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  #1  
Old 09-22-2022, 01:00 PM
Orchidrhia Orchidrhia is offline
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Hint of black on phal stem
Default Hint of black on phal stem

Hi everyone! So this is a really old orchid that hasn’t bloomed in awhile but so far, it seems like it’s relatively healthy. It’s been pushing out new leaves and the roots are all green. However, I’ve just noticed that the area around the lower part of the stem is a black. Is it stem rot? Or am I just being overly paranoid?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 09-22-2022, 01:39 PM
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estación seca estación seca is offline
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As they grow taller, the lower part of the stem becomes leafless and dies off. You wind up with a plant on top, a set of roots, and a bare stick below the roots.

I see the black around old fallen leaf bases too. I haven't found it to be a problem. However, rots can begin from the base and work their way up, looking like this at first.

Your plant looks very healthy but the leaves are somewhat irregular, making me wonder about underwatering for some time now.

I typically don't let Phals grow so far out of the medium before repotting. Most media only last 2-3 years with Phals before breaking down. When did you last repot? I would repot now, cutting off any bare stem below the current roots. Repot so the base of the leaves is just above the new medium, burying the roots in the medium. Use a pot that just holds the roots, and medium with large air spaces between particles.
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  #3  
Old 09-23-2022, 05:18 AM
Orchidrhia Orchidrhia is offline
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That is such a relief to hear!

You have a very good eye. This poor orchid has faced a couple of years of neglect but thankfully, it pulled through so I'm trying to give it some TLC now.

I actually tried repotting it a couple of months ago but gave up because the roots were so long and stick straight that I couldn't get it to fit in to any of the pots I owned (I even bought a bigger one for it and it couldn't even fit into that). I tried soaking the roots (~10 minutes?) and they softened a bit but they still weren't malleable enough for me to twist them into pot. I know cutting roots are a huge no-no so I'm back to square one. Any advice on what to do in this case?

Thank you!
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Old 09-23-2022, 07:18 AM
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camille1585 camille1585 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidrhia View Post
That is such a relief to hear!

You have a very good eye. This poor orchid has faced a couple of years of neglect but thankfully, it pulled through so I'm trying to give it some TLC now.

I actually tried repotting it a couple of months ago but gave up because the roots were so long and stick straight that I couldn't get it to fit in to any of the pots I owned (I even bought a bigger one for it and it couldn't even fit into that). I tried soaking the roots (~10 minutes?) and they softened a bit but they still weren't malleable enough for me to twist them into pot. I know cutting roots are a huge no-no so I'm back to square one. Any advice on what to do in this case?

Thank you!
I feel your pain, repotting older overgrown Phals is not easy!

What I usually do is cut the older piece of stem under the roots (and sometimes that means sacrificing 1-2 ugly roots if it means I'm able to chop over an extra 2-3cm of bare ugly stem).

If the plant has tons of healthy roots then I'll usually cut off any that look weak or have large dead sections between healthy sections of root. (I don't agree with the NEVER cut off roots rules, as with everything in life the answer is usually far more complicated than that).

Like you, I soak the roots (more like 30-40min), put in in the pot and then really twist to get the roots settled in the pot in a somewhat organized matter. Sometimes it twists better in one direction than the other. If some roots crack, so be it. The cracks only affect the outer spongy velamen layer and do not inhibit root function. I do not water the first couple days to week after repotting to give time for the cracks to heal over.

If the root mass is still being troublesome, I'll use a larger pot, but if it seems slightly too big I invert a smaller slitted pot in the center to make a sort of air cone.
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Old 09-23-2022, 02:37 PM
Orchidrhia Orchidrhia is offline
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Thank you so much Camille! I really appreciate the thorough instructions, I will definitely try to repot it again soon using your tips.
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Old 09-23-2022, 05:01 PM
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Get creative if the root system is too tall to fit into a standard pot. Look in your recycling bin for clear containers and drill or melt holes into them. I use an empty hot glue gun to melt holes into all sorts of plastic containers. Do it outside in a well-ventilated space when there is a bit of a breeze. Others do the same thing with a soldering iron.
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  #7  
Old 09-24-2022, 07:00 AM
Orchidrhia Orchidrhia is offline
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Thank you Dimples! That's a great idea, I might actually have to resort to doing this because I don't think any conventional orchid pots can fit this plant anymore lol.
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