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  #1  
Old 03-31-2024, 10:49 AM
knewt knewt is offline
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Phal. soft rot? Male
Default Phal. soft rot?

Hi
New here, and my first post - I just wish it didn't need to be in this sub-forum.
I live in NW Florida, and our house is not centrally heated, so some nights it gets around to 60ş by morning.

I'm mostly OK with plants, but only have a few orchids.
Last week I decided to increase my collection, and bought a couple cheap plants from the discount shelf in Lowes.

One of them was this Phal. NOID - Pretty dried up looking, well past spike, in a decorative pot.
After letting it soak overnight, when I repotted (bark mix, with some added sphagnum), I was thinking how good the roots looked - Still fat and green. So I had high hopes.

Anyway, I noticed this leaf, this morning - Something I'm pretty sure wasn't there a couple days ago.
It looks like some photos of soft rot I've seen, but I don't want to over-react, and throw the baby out with the bathwater, as they say.

All I have to work with right now, is cinnamon and peroxide - Not great, but if there is something I can do to help or stop it, I would appreciate any advice.
Thank you.

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  #2  
Old 03-31-2024, 12:25 PM
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estación seca estación seca is offline
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Phal. soft rot? Male
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Welcome to the Orchid Board!

My first thought is damage from cold water, not an infection. Cold water splashes can cause cellular collapse like this. Most of the infections in times of cool temperatures begin in the crown.

Take a marker and draw a line around it. If it's not an infection it will not expand much. If it keeps expanding, use a fresh safety razor blade or X-acto knife to cut off the leaf as far below the spot as possible. Sanitize the blade with 70% alcohol between cuts.

Phalaenopsis don't do well with cold. 60 degrees F / 15F at night is colder than they prefer. If you keep Phals. at temperatures like that you will have occasional losses. Consider using a seedling heat mat.

At those temperatures be sure you keep water from the crown, and only water them early in the day. If you get water in the crown, blow it out with your breath or use a piece of tissue. Be sure they are dry before watering again.

If your house is quite humid in the summer, say over 50%, I would use medium bark with no sphagnum. Sphagnum cools the medium for a long time as it dries by evaporative cooling. That's not helpful when temperatures are low. No reason to repot now just to remove the sphagnum. Just change at the next regular repotting.

Edit: I meant sanitize the blade between cuts, not the leaf, as I first wrote.
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Last edited by estación seca; 03-31-2024 at 11:04 PM..
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Old 03-31-2024, 07:12 PM
knewt knewt is offline
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Thank you! Hopefully you're right, and it was just cold.
I took your advice, and marked the spot.
I also commandeered a couple heat mats from my wife's vegetable seed starting stuff, and now all my Phals. are warm.
I'm thinking the plant is basically healthy, as it looks to be starting a new leaf - Something I also didn't notice at first.

Last edited by knewt; 03-31-2024 at 07:14 PM..
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Old 04-01-2024, 06:15 PM
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Lowe's here seems to treat plants better than Home Depot. Their discount Phals. are typically quite dry and usually a little shriveled, but the roots are good. I think there's an excellent chance your plant will flower next Spring.

By the way, unless critters or bugs are a problem, your Phals. will be happier outside in the hot, humid shade when nights are over about 68-70 F.
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Old 04-02-2024, 07:40 AM
knewt knewt is offline
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That's my intention.
We have a deck, completely shaded with an awning, where I keep my plants for the summer months - Soon now.
I also grow Nepenthes tropical pitchers, and the orchids join them out there.

It's not a bad set up, as I have both inner and outer hanging rails for the plants - The inner rails are in the shade, and the outers, at the edge of the awning, where they get dappled sunlight, because of the overhanging trees.
So, I can keep plants with various light needs.
I put all the plants out there on the edge when it rains, if it's gentle enough.

At this point though, I have enough plants, that it's getting awkward to keep them in the house for the cold months - In NW Florida, it often gets below freezing, from Dec. through Feb.
So, I'm contemplating building a small greenhouse on that deck, mainly for the winter months - If I can work out a reasonable design, we shall see.

Last edited by knewt; 04-02-2024 at 07:43 AM..
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