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  #1  
Old 05-29-2017, 11:16 AM
MrSleeves MrSleeves is offline
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I have been growing carnivorous plants mostly nepenthes for a long time. But I have always loved orchids. I have had this guy (girlfriend named her daisy, lol) for about a month. I have watered it once about 3 weeks ago. It has lost 2 leaves and about to lose another one. All 3 leaves were on the bottom. The flowers have continued to flower and still look amazing. All 3 leaves were below the 2 green ones. Is this normal or a sign that maybe it just isn't getting quite enough light and only the top leaves are photosynthesising? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 05-29-2017, 12:21 PM
murph7 murph7 is offline
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I think when they lose their bottom leaves is because they have too much or too little water. Try watering once a week.
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  #3  
Old 05-29-2017, 12:26 PM
MrSleeves MrSleeves is offline
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Originally Posted by murph7 View Post
I think when they lose their bottom leaves is because they have too much or too little water. Try watering once a week.
Too little water is probably correct as I have only watered it once in a month. Since this is my first phal and I have read too little water is better than too much water I guess I was too much on the side of caution.

A good flushing once a week with distilled water and fertilize once a month sound right?

How much impact would losing those 3 leaves have in the plant?

Thanks!!
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Old 05-29-2017, 01:15 PM
murph7 murph7 is offline
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It should recover. Try giving it non-direct light next to a window, you should start seeing new growth at some point.

I give mine tap water with fertilizer weekly but weakly.

But do not listen to me, I am also a beginner.
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  #5  
Old 05-29-2017, 02:31 PM
jkofferdahl jkofferdahl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSleeves View Post
Too little water is probably correct as I have only watered it once in a month. Since this is my first phal and I have read too little water is better than too much water I guess I was too much on the side of caution.

A good flushing once a week with distilled water and fertilize once a month sound right?

How much impact would losing those 3 leaves have in the plant?

Thanks!!
I think Murph is on the right track here, but I'd suggest taking a slightly more proactive approach to watering. Phals grow on their schedule, and not yours, so you have to time the waterings to when it's ready. That your plant is in sphagnum makes it a bit more difficult, but is certainly workable. Take a wooden kitchen skewer and stick it into the medium, then leave it about 10-15 minutes. Pull it out, and if it feels at all moist then don't water yet. Some want to be watered every single day (mounted plants) others may need it every 3 days, and still others every 10 days.

Phal roots can be very damaged by overwatering, which is where the advice you were given came from. If they stay wet they can develop root rot, and without roots it's dirt nap time. The roots like to have air get to them, which is why I am not a huge sphagnum fan; orchid bark allows for movement. However, underwatering can initially show very similar symptoms to overwatering, in the the plant can't get enough water. In both cases the plant may sluff leaves it can not support; it keeps flowers because they're a means of reproduction. Your case is most likely underwatering, as you guessed.

Don't even worry about fertilizer until you get watering down. Orchids do fine with an amazingly small amount of fertilizer, and I'm pretty sure that about 97% of us use more fertilizer than necessary. I say that I use the "fertilize weekly, weakly" method, where you dissolve maybe 1/4 the label dilution and use it each watering. In practice, however, while my mounted plants pretty much get that routine, my potted orchids get a whole lot less and are thriving.

If you get the watering under control you'll find that the Phal is a pretty easy orchid to grow and rebloom. Good luck!
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Old 05-29-2017, 04:08 PM
MrSleeves MrSleeves is offline
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I did just fertilize for the first time today and as soon as it is done flowering I will be repotting into bark!
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  #7  
Old 05-29-2017, 07:47 PM
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