Phalaenopsis Orchid- Great leaves/ Poor Roots
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  #1  
Old 01-01-2021, 10:02 AM
New2Orchids2020 New2Orchids2020 is offline
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Phalaenopsis Orchid- Great leaves/ Poor Roots Female
Exclamation Phalaenopsis Orchid- Great leaves/ Poor Roots

First of all-Happy New Year! 🥳🥳🥳

This is my Phalaenopsis Orchid. I've had it since September. It is growing a new leaf (see picture). Overall the plant is getting bigger. The roots do not look well. I trimmed the dried out roots when I replanted it November 1, 2020 so at that time all roots were plump....even if they may not have all been very green.

What is wrong with my roots? I only water when it is dry. I watch for roots to turn silvery. I water the roots and medium only never the leaves and I do not spritz with water. I keep the pot on top of a humidity bowl (small rocks and water) and the water level does not touch the pot.

I fertilize super weakly (1/4 of recommended amounts) each time I water (now extended to 2 weeks since I have the humidity bowls).
Fertilizer and Nutrients I use- Cal-Mag, Seaweed extract, epsom salt, Orchid plus fertilizer and garden lime (1/4 tsp on top of medium every once a month) All in a gallon of warm water. I water first in the sink in a large bowl and let them soak for 4 min. Then I drain all that out and pour 1/2 of the feeding mixture (1/2 gal) on the aerial roots and potting medium of each plant and drain out. I do not place the containers back on the humidity bowl until it appears that the roots are turning silvery again to prevent overwatering. Humidity is currently at 61% according to the gauge.

I unearthed it for the root pictures and when I did found one root that appears to be GROWING!

I need new roots. Please help.
Attached Thumbnails
Phalaenopsis Orchid- Great leaves/ Poor Roots-16095130474787525252016479030495-jpg   Phalaenopsis Orchid- Great leaves/ Poor Roots-16095130933277637999993701809228-jpg   Phalaenopsis Orchid- Great leaves/ Poor Roots-16095131478578320744550533419613-jpg   Phalaenopsis Orchid- Great leaves/ Poor Roots-16095132088932099706849849407653-jpg   Phalaenopsis Orchid- Great leaves/ Poor Roots-16095133507006042131381160832028-jpg  

Phalaenopsis Orchid- Great leaves/ Poor Roots-16095137898188539740834830363400-jpg   Phalaenopsis Orchid- Great leaves/ Poor Roots-16095138219655829374958451059517-jpg   Phalaenopsis Orchid- Great leaves/ Poor Roots-16095138751674821332729522441835-jpg  

Last edited by New2Orchids2020; 01-01-2021 at 10:31 AM..
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  #2  
Old 01-01-2021, 10:38 AM
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SouthPark SouthPark is offline
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Happy new year!

If the temperature in the growing area is always within a suitable (satisfactory) range, and if the leaves of the orchid remain in good condition (as seen in the photos) ----- as in not shriveling or drying up ----- and as long as you see root growing activity ...... which you are seeing (because a new root off-shoot is extending out) ----- then it should be ok.

Your bark has the appearance of being quite dry. So one point to note is that very dry bark (such as new bark) can take a while to 'prime' and get water into it. If bark is dry, and not enough time is given for water to penetrate into it, then the bark may remain quite dry ....... and the orchid roots (in the media) may not get enough humidity or water.

But it appears that the leaves are still looking good. And clearly a new root outgrowth has developed. So just check to see if the bark does get wet enough (but not stay soggy for long times), and ensure that the temperature in the room is not too cold.

Also ------ those little rocks with water may not be enough to provide humidity. Somebody else might comment on that. It's possible that they just won't have much effect on humidity.
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  #3  
Old 01-01-2021, 10:39 AM
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Mr.Fakename Mr.Fakename is offline
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Happy New Year!


What water are you using? What about the quantities of products?
CalMag + Epsom salts + lime sounds like a lot of calcium and magnesium, especially if you're watering with tap water.

The roots you're showing seem very dry; with Phal you can keep the potting mix a bit moist.
Don't be afraid to mist the roots on the top of the medium if they dry too fast.

Overall if it's growing leaf and roots, don't feel too concerned. Your plant doesn't look unhealthy and is probably just recovering!
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  #4  
Old 01-01-2021, 10:42 AM
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You're underwatering it. Once every two weeks in that bark mix isn't enough. That's why the roots are drying up. The "humidity bowl" does absolutely nothing for the plant, as far as it being watered. If you're waiting until the roots turn silver, then placing it on the saucer, you should be watering it again instead.

---------- Post added at 09:42 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:39 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Fakename View Post
Happy New Year!


What water are you using? What about the quantities of products?
CalMag + Epsom salts + lime sounds like a lot of calcium and magnesium, especially if you're watering with tap water. ...
Yup, and also this. Way too much, especially when using that combo at every watering, especially if you're watering with tap water.
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  #5  
Old 01-01-2021, 10:54 AM
New2Orchids2020 New2Orchids2020 is offline
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Dear SouthPark,

Thank you for responding. 🤗

My most recent watering was December 22, 2020. When I unearthed my Phal today for the root pictures the bark medium was moist. I am not sure about it staying soggy after watering. I drain it well.

So....

Should I NOT let the pot sit in water for a few minutes?


I don't water them that often and I was concerned they would not get enough water. That was my initial problem with this Phalaenopsis Orchid, I was so scared that I would over water it that I under watered it.

---------- Post added at 09:54 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:47 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Fakename View Post
Happy New Year!


What water are you using? What about the quantities of products?
CalMag + Epsom salts + lime sounds like a lot of calcium and magnesium, especially if you're watering with tap water.

The roots you're showing seem very dry; with Phal you can keep the potting mix a bit moist.
Don't be afraid to mist the roots on the top of the medium if they dry too fast.

Overall if it's growing leaf and roots, don't feel too concerned. Your plant doesn't look unhealthy and is probably just recovering!
Dear Mr. Fakename,
Thank you responding.

I use tap water.
Zone 8
It is very humid here.

I use 1/4 of a teaspoon of each nutrient/fertilizer in a gallon of water. Which is half of a half of what is directed on each bag. I split the gallon between my two orchids.

When I unearthed the roots the bark medium was moist and the roots look papery but feel moist.
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  #6  
Old 01-01-2021, 12:33 PM
Orchidtinkerer Orchidtinkerer is offline
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The plant looks fine to me. Yes the older roots are deteriorating but new growth tips are being produced which is what you want. I wouldn't worry about it too much, the roots look like they were broken at some point and broken roots eventually die. It's to be expectected on new purchases. Spray the top of the roots if you want but it all sounds fine to me. If the substrate were being kept too wet the orchid would not be producing new roots and if it were too dry the leaves would start to dehydrate so overall the orchid just needs to settle in for a year first.

I will also second the sentiments on the fertilizer - what you are doing is absolutely correct in theory however every time you add fertilizers you are upping the strength so feeding 4 different things at 1/4 strength = full strength (in theory).
You can gladly carry on but I would go for 1/8 strength (ie halve everything you have been feeding so far) to be safe.
If you have a ppm meter you could confirm but I can safely say that the seaweed and the orchid fertilizer together at 1/4 strength will = a 1/2 strength feed, the calmag and the epsom and lime also will double themselves up so I would halve everything - just as a rough guide of course. Since you are already using a 1/4 spoon measurement which is tricky to halve you might have to double the water you add it to.

Last edited by Orchidtinkerer; 01-01-2021 at 12:41 PM..
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  #7  
Old 01-01-2021, 02:42 PM
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Ray Ray is offline
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Personally, I think you're underwatering and poisoning your plant.

Where do you live? What is the mineral content of your tap water? As Mr. Fakename mentioned, you're probably overdoing the calcium, to extreme.
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  #8  
Old 01-01-2021, 03:51 PM
New2Orchids2020 New2Orchids2020 is offline
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Default Phalaenopsis Orchid watered and dead roots removed

Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterWitchin View Post
You're underwatering it. Once every two weeks in that bark mix isn't enough. That's why the roots are drying up. The "humidity bowl" does absolutely nothing for the plant, as far as it being watered. If you're waiting until the roots turn silver, then placing it on the saucer, you should be watering it again instead.

---------- Post added at 09:42 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:39 AM ----------



Yup, and also this. Way too much, especially when using that combo at every watering, especially if you're watering with tap water.

Dear WaterWitchin',

Thank you for responding. I unpotted my orchid, pulled off the old moldy velamen, repotted it and watered it.
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Phalaenopsis Orchid- Great leaves/ Poor Roots-20210101_121637-jpg   Phalaenopsis Orchid- Great leaves/ Poor Roots-20210101_122235-jpg   Phalaenopsis Orchid- Great leaves/ Poor Roots-20210101_121610-jpg   Phalaenopsis Orchid- Great leaves/ Poor Roots-20210101_121657-jpg  
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  #9  
Old 01-01-2021, 04:12 PM
New2Orchids2020 New2Orchids2020 is offline
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Phalaenopsis Orchid- Great leaves/ Poor Roots Female
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Personally, I think you're underwatering and poisoning your plant.

Where do you live? What is the mineral content of your tap water? As Mr. Fakename mentioned, you're probably overdoing the calcium, to extreme.

Dear Ray.
Thank you for responding. I am in zone 8. Tap water results attached. Everything I read says you should fertilize/feed weakly weekly at 1/2 of what the directions say to use. I use even less-1/4 to a gallon of water and each plant only gets half the gallon every 2 weeks.

I watered my plants as suggested.

The idea for the supplements is from a lady on YouTube called Orchid Whisperer.

I did not see any growth in my plants until I began using the CalMag. Now I have a new leaf and root growth. I will water them more frequently and see how they fare.
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  #10  
Old 01-01-2021, 04:20 PM
New2Orchids2020 New2Orchids2020 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidtinkerer View Post
The plant looks fine to me. Yes the older roots are deteriorating but new growth tips are being produced which is what you want. I wouldn't worry about it too much, the roots look like they were broken at some point and broken roots eventually die. It's to be expectected on new purchases. Spray the top of the roots if you want but it all sounds fine to me. If the substrate were being kept too wet the orchid would not be producing new roots and if it were too dry the leaves would start to dehydrate so overall the orchid just needs to settle in for a year first.

I will also second the sentiments on the fertilizer - what you are doing is absolutely correct in theory however every time you add fertilizers you are upping the strength so feeding 4 different things at 1/4 strength = full strength (in theory).
You can gladly carry on but I would go for 1/8 strength (ie halve everything you have been feeding so far) to be safe.
If you have a ppm meter you could confirm but I can safely say that the seaweed and the orchid fertilizer together at 1/4 strength will = a 1/2 strength feed, the calmag and the epsom and lime also will double themselves up so I would halve everything - just as a rough guide of course. Since you are already using a 1/4 spoon measurement which is tricky to halve you might have to double the water you add it to.

Dear Orchidtinkerer,

Thank you for the vote of.confidence and encouraging words. I watered my orchid and trimmed off the dead velamen. The roots can be seen as green through the container.

I will use more water next time I fertilize/feed/supplement to dilute it.
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Phalaenopsis Orchid- Great leaves/ Poor Roots-20210101_121657-jpg   Phalaenopsis Orchid- Great leaves/ Poor Roots-20210101_122235-jpg   Phalaenopsis Orchid- Great leaves/ Poor Roots-16095359561941194879187217916591-jpg   Phalaenopsis Orchid- Great leaves/ Poor Roots-16095360003394420400039504332299-jpg  
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