Phal with wiliting flowers and wrinkled, floppy leaves
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Phal with wiliting flowers and wrinkled, floppy leaves
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Old 06-06-2007, 01:39 PM
Tulip Poplar Tulip Poplar is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Zone: 7a
Location: Nashville
Posts: 10
Phal with wiliting flowers and wrinkled, floppy leaves Male
Default Phal with wiliting flowers and wrinkled, floppy leaves

Hi... I'm new to the Orchid Board. I have 4 phals - a collection I've started within the last year. The newest member of the collection was an impulse-buy from Mom at a local florist which doesn't really deal with orchids. Sure enough, after I put it in my envirmonement, the flowers wilted, and the leaves wrinkled and flopped down on the pot. After observing a bit, I thought it was dehydrated. I unpotted and it was mostly shriveled hollow (not rotted) roots. I soaked for 30 minutes, cut off bad roots, and repotted in spag moss, watered and fertilized. I also reduced the light becuase I thought maybe it was shocked from moving from dark environment at the florist to my birght east window. Doesn't really look better, perhaps even slightly worse. Did I do the right things?? Help!
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Old 06-06-2007, 01:53 PM
Ross Ross is offline
Senior Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Zone: 5a
Posts: 9,285

Wow! First of all, welcome to the board. We appreciate all the new members.

As to the Phal, not sure how to respond to this. "Hollow" roots sound dried out (ie. dead) to me. "Wilted" leaves could indicate drout (dryness) or flood (wetness) in pot. Both will end up killing the roots for different reasons. When repotting a Phal with these symptoms, I personally would not recommend sphagnum, not even New Zeland sphagnum which is the best. If the roots are in fact dead, adding lots of moisture holding at the roots won't help the plant.

Here's what I would do if it were mine (keep in mind I am not necessarily suggesting this in your case without seeing the plant.)

1) I would trim off all the roots that look suspect to me, mushy brown, hollow, etc.

2) I would remove the whole flower spike down close to the leaves so it wouldn't try to rebloom.

3) I would sprinkle powdered cinamon all over the remaining roots (if any).

4) I would then place the whole plant in a zip loc bag with a small handful of moistened sphagnum (not in contact with the plant) for moisture. I would NOT water the plant, but WOULD keep it as moist (humid) as possible until I see the first nubbins of roots appear. While this is going on I would keep the plant in the bag next to an east or north window for low to moderate light. I definitely would attempt to keep plant out of sun, but not too dim either.

5) Once new roots appear and the leaves plump back up, I would repot, but in fir bark or Semi Hydroponics (I favor fir bark).

All of the above are known on the board as the "sphag and bag" method and you will see that mentioned from time to time. It is the "intensive care ward" of your grow area.

Let us know how this turn out.
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Old 06-07-2007, 11:38 PM
CodiMN CodiMN is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Zone: 4a
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Age: 39
Posts: 417

Tulip, could you post a when you get a chance too?
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collection, florist, flowers, leaves, wrinkled, floppy, wiliting, phal

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