White fuzz appearing on sick phalaenopsis orchid roots?? Help!
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  #11  
Old 12-17-2018, 03:27 PM
emmajs243 emmajs243 is offline
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White fuzz appearing on sick phalaenopsis orchid roots?? Help!
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Thank you Alice for sharing your thoughts. I have also thought that same thing and I guess from that thought the question arises, well are the roots really dead? From their appearance I sure would say yes but when you really start to inspect them, they are not at all mushy or papery thin. So I have been left unsure on whether or not to trim them or if I should even keep trying to save her.

Now update: last night I started to repot the other Phal that came with her when my friend purchased them. That Phal has some great root growth but, she has a black circle about half the size of a dime where the leaves join at the base of the plant or "stem". Since these two were purchased together I am wondering if that is what is going on with this ones stem because it looks very similar. Since her roots are in such terrible damage on this plant and her stem is now seeming to have a rot, I am highly questioning if she is salvageable. The other one has great new growing roots so I hate to give up on her but she hasn't much more advanced stem rot although it seems to be moving very slowly. Am I just prolonging the inevitable? I have heard that stem rot can't be cured and if anything you manage it and cross your fingers for a Keike. I just don't know if my efforts are going to be worth anything in the end!
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Last edited by emmajs243; 12-18-2018 at 09:18 AM.. Reason: Photos of newest young phal mentioned in comment!
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  #12  
Old 12-18-2018, 12:28 AM
aliceinwl aliceinwl is offline
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White fuzz appearing on sick phalaenopsis orchid roots?? Help! Female
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I think both plants can still recover. If the roots are at all firm on the first plant, leave them be. Dead roots can still help anchor the plant. I'd just ignore the mold on these and let nature take its course.

A lot of Phals come with some rot on the stem. I didn't realize this was a potential issue when I first started acquiring my Phals so a fair number of my first acquisitions are afflicted. On most of mine that have it, it has not progressed in my care and the plants are thriving. I make sure any such discolored areas are well above the substrate and are kept dry.

Good luck with your rescues!
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  #13  
Old 12-18-2018, 09:13 AM
emmajs243 emmajs243 is offline
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White fuzz appearing on sick phalaenopsis orchid roots?? Help!
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Oh Alice thank you so much for your help! I have four rescue Phals in total, 3 are still quite young and then one older one. I went to repot another one of the younger plants last night and my heart was just breaking because out of all the Phals I have rescued, she had the healthiest, most beautiful green roots I had seen and a lot of them but she too had the very beginning stages of the black on the stem. I sat there thinking this plant just can't be goner, look at those roots!

So Alice, I guess one of my biggest concerns now is, do these plants have to be isolated from the rest of your collection forever? Is there any treatment that truly fixes he stem rot or does it just not progress further and they live happily with it? I had read about ensuring the stem is well on top of any media and definitely will do that. I have also heard you can mount Phals (which makes sense because not that is how they often grow naturally)....I can't help if mounting might not be a good solution for Phals with this stem rot that need a more airy way of life!
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Old 12-19-2018, 01:40 AM
aliceinwl aliceinwl is offline
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White fuzz appearing on sick phalaenopsis orchid roots?? Help! Female
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I'd keep them isolated until you can see if they have anything that looks to be spreading. Once you've had them a few months you can re-assess.

In my case the dark areas on my Phals have not spread and appear to now be blemishes rather than active infections: they're dry and the tissue involved is dead and surrounding tissue looks healthy. I have these plants growing with all my other Phals and give them the same care. But, I am extra careful when watering to not get the dark areas wet and I inspect them every time I water to make sure nothing has changed. This might be an abundance of caution on my part.

I think some of these rots set in when they're in the stores and wrapped in those plastic sleeves and/or watered from above. These conditions seem like they would be good for decreasing airflow, allowing water to sit in the crown and leaf axils, and letting opportunistic bacteria and fungi take hold. Once this is no longer the case and the orchid is getting proper care, the bacteria and fungi can't persist, and the infection stops progressing. It's symptomatic of bad husbandry so there isn't really much risk of spread once conditions are corrected.

I can't handle upkeep for mounted orchids so all of mine are potted :-) I think you're pretty much in the clear on the Phals with the good root systems if your husbandry is good. The dark spots might even be more cosmetic than rot in their case; the old roots at the base of the stem naturally die off leaving some discoloration or dead material.

---------- Post added at 10:40 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:21 PM ----------

I just want to add: the dark areas are likely dead so they'll be there forever. If nothing changes after a few months and the surrounding tissue looks healthy: your orchid has a dead spot (likely from a past infection), but the plant is fine. Time is the best way to tell what you're dealing with.

Last edited by aliceinwl; 12-19-2018 at 01:34 AM..
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  #15  
Old 12-19-2018, 04:00 AM
emmajs243 emmajs243 is offline
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White fuzz appearing on sick phalaenopsis orchid roots?? Help!
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Thanks Alice! Plus, I guess if worse comes to worse, maybe I'll get a basal keiki which would still be a wonderful learning experience! Since I have the room I am definitely going to try to see where they go. That little Phal just shockingly still has such good roots I hate to give up on her!!
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  #16  
Old 12-19-2018, 11:59 AM
aliceinwl aliceinwl is offline
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White fuzz appearing on sick phalaenopsis orchid roots?? Help! Female
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I donít think the one with all the roots is in any danger. If the connection between crown and roots worsens, itíll send down additional roots and/or send up a keike.
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