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  #1  
Old 11-18-2022, 09:40 PM
J3SS1CA J3SS1CA is offline
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What's wrong with my orchid?
Default What's wrong with my orchid?

I'm a beginner and my orchid is suddenly having weird looking areas in a couple leaves. I'm not sure what caused it or what to do to make it better and not worse. Thanks in advance your help
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  #2  
Old 11-18-2022, 10:15 PM
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Welcome!

We'll need more information. That could be from insect pests, from cold temperatures or from a disease. Don't treat until you figure out what it is.

What is your temperature range, day/night? Humidity? How much light, and for how long? How do you water, how often, and how do you decide when to water? How long have you had it? What is the potting medium? What kind of pot? Do you know when it was last repotted?
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  #3  
Old 11-18-2022, 11:04 PM
Dimples Dimples is offline
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In addition to what ES said, the plant definitely looks dehydrated and like it has been for some time.
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  #4  
Old 11-19-2022, 05:57 AM
J3SS1CA J3SS1CA is offline
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Yeah, it probably is dehydrated, I don't water it often but that's because I'm scared of over watering it. It stays in my laundry room which has a bit more temp fluctuation than the rest of the house so maybe it is getting a tad bit cold now that it's cooling down outside but if I was gonna estimate I'd say it never gets colder than 60's in there and never warmer than 70's. Not sure the exact humidity percentage but being that it is the laundry room it's often a bit more humid than the rest of the house but we live in central Texas so the humidity around here can be muggy one day and dry as a bone the next. It receives the natural light that comes through the south facing windows in that room, but not direct sun light, the other lights in the room are really never on except for a minute or two here and there so it is predominantly just getting however many hours a day the sun is shining this time of year lol now here's the part where I should probably be ashamed..... I've had it about 3 years, still in the pot/medium it came from when my friend purchased it from a super market. But again, because I'm scared to do anything to it.... You see, my friend who gave it to me has since passed away... So now I feel like this poor little orchid is the only living piece of her I have left and why I've been so scare to do anything to it because I don't know what I'm doing and didn't wanna kill it, but at this point I know I'm killing it of neglect from not knowing what to do, which is what led me here to hopefully get this little guy healthy again. Thank y'all so much for all the help
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  #5  
Old 11-19-2022, 09:25 AM
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Based upon your comments, it is apparent that you’ve picked up the incorrect understanding of “watering” orchids.

In epiphytic orchids, most of the gas exchange is done through the roots, as opposed to being almost exclusively through the leaves in terrestrial plants. Because of that, it is essential that the root system have plenty of air flow around them, hence the typical use of coarse potting media.

When we water, some of the water is immediately absorbed by the roots and the potting medium, some is held between the media particles by surface tension, and the majority just pours through.

When too fine of a medium is used, or when it has gotten old, begun to decompose and compress, the second fraction, that held in the voids by surface tension, becomes significant and ends up completely filling the small voids, which cuts off air flow to the roots, so they suffocate and die.

So, the problem isn’t really “over watering”, it’s “under airing”.

What is that potted in?
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  #6  
Old 11-19-2022, 11:40 AM
J3SS1CA J3SS1CA is offline
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I see. It is just in the pot from the store. Which I am aware is terrible due to not having holes So, I've been doing a bit or research this morning, what if I get a clay orchid pot and some orchid bark and try repotting it to be in a medium and pot that's more well suited? Would that be safe to do without harming it and a good place to start?
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  #7  
Old 11-19-2022, 11:58 AM
Keysguy Keysguy is online now
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Quote:
So, the problem isn’t really “over watering”, it’s “under airing”.
I have never heard anyone explain it like that before.
It's perfect Ray! Mind if I steal that?
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Old 11-19-2022, 12:54 PM
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Well if you don't do something, I'm afraid it's about six months from the wastecan. Normally what orchids in grocery stores are potted in, is total ****. Repot it, start watering it thoroughly, and give it a chance to live.
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  #9  
Old 11-19-2022, 01:00 PM
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Regardless of what else is happening with your orchid, getting it out of the old medium (assuming it’s sphagnum moss) will help. I like plastic pots but clay works for many people.

Read up on here, but the important points are:

Take your time removing the old medium.

Don’t cut any roots.

Pick a bark mix that’s chunky, you don’t want fine particles. There are lots of other medium options but bark will be easy for you to find and you can switch to something else later if you want to.

Water regularly, phals in chunky bark don’t need to dry out all the way. Water when they’re beginning to dry out.

Keeping it warm with a seedling heating mat will help. Phals really prefer temperatures above 75F so adding bottom heat will benefit the plant.
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Old 11-19-2022, 02:01 PM
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When repotting use the smallest pot into which you can fit the roots, using a twisting motion. The bottom leaves should be just above the level of the new medium. If you buy a pot too big it's fine to leave the plant bare root for many days while you get another. Just wet the roots once a day.

After repotting, move it to the warmest spot in the house with appropriate light. Phals are warm growers. They need bright shade and never need sun on their leaves. Your laundry room temperatures are cool for Phals.

Don't buy MiracleGro orchid bark at a big box store. It has a lot of small pieces that block air circulation. I would suggest medium or large orchid bark.

Afted you repot, lift the plant to see how heavy it is dry. Set the plant in a bowl of water to soak for a few hours. Lift the plant and feel how heavy it is wet. Lift it every day or so and water again when it is nearly dry. Watering interval depends on ambient temperature, humidity and how fast the plant is growing, so you can't go by the calendar. But I would guess in medium bark you might water every 2-7 days depending on temperatures.

If there is always air at the roots, they can stay moist. Phals are heat, humidity and water loving plants.

There is a great thread here about growing Phals. From the left yellow menu choose Forums then Beginners. Near the top look for a sticky thread, The Phal abuse stops here. Read through the first few pages.
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