Darwinara Charm 'Blue Starx Neo. falcata with black root tips/ brown roots
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Darwinara Charm 'Blue Starx Neo. falcata with black root tips/ brown roots
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  #1  
Old 07-29-2017, 05:34 PM
lisawysong lisawysong is offline
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Darwinara Charm 'Blue Starx Neo. falcata with black root tips/ brown roots
Exclamation Darwinara Charm 'Blue Starx Neo. falcata with black root tips/ brown roots

Hi, I am brand new to Orchids, and my most recent purchase a Darwinara Rainbow Star was growing like gang busters but recently developed some problems. I have it mounted in sphagnum moss in the traditional Japanese method. I did have It hanging from the branches of a fig tree but moved it inside because summers here can be quite dry, plus when I watered it two earwigs came pouring out, eww!. I now have it growing in a small Exo-terra terrarium with a screen top and a 14w 2700k bulb.
The problems started with a black shriveled root tip on one of the aerial roots I noticed when it was growing outside. I looked it up on the web and found a reference and a photo that matched the symptom exactly to exposure to a toxic substance. Since I water my orchids with rain water, the only thing my husband and I could think of was the new galvanizes gutters we put in. I then switched to only distilled water from the grocery store but the problem has persisted. The first root to turn black continued to turn brown and progressed up the root. I cut the root off past the brown area and sprinkled some cinnamon on the wound, the rest of the root shriveled up but did not continue to rot. The problem has now spread to other roots and I am unsure of what to do next. I'm going to repot and trim any bad roots, but should I use a different medium? Should I treat with a fungicide? re there any other steps, I should take? Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
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Old 07-29-2017, 05:46 PM
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Dollythehun Dollythehun is offline
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Darwinara Charm 'Blue Starx Neo. falcata with black root tips/ brown roots Female
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First of all, Welcome! There will be someone expert to help you in a bit, hang tight! But, I will second the eww on the earwig. Ick.
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Old 07-30-2017, 03:56 PM
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Roberta Roberta is offline
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Darwinara Charm 'Blue Starx Neo. falcata with black root tips/ brown roots Female
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Unless you are exhibiting the plant in Japan, I suggest growing it in a more open environment - I have found that Darwinara (and Neofinetia falcata as well) do much better for me in a basket (I like wood because the roots grab it like a mount, but plastic mesh works too) with large bark and let the roots ramble. Treat like Vandas (they ARE little Vandas)
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Old 07-30-2017, 04:15 PM
jkofferdahl jkofferdahl is offline
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Darwinara should be an easy grower. It sounds like yours developed some root rot, which usually is a sign of overwatering. Like Roberta, I prefer to put my Neos and Darwinara into basket-type pots so that the roots dry quickly.
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:26 PM
lisawysong lisawysong is offline
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Darwinara Charm 'Blue Starx Neo. falcata with black root tips/ brown roots
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[QUOTE=Roberta;849723]Unless you are exhibiting the plant in Japan, I suggest growing it in a more open environment - I have found that Darwinara (and Neofinetia falcata as well) do much better for me in a basket (I like wood because the roots grab it like a mount, but plastic mesh works too) with large bark and let the roots ramble. Treat like Vandas (they ARE little Vandas)[/QUOTE

"Darwinara should be an easy grower. It sounds like yours developed some root rot, which usually is a sign of overwatering. Like Roberta, I prefer to put my Neos and Darwinara into basket-type pots so that the roots dry quickly."

Thanks so much everyone, I really appreciate the help, I must admit that having my Neo. potted in sphagnum moss made watering a bit too complicated for a novice like me. I will definitely repot, all I have are net pots right now but Iv been wanting to get some wood ones and I will definitely pot my next Neo. in one of those!
On watering, what method do you feel works the best for you? I've seen so many web entries and videos on the different the ways people use to water their Neos that I'm thoroughly confused. Our summers are really dry here so I will probably grow indoors on a humidity tray ( it is getting too big for the terrarium).

Also, can you suggest a good placement? I have an East facing window a that gets direct morning sun ( but I can filter with a sheer curtain) and indirect light the rest of the day, and a north facing window that gets indirect light all day.

As far as the root rot. I know I should cut off the infected roots but should I also treat with a fungicide?

Sorry for all the questions, I'm really new to this. And again I really appreciate all the great advice.
Thanks again, Lisa
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:31 PM
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Roberta Roberta is offline
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Darwinara Charm 'Blue Starx Neo. falcata with black root tips/ brown roots Female
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I think that if the roots get a chance to dry out (which they will if potted in a basket with large bark) there is no need to treat further. As long as the center "stringy" part of the root is intact, it can still hydrate the plant. A good soaking (like with running water, or a pump sprayer) once a day should be fine. Water will run out of the basket freely, which flushes out the junk and pulls air into the root zone. These will be very happy drying out between waterings - that's what they want. Either window should be fine - they don't need nearly as much light as the big Vandas, but they aren't fragile either.
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