Is my phal orchid rotting?
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  #1  
Old 03-04-2015, 01:01 AM
Julia17 Julia17 is offline
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Is my phal orchid rotting?
Default Is my phal orchid rotting?

Ok so this phal has been to hell and back. I've posted here before, my first orchid died because it couldn't recover from root rot and fungal infection. This is my second one, which I had given up on a LONG time ago.

The story is: I totally forgot about it because I thought it was dead, then one day I noticed that a leaf I had accidentally broken off during repotting had grown substantially, and there was a new leaf coming out. I wish I still had pictures to show. The large bottom leaves were all limp, because they hadn't received water in a long time.

I decided I'd try and revive this thing given it was such a fighter! I've recently lost one of the limp leaves due to natural causes. In the last few weeks, that tiny leaf has grown A LOT. It's also put out a lot of new roots (i've given it rooting hormone because it had a poor root system) but the problem is, they are turning black and they stop growing.

Today I noticed a tiny new leaf coming out, and what looks like a new green root tip coming through. I don't want this one to turn black too, you can see in the pictures how all the other root tips have just turned black.

I would love some advice on what to do. I'm pretty sure it has hectic root rot going on, but it's also growing like CRAZY! Would taking it out of the current media stunt that growth or even kill it? I don't want to repeat the same mistakes I made with my previous orchid, where I kept messing with it trying to get rid of the fungus.

I would really appreciate any advice on this. I think I can save it, given how much it's been growing! Thanks a lot!
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Last edited by Julia17; 03-04-2015 at 01:05 AM..
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  #2  
Old 03-04-2015, 01:50 AM
astrid astrid is offline
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Is my phal orchid rotting? Female
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If in doubt, repot it. Phals are pretty tolerant of repotting as long as you don't break their roots off. If its root system is as small as it seems to be, the pot its in is WAY too big! Pot it up in a narrow water bottle or something in big bark chips so it can effectively dry out and so the roots feel snug.

I just find the skinniest possible clear bottles in the drinks section of the store, then I drink or dump them and put holes in the bottle as much as I like, cut it to the height I like, and pot up the orchid. I think you should repot.

I think only the buds of phals are fussy to repotting (blasting, etc). The plant itself doesn't seem to mind when I repot it.
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  #3  
Old 03-04-2015, 05:14 AM
wintergirl wintergirl is offline
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If your orchid is staying too moist you could take it out of the double pot, getting more air to the root area. (Hopefully there are holes in the plastic pot.)
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Old 03-04-2015, 05:29 AM
Jenn4a Jenn4a is offline
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Is my phal orchid rotting? Female
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I noticed that the bottom leaf is dehydrated, but the newer ones look more firm. When my sphag experiment phals were suffocating, all the leaves started wrinkling at the same time. It doesn't hurt to check the roots. It's always better to catch things as early as possible.

I second wintergirl's advice. Also, the phal doesn't look top heavy; I use two pots only if the phal is prone to tipping over.
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Old 03-04-2015, 08:43 AM
wintergirl wintergirl is offline
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Here is a "sticky" on Phals:

http://www.orchidboard.com/community...ends-here.html
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  #6  
Old 03-04-2015, 10:05 AM
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silken silken is offline
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I agree to try and take it out of that cache pot so fresh air can get to the roots. Phal roots also photosynthesize in nature. A clear pot benefits them, if it has good air/drainage holes and the plant is not over-potted. But if it is in the cache pot, no light gets to the roots, or air. I only put mine in decorative pots when they are in bloom and I have them where they can be enjoyed.

You could also insert a bamboo kebab skewer down into the media and leave it. Pull it out to test how wet it is before watering. This has helped me avoid root rot with many of my orchids.
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Old 03-04-2015, 10:36 AM
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Paphluvr Paphluvr is offline
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If you do repot, set the plant lower in the new medium. Right now you have a lot of roots on the lower part of the stem that have no medium to grow into. I assume that you are a windowsill grower and that your humidity is not very high, otherwise these would normally develope into aerial roots in a more humid environment.
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Old 03-04-2015, 03:43 PM
Orchidgirl83 Orchidgirl83 is offline
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What sort of rooting powder are you using? It could be that is burning the roots and that is why they are dark on the tip.
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Old 03-04-2015, 04:00 PM
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silken silken is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidgirl83 View Post
What sort of rooting powder are you using? It could be that is burning the roots and that is why they are dark on the tip.
I agree. I have heard that regular rooting hormone is not recommended for most orchids as it is too strong. SuperThrive, KLN or seaweed works well. I am a convert to seaweed big time
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Old 03-04-2015, 05:05 PM
astrid astrid is offline
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Is my phal orchid rotting? Female
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silken View Post
I agree. I have heard that regular rooting hormone is not recommended for most orchids as it is too strong. SuperThrive, KLN or seaweed works well. I am a convert to seaweed big time
Silken, can you show some before/after pictures or share a few anecdotes about the seaweed?

I have been reading that superthrive isn't actually demonstrated to work, but the kelp extracts ARE demonstrated to work. Should I start a new thread? I don't mean to hijack this one!!
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