How to prevent loss of lower leaves in phals
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Old 10-30-2020, 11:59 AM
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vegetalmatter vegetalmatter is offline

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How to prevent loss of lower leaves in phals Male
Default How to prevent loss of lower leaves in phals

Just bought another bellina, this time for its roooound beautiful leaves that I just love. When repotting, I sadly found its root system to be seriously lacking. It had a few new roots starting, but 80% of the existing roots (which wasn't much to start with) were brown and mushy. I understand that orchids will lose bottom leaves to balance out a lack of roots. In the case of this bellina, its leaves are quite massive and I am certain the root system is not proportionate.

Are there any steps I can take to help it NOT drop it's bottom leaves? (or at least slow it down) Keep it moister? Warmer? Spells and rituals?
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Old 10-30-2020, 12:23 PM
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WaterWitchin WaterWitchin is offline
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Oh vegetal matter! Please don't mention spells and rituals the day before Halloween and a full moon! Hasn't 2020 been enough!!

I'd keep it very humid put some KelpMax on it, and maybe on a seedling mat for awhile. Don't water "extra" but make sure any new green root tips that get going don't dry out.
Caveat: Everything suggested is based on my environment and culture. Please adjust accordingly.
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Old 10-30-2020, 04:53 PM
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Sometimes I think it's more complex that just balancing out root and leaf mass. I have a Phal with a very large and healthy root system, but it will never keep more than 3 leaves. This year I tried to give it perfect care (I tend to periodically neglect my plants when life gets too busy) and even though it grew 3 new leaves, it also shed more than usual, still leaving me with 3 leaves... I think I need to try spells and rituals next!

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Old 10-30-2020, 05:37 PM
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estación seca estación seca is offline
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How to prevent loss of lower leaves in phals

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How to prevent loss of lower leaves in phals Male

My observations: When growing in my house, humidity 30% at best, phals carried 3-4 leaves. Moving to a sunroom with 40%-60% humidity, the same individuals carried 5-6 leaves. When I began using an evaporative cooler and humidity rose to 60%-80%, the same individuals carried up to 10 leaves.
It's a dry heat.
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my neighborhood
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Old 10-31-2020, 09:54 AM
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How to prevent loss of lower leaves in phals Male

My guess is that it’s a cultural issue.

A few of my more mature phals had 4 or 5 pairs of leaves, but I got sidetracked and didn’t repot them soon enough (they were in sphagnum), and the bottom two pairs turned yellow and dropped.

Another anecdote that supports that, leaning toward temperature: I have a friend who retired to Central America. He grows phals in inorganic media, but waters the hell out of them daily. As a spiking experiment, he kept them above 85F for 2 to 3 years. They grew like mad, with each plant having at least a dozen pairs of leaves on plants 15”-18” tall. (They never bloomed, but with that massive of a “resource generating and storing” mechanism, when he did give them a period of cooler temps, each of them threw 10 or more spikes.)
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bottom, leaves, root, roots, system

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