Variation on Sphag & Bag-- attempt to save a phal
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Variation on Sphag & Bag-- attempt to save a phal
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  #1  
Old 09-14-2009, 09:44 PM
Pilot Pilot is offline
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Variation on Sphag &amp; Bag-- attempt to save a phal Male
Default Variation on Sphag & Bag-- attempt to save a phal

Hi all--

I have a phal "Ember"-- smells like heaven, but has no (well, very few) roots.

I got the plant about two months ago and for whatever reason the roots did not like the treatment they received. So only a few non-rotted roots remain.

So I google sphag and bag and found various instructions on the net but ended up following Ray's advice on how to attempt to save this phal.

I wish I had photos but at the moment I do not. However, because the plant is so large-- I have no bag large enough to fit it without the leaves touching the plastic, which I figure would not be healthy for the leave's tissue. So I set out in an attempt to figure out how to keep the humidity high, the plant warm and in a container that wouldn't hurt the plant with standing water or plastic damage.

Alas, enters a clear storage tub. I have no idea if it'll work but it is the only thing I have available that I feel would help this plant.

So I cut off all the damaged roots and the spike, soaked the remaining stubs and the base of the plant in a Superthrive mix for an hour, then sprayed down with physan 20 to kill off any bad things. I then placed it and secured it on top of an s/h pot with hydroton.

I then put a germination mat on the up-turned tub's lid, placed the plant on top of the mat along with a container full of water and sphag (my aim was to increase surface area, thereby increasing humidity). then I put the clear tub over top the entire assembly. Plugged in the mat and walked away.

Later I came back and put a high low therm inside and found that the box gets up to about 92F in the day and about 85F at night and the sides of the tub are dripping wet all the time-- yet the plant itself -- specifically the crown -- remain dry.

So that is my variation on sphag and bag and I would like some input/feedback on whether the conditions have been satisfied to attempt to get this phal to grow new roots?

I should also mention that this set up is on a grow shelf with 6 T12 bulbs on for roughly 12 hours a day.

Do you think it is too humid, considering it "rains" inside the tub? What about heat? Is 92 too hot or is it ok for this type of phal, which if I'm not mistaken, enjoys hotter weather.

Looking forward to your thoughts.
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  #2  
Old 09-15-2009, 05:01 AM
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RosieC RosieC is offline
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It sounds an interesting variation, I had the same problem with a plant being too large for sphag-n-bag and my own variation did not work very well (a tented bag over the pot).

If you have SOME roots left I would almost be tempted to say to try just potting it up and water with luke warm water and perhaps give it some bottom heat. That's what finally worked for mine.

92F sounds very hot to me, but I'm not an expert on what this Phal likes. I think humidity is not a problem provided you don't have water sitting in the crown and you don't get mold growth. One of my problems with my own variation on Sphag-n-bag was that I got mold growth.
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  #3  
Old 09-15-2009, 09:26 AM
Undergrounder Undergrounder is offline
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Yeah i think as RosieC says the only thing that could really go wrong is mold growth... I would leave the top a little more open to stop the condensation forming... I do think you'll get mold if you've been keeping it shut.

But it's a great idea, thanks for sharing! I wonder if you could stick a fan in there and keep it closed, then put the fan on a timer for 15 mins every couple hours... that might work too.
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  #4  
Old 09-16-2009, 07:47 AM
V_coerulea V_coerulea is offline
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I think the clear storage tub is the only way to go. I don't get 92 deg but I put mine under a table in the gh. I use a good dose of Physan and don't get any mold problem. As a matter of fact, I add some (1-2 tsp/gal) to the sugar/superthrive pre-soak. It helps esp in cases where an infection may have become systemic. Then coat with cinnamon or StopRot from Plant Hormones Canada Products. I use their keiki root and swear by it. Of course, the storage tub is a good incubator for all sorts of keikis and sprouting canes of dendrobs, phaius and thunia. You can end up with too many plants this way, if that's a problem. Plants can be placed in pots with or w/o medium or just layed on some sphagnum (also pre-soaked in Physan) like I do with the canes. Overall, I think the modification is the only way to go, unless you just have 1 plant to treat.
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  #5  
Old 09-16-2009, 09:24 AM
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Variation on Sphag &amp; Bag-- attempt to save a phal Male
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I sometimes use an old aquarium as my "humidity chamber". Same concept - keep the RH% high around the plant to keep it "comfy".
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  #6  
Old 09-18-2009, 04:23 PM
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Variation on Sphag &amp; Bag-- attempt to save a phal Male
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
I sometimes use an old aquarium as my "humidity chamber". Same concept - keep the RH% high around the plant to keep it "comfy".

Ray-- was just checking the set up and the air inside the box is warm and very humid. I can't imagine anything feeling "dry" in there but the hydroton has gone dry around the top and the few measly roots the plant has. Would be be appropriate to mist or wet the top of the pot now and then to keep the remaining roots from going dry?

I'm also a little concerned about mold-- would physan be a good deterrent to this?
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  #7  
Old 06-16-2010, 09:18 PM
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Variation on Sphag &amp; Bag-- attempt to save a phal Male
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Its been 9 months since I put my ailing Phal 'Ember' into intensive care. The results have been very good. The plant remained in an almost suspended state in the OICU (Orchid Intensive Care Unit) for months. The only sign of life was around February or March that a small leaf grew. And yet, the plant grew no new roots and by this time, was completely rootless. However, it was shortly after that leaf first appearing that root nubs appeared. I do not have photos now as I write this post; however, I'm very pleased to say that the plant has grown several thick, healthy green roots and several more leaves. It is in moss still and the moss is kept fairly 'wet.' I know, people may gasp at that idea of constantly wet moss-- but the roots grew with the moss like this and they seem to love it. I can only assume they're doing as well as they are as they grew knowing no other environment. Its a prime candidate for s/h now that the roots are well over 5 inches long. The moss will remain, but the plant will go into s/h as soon as I can get it there as it has some serious catch up to do!

Here is a sad photo of the one little leaf that grew around February-- again, with no roots. I guess it was investing in its future and hoping!



Here is the OICU (with visiting Hippeastrum bulbs):


I will post a photo of the phal in its current state soon. I'm really very happy it worked out. And although the vendor sent me a new plant (which is blooming and doing very well), I wanted to save this one and keep it in my collection, too. I doubt it'll bloom this next season, but having witnessed the power of s/h and its ability to really grow phals quickly, I would not be surprised.
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Old 06-17-2010, 04:32 PM
Izzie Izzie is offline
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Great job Shawna! I loved this idea when you posted it months ago.

I'm thinking of doing something similar with an empty aquarium I have lying around.

Can't wait for pictures.

What vendor was this from? It's great that they sent you a new plant.
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Old 06-17-2010, 04:38 PM
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Variation on Sphag &amp; Bag-- attempt to save a phal Male
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Izzie View Post
Great job Shawna! I loved this idea when you posted it months ago.

I'm thinking of doing something similar with an empty aquarium I have lying around.

Can't wait for pictures.

What vendor was this from? It's great that they sent you a new plant.
Shawna? My name is Ryan.... lol

Got this plant from Logee's (logees.com)
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  #10  
Old 06-17-2010, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
I sometimes use an old aquarium as my "humidity chamber". Same concept - keep the RH% high around the plant to keep it "comfy".
I too have used a small fish tank - put a layer of moist peat on the bottom - a layer of pebbles over that. Left the top of the tank slightly askew for more air. Worked great on a couple Oncidium types - not so great for an Aerangis which kept getting mold.

Last summer I mounted a couple of rootless Phals in an attempt to save them. Both started new roots very quickly. Unfortunately both are still limping along tho - might just be too dry here for Phals to thrive on mounts, idk ...
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