Please help! Repotted Orchid Root Going Black
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  #1  
Old 09-29-2009, 12:44 PM
Singingcrow Singingcrow is offline
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Please help! Repotted Orchid Root Going Black
Exclamation Please help! Repotted Orchid Root Going Black

Hi Everyone, I'm new here, and new to orchids.

I bought an orchid a year ago, and in that time the original blooms lasted over two months, the stalk dried up completely, and it grew another two leaves. It never has bloomed again.

This past July, the bottom leaf turned yellow and dropped. Concerned I did some research and concluded it was just an old leaf falling of. But then I went away, had someone take care of my plants, and I'm pretty sure she over watered everything, since my african violet freaked out and dropped almost all of its mature leaves. Anyway, I returned and thought the orchid had survived. That was in mid-August.

Three days ago, I was lightly dusting off the leaves, and one side of it literally lifted from the pot! I also noticed the now most bottom leaf was getting a bumpy texture, and was wilting. So again I did some research and repotted it using a fir bark / charcoal mixture, making sure to soak it over night. There had been one air root, and only one root left within the compost. I put both in the new compost, and this time, chose to use a 4" terracotta pot. By the next morning, the bumpy leaf started to turn yellow.

Today, however, I was just looking at it, sending it loving energy, and noticed the one root that had been in the compost before, is now not as green - more brown, and has a layer of black where it's exposed to the air. I didn't sterilize the roots when I repotted it; I didn't know to. For a temporary measure, I took some shavings of cinnamon and touched the root and the underside of the plant with it.

So now the plant has four very healthy firm leaves (one of which is still growing), a wilted half yellow leaf, and one healthy once was air root in the compost, and another root browning near the base (not the end) with a slight layer of black and a few shavings of cinnamon.

I hope this is enough information to go on.
Please help.?.
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  #2  
Old 09-29-2009, 01:04 PM
trdyl trdyl is offline
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Please help! Repotted Orchid Root Going Black Male
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Welcome to Orchid Board!

Would it be possible for you to post a picture of your sick orchid?
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  #3  
Old 09-29-2009, 01:04 PM
Swamper Swamper is offline
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Welcome to the board Singingcrow. Although you have provided a lot of information, it would still be great to see a picture. It sounds like you have done quite a lot to save this orchid. Being new to orchids may make it tough to accept that one will die, but they will. However just when I was thinking this one was on its way out, you mentioned that it has four healthy firm leaves. So everything may be ok anyway. Please try to show us pics.
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  #4  
Old 09-29-2009, 01:39 PM
Singingcrow Singingcrow is offline
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Please help! Repotted Orchid Root Going Black
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Thank you for looking at this. I only have a camera phone so I hope these are clear enough... in the second and last photos the drying blackening root is the most clear. The root showing in the 4th photo is the ex-air root.
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Last edited by Singingcrow; 09-29-2009 at 01:56 PM..
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  #5  
Old 09-29-2009, 02:33 PM
King_of_orchid_growing:) King_of_orchid_growing:) is offline
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Okay...

1. First thing's first...

Your orchid is a Phalaenopsis. It is most likely a Phalaenopsis hybrid. From what I gather in your post, it has no tag. People here on the OB refer to such plants as NOID's.

So...

You have a Phal NOID.

2. From what I've been reading so far. The original pot you had this plant in was plastic and was larger than 4" am I correct?

If so, how big was the original pot?

3. Does the root really fit into the 4" pot just right, or is there still a lot of space around the roots?

4. So your plant only has what you believe is one viable root left, am I right?

5. The bark in the potting mix appears to have been prepared through composting. It looks like a dusty dark brown instead of the red-brown that you should go for. There also seems like there're a lot of splinter like pieces instead of the rounded pieces.

I highly recommend a better quality bark. I'll repeat what you should look for in quality bark.

You want bark that has:

a. More rounded pieces than the splinter pieces.
b. A reddish-brown color instead of the dusky dark brown color.
c. And bark that is firm to the touch.

If I may make a recommendation, instead of potting this plant with just one root, you may want to mount this guy.

There is a section on the OB where members talk about mounting their plants. Just scroll down and you'll see it past the list of forums for the orchid alliances.

Another approach may be to place it in a tray with 1" - 2" thick pumice and add water only to the top of the pumice layer. Put the Phal on top of the pumice and don't let it dry out. In case you're wondering, try placing the Phal with the leaf tips pointing downwards. If you feel uncomfortable with putting your Phal on top of the pumice, you may place a wire mesh/grating over the top of the tray and place the Phal on the wire mesh/grating. You should see some new root growth just be patient.

Last edited by King_of_orchid_growing:); 09-29-2009 at 02:37 PM..
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  #6  
Old 09-29-2009, 03:28 PM
Singingcrow Singingcrow is offline
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Please help! Repotted Orchid Root Going Black
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Wow! that's a lot of info. Thanks!

Okay, the original pot was a plastic pot inside this terracotta pot, so i actually drilled drain holes on the bottom of it when I decided to get rid of the plastic one.

Considering the size of the roots, it might be too big. As for the number of roots, I'm hoping I can still have two???

Another thing thought was odd, was, when I repotted it, it didn't look like it had many roots to begin with, maybe four. It already had roots trimmed off on the underside.

The orchid mix is fir, and it's the only type people seem to carry around here.

I was looking at what mounting was, and it seemed so..... natural. There's a reptile shop just down the street (largest in Canada) that I can probably get some good mounting items at. I'll look more on the mounting section for more info for that. I have a feeling that any environment good for reptiles could be good for my Phal. Am I right?

In the meantime, if anyone else has some advise please feel free to pipe in!
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  #7  
Old 09-29-2009, 03:42 PM
King_of_orchid_growing:) King_of_orchid_growing:) is offline
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Well it depends on what kind of reptile you're talking about.

I used to keep Day Geckos btw.

Here I'll post a link to let you know where Phalaenopsis grow in nature, you'll get the idea.

HEAVEN ON EARTH-BORNEO

Navigate the site and find the link that says "The Kerangas & Kerapas Forests Near Gunung Gaharu".

Last edited by King_of_orchid_growing:); 09-29-2009 at 03:52 PM..
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  #8  
Old 09-29-2009, 06:45 PM
Singingcrow Singingcrow is offline
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Please help! Repotted Orchid Root Going Black
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Thanks, that's very helpful. I'll get on it asap.

In the meantime, what should I do with my Phal NOID? Should I unplant it, wash it some way, put it on a porous rock????
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  #9  
Old 09-29-2009, 08:50 PM
King_of_orchid_growing:) King_of_orchid_growing:) is offline
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Try the method with the tray and the pumice to get the roots going first.

If that doesn't work there are other methods.

But try that one first and see.

After there are a number of roots that are long enough, then you can mount or pot the plant back up.

It's your choice.

Go one step at a time. It'll be a while.

In the meantime, you can get another Phal that you like. Try looking at Oak Hill Gardens' site, they've got plenty of Phals for reasonable prices.

www.oakhillgardens.com

Feel free to ask if you have any other questions.

Last edited by King_of_orchid_growing:); 09-29-2009 at 08:54 PM..
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  #10  
Old 09-30-2009, 12:12 AM
Singingcrow Singingcrow is offline
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Please help! Repotted Orchid Root Going Black
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I'm not sure what's happening here, but I took my phal out, and cleaned the roots (I think I can save the 2nd one - the fungus didn't penetrate it yet), and put it on a 1" chunk of pumice I had lying around, which I also thoroughly cleaned, then we had a bath together - it just sat on the vanity luxuriating in the steam ...

Well, I got out of the bath, and what do I see??? And I know it was not there this morning, nor when I began this thread. But there is a tiny tiny stump starting to grow out of the little slit / tear left from when the first leaf fell off. Would this be a new stem or a new root??? (I thought you said this would take a long time?)

I suppose you want pictures, eh? I'll see what I can do in the morning, when the light is better.

Also, I'm still not sure how the orchid is supposed to sit on the pumice, though. Am I supposed to get as much of the root as possible to touch it, or just sit above it to catch the evaporating water, tie it down somehow???

Again, thank you!
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