Blue fungus on Phal. roots
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  #1  
Old 04-13-2013, 12:43 PM
lightrain21 lightrain21 is offline
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Blue fungus on Phal. roots
Default Blue fungus on Phal. roots

Hi!

I have had a phal for about 3 years. In the last few months it has put out a lot of new leaves. Then all of a sudden about a month ago it started yellowing and dropping leaves. I had posted in the phal abuse thread about this and several people suggested it was crown rot or root rot. I poured hydrogen peroxide down the crownand also purchased a new potting medium. The medium is a mix of lava rock, bark and moss. It has now stopped dropping leaves and I have 4 left. It has been okay for about 2 weeks but I just went to check on the roots and found that there is now teal-blue and white mold or fungus growing on some of the roots

It definitely was not crown rot that caused the leaf loss.The phal has lost a lot of its healthy roots from what it was at a few months ago. I think I must have under or over watered the roots causing many to die, so the plant dropped leaves because it no longer had enough roots to support that many. I did not see any fungus when I repotted it in the new medium, and I sprinkled on some cinnamon as I read on a thread that it has some natural fungicidal properties and I don't have the funds to go buy an expensive fungicide.

I have cut off the visibly molding roots, and am basically left with all my aerial roots. I have three questions:

1. The bottom tip of the main central root that all the other roots come out of has some fungus webbing. Should I be cutting this part off as well? I don't want to leave the fungus, but I would imagine it would be quite traumatic to the plant to cut part of this off.

2. Any natural or cheap household products I can use on the roots so I don't have to buy a large expensive bottle of something? I read in some forums about listerine. Will pouring hydrogen peroxide on it work?

3. How should I proceed in repotting and watering? I don't want to put it back in the new medium that I suspect the mold came from. I still have the old medium it came in that it never got mold from. Is it okay if I leave the plant out of a medium for awhile and mist it occasionally with water to better monitor the fungus situation?

Thank you for any help you can provide!
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  #2  
Old 04-13-2013, 01:18 PM
tucker85 tucker85 is offline
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1. The bottom of the main stem on phals can be trimmed. I only trim them when they've become too long for the pot. The main stem on your plant is short so I wouldn't cut it just because of some fungus. Like you said it can cause some stress.
2. I don't believe in using household products that aren't made for use on plants. I know that some people do.
3. You can leave the plant out of the medium for as long as you want, if you provide moisture to the roots by misting. Place the plant in a tall glass with wet sphagnum and a little water in the bottom but don't let the roots touch the sphagnum or water. Then mist the roots daily. The wet sphagnum will raise the humidity in the glass and keep the roots hydrated.

Nine times out of ten, roots die because they were too wet. When you repot the orchid, put it in the smallest pot that the roots will comfortably fit in and use a mix that will be a little drier than your previous mix. Maybe less moss in the mix or something like that. Don't be drastic, just change the mix a little bit and see how that works. Basically you're trying to find a mix that will work under your environmental conditions and culture techniques.

Last edited by tucker85; 04-13-2013 at 01:20 PM..
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  #3  
Old 04-28-2013, 04:56 PM
lightrain21 lightrain21 is offline
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Blue fungus on Phal. roots
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thanks for the tips. So far so good. It doesn't seem like the fungus has spread at all. I just keep misting the roots everyday. Hopefully some new ones will grow soon
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  #4  
Old 04-28-2013, 06:33 PM
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escualida escualida is offline
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Blue fungus on Phal. roots Female
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You can stick the medium that you suspect has fungus in the microwave for a few minutes to kill whatever is on it, I would use that instead of the old stuff it came in which is probably broken down.
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  #5  
Old 05-29-2013, 05:06 PM
allyqat allyqat is offline
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Blue fungus on Phal. roots Female
Default Inexpensive fungicide/miticide/insecticide

For future reference, I was directed by the friendly forum members to a reasonably priced fungicide: $10 Garden SafeŽ Brand Neem Oil Extract Concentrate at Lowes. You dilute it as per instructions on the bottle and spray on affected tissues. Safe for humans and animals, but fungus, insects, and mites hate it. You rinse after you spray and you're good to go! Works very well in my experience. Hope that helps
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