surely you don't really mean "full sun"!?!?!?

In your location, full sun would burn a phalaenopsis to a crisp in no time.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:57 AM
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Ray that came out wrong. I normally love lowes because they keep their plants inside. What I don't like is they often move the clearance ones outside for quick sale. They ones on the lower shelves do okay for a few days but the upper shelf of you dont get there the first day are too burned to save. It's what I don't like about lowes.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:19 PM
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That's why this poor thing looks so bad, they'd put it out in full sun. This one was lucky and was on the ground, but the ones on the top shelf were just completely gone. All the indoor plants that get put outside fry in a few hours, and even the plants normally kept outdoors don't do well on the clearance racks in summer. It's a bit better in winter, but it gets hot now.
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Old 07-18-2017, 12:52 AM
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A friend once worked at Home Depot. She told me new hires start in the outdoor and plant department, because nobody wants to work there. Most don't know anything about plants and most don't care. Eventually they move into indoor positions, to be replaced by more people who don't know about plants.
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Old 07-19-2017, 01:04 PM
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Fish keeper, what is lfsm? I have several mini phals which I have potted and more of an oncidium mix, and they're doing well. I'm just curious though. And I hope your plant goes through!
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  #8  
Old 07-19-2017, 04:42 PM
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LFSM is long-fiber sphagnum moss. It's what peat moss is, except LFSM is fresh (you can even buy it live) whereas peat has decayed a bit. It's absorbent and holds water well, and it's what people pot carnivorous plants in. I added it to the mix to help hold a bit more water, so I can go slightly longer between waterings.

Phals aren't too fussy about mix. They need to dry out a bit more than oncidiums like, but, as long as you're careful with watering, I see no reason why oncidium mix wouldn't work.
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Old 07-19-2017, 09:45 PM
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Oh. I use it in very small amounts in my mixes. Orchiata, bark, charcoal and spag, because it helps retain moisture.
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Old Yesterday, 12:24 PM
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I would dome it to increase the humidity for a while and then let it air out at least every couple of days until the leaves firm back up or it starts putting out new growth. It looks like it still has quite a few healthy roots though, which is good.

I have rescued a few 'discount' phals from Lowes/Home Depot too. They take a long time to bounce back, but it's a great way to expand your plants on the cheap (I've seen them offered anywhere between $0.50 and $5.00). The ones for $0.50 generally have no live roots though, and are a real gamble.

Good luck!
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