Phalaenopsis Root Fungal Growth
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Old 10-14-2019, 11:18 PM
samcordero29 samcordero29 is offline
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Phalaenopsis Root Fungal Growth
Default Phalaenopsis Root Fungal Growth

Hello all,

I gave my phalaenopsis to a friend to take care of for a year, and when I got it back many of the roots seemed shriveled as if from underwatering, but there was also white "fuzzy" fungal growth and small white spots on the roots as if it had been overwatered. I soaked the roots and substrate in physan at a concentration of 1 tbsp/gallon of water for 20 minutes, and since then have been watering with physan+water, but the orchid's condition just seems to get worse. The white growth has reduced in size, but now almost all of the roots are black/dark brown, except for the ones near the base of the leaves, and the leaves are turning yellow and then brown starting from the oldest leaves. All new growth in the leaves has stopped. Is there anything I can do to save the plant?? This is the first time my orchid has been sick so I don't really know what to do.
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Old 10-15-2019, 08:57 AM
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Ray Ray is offline
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Phalaenopsis Root Fungal Growth Male

That plant is severely desiccated, which could be either from underwatering (that's my guess, as I see absolutely no sign of fungus) or overwatering that has led to sub-surface root death (which you should check) and the inability to take up water.
Ray Barkalow, Orchid Iconoclast
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Last edited by Ray; 10-15-2019 at 09:00 AM..
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Old 10-15-2019, 09:09 AM
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camille1585 camille1585 is offline

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Welcome to Orchidboard!

Have you unpotted the plant at all to see what the roots are like? If there's still a decent amount of roots, I'd start by giving the plant a good long soak, a couple of hours. That substrate looks rather chunky so it could be that your friend hasn't been watering enough or correctly for the plant to get enough water.

If the roots are mostly dead it would be best to repot in a smaller pot (so that the substrate dries more evenly).

In both cases, while it recovers try to keep it in a warm spot in shady conditions. I see some nice root nubbins at the base of the plant, which is good news for the plant. From observation of my plants, it seems that a light daily misting of those root nubs encourages them to wake up and grow.

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Old 10-15-2019, 02:10 PM
samcordero29 samcordero29 is offline
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Phalaenopsis Root Fungal Growth

Thanks so much to both of you for your responses. I took the orchid out of its pot and took photos of what I think is the remaining fungal growth on the roots (attached). For the moment I've moved it to a shady spot and am misting the little green roots, as suggested, but I'm wondering if I should remove all of the black/brown roots, or leave them? And if I leave them, whether I should continue using the physan when I water?
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