New discount phalaenopsis's medium smells like rotting mushrooms?
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  #1  
Old 10-12-2021, 10:13 AM
msarro msarro is offline
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New discount phalaenopsis's medium smells like rotting mushrooms?
Default New discount phalaenopsis's medium smells like rotting mushrooms?

TLDR: My new discount phal smelled like rotting mushrooms, I cleaned it, sanitized it, and repotted it, but the roots still smell a bit.

I recently placed an order with Hausermann for 2 species phals (Bellina, Mannii). Since it was going to be 20 bucks for shipping, I looked to see if there was anything else worth adding for more or less the same shipping price.

They have Phal. White Dream V3 (AOS/AM) surplus, so they were super cheap. I added one. The whole thing arrived yesterday. Both of the species phals were in fantastic shape. They've both been repotted already. Then I turned my attention to the White Dream.

The plant is MASSIVE. Absolutely massive. It's the largest phal I have ever seen, let alone worked with. The AOS was 100% right in giving it the awards, it stands out. If it really does have 4-5 inch blooms, the plant will literally light up a room.

The packing was superb, only a single broken aerial root. The plant looked... stunning.

But, it was pretty obvious that the plant wasn't the most well taken care of recently. The topmost leaf is markedly smaller than the rest. I'm guessing since it was surplus, they were just trying to get rid of them and care took a bit of a backseat. I saw spider webbing around a ton of the roots near the crown, which I couldn't tell if it was mold, spider mites, or a spider. Several roots had either algae or green mold on them that smelled foul. To the nose, the media had a strong rotten mushroom smell. It was packed in sphagnum moss that had turned black and green on the surface, further down in the pot had broken down to a dark brown. It was in a 6" slot pot.

The first thing I did was spray it down heavily with Dead Bug Brew.

Next, I repotted it immediately since if it had spider mites, I wanted them dead in case the dead bug brew didn't do it, and the smell made me sure there was rot.

It took about 45m to get all of the old sphagnum moss off the roots. The vast majority of the roots had rotted through, but there were still 5 or so that were intact (though a lot of them were covered with black spots). A ton of aerial roots had yellow shoots that still appeared somewhat healthy. The base of the stem was all black so I cleaned it up to the best of my ability and pulled off anything that appeared black or dying.

The whole root system got washed under tap water for about 5 minutes to clean off remaining debris, and to try to get loose some of the foul smelling algae/mold.

Then, everything below the stem got drenched in peroxide. Everything above the stem got drenched in a mix of alcohol, water, and dish soap. Nothing was left dry. That was allowed to sit and work for 15m.

Afterwards, the entire plant was drenched in physan 20 (2 tsp/gal concentration), and the whole root system was dunked in physan 20 at the same concentration (to the best of my ability, the plant is huge). This was allowed to sit and soak for 15m.

It was then repotted in a mix of repotme's Dark Monterey Phal mix, with some extra sphagnum soaked and added in here and there to fill in gaps and hold some extra moisture. It then got a 15m soak in lightly fertilized water with kelpmax and orchid quantum added.

Finally, it got left under some small lights with a fan to help dry any liquid I wasn't able to get out with a napkin. This morning, it was moved to my triage/quarantine area.

So, as of this morning, the plant doesn't seem too worse for wear, though the bottom leaves look a little more droopy than before.

But, some of the roots near the base of the plant still have an off smell, and I can't figure out if it's the roots themselves or the new medium.

I wanted to post this because I'm unsure of the next steps to take regarding the smell. If I continue to smell it, do I just do regular drenches with physan? Any other tips or ideas I can do?

I'm not broken up if the plant doesn't make it, but it is an impressive plant I'd love to be able to keep alive if I can.

Last edited by msarro; 10-12-2021 at 10:22 AM..
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Old 10-12-2021, 10:20 AM
msarro msarro is offline
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New discount phalaenopsis's medium smells like rotting mushrooms?
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Attached some photos of the plant and its roots after repotting
Attached Thumbnails
New discount phalaenopsis's medium smells like rotting mushrooms?-20211012_101549-jpg   New discount phalaenopsis's medium smells like rotting mushrooms?-20211012_101557-jpg   New discount phalaenopsis's medium smells like rotting mushrooms?-20211012_101611-jpg   New discount phalaenopsis's medium smells like rotting mushrooms?-20211012_101620-jpg   New discount phalaenopsis's medium smells like rotting mushrooms?-20211012_101643-jpg  

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  #3  
Old 10-12-2021, 12:53 PM
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estación seca estación seca is offline
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New discount phalaenopsis's medium smells like rotting mushrooms?
 

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New discount phalaenopsis's medium smells like rotting mushrooms? Male
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You went way overboard. When I got mine I just shook off the loose old medium and stuck it in a new pot. All that fussing is more harmful to whatever roots are surviving. If you give a Phal like this new medium and good conditions it takes off growing. It's a great deal for $13.
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Old 10-12-2021, 01:08 PM
msarro msarro is offline
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New discount phalaenopsis's medium smells like rotting mushrooms?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estación seca View Post
You went way overboard. When I got mine I just shook off the loose old medium and stuck it in a new pot. All that fussing is more harmful to whatever roots are surviving. If you give a Phal like this new medium and good conditions it takes off growing. It's a great deal for $13.
There was no way to just shake off the old medium on mine, mine was a brick. That's why it took the better part of an hour to remove it all.

I don't mind going overboard considering obvious signs of rot, the spider webbing around the roots (indicating either a spider, fungus, or spider mites), and the rotting mushroom smell pervading the media and roots. The roots were literally slimy. At $13 I'll risk being heavy handed if it helps protect the rest of my plant collection. I hope that makes sense.

Last edited by msarro; 10-12-2021 at 01:13 PM..
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  #5  
Old 10-12-2021, 01:31 PM
Dusty Ol' Man Dusty Ol' Man is offline
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New discount phalaenopsis's medium smells like rotting mushrooms?
 

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I have to agree with ES. The first thing I would have done was clean off the existing roots with running water and let them air dry for a couple days. Then repotted it. The roots will take care of themselves. And I wouldn't fill up the empty spaces. That's where the roots get humid air, which they love.

Last edited by Dusty Ol' Man; 10-12-2021 at 03:22 PM..
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