Light brown roots on Phalaenopsis
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  #1  
Old 04-24-2021, 10:51 PM
Lindyloo Lindyloo is offline
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Light brown roots on Phalaenopsis Female
Default Light brown roots on Phalaenopsis

I have a Phalaenopsis that I overwatered before I began to learn about orchid care. It grew a keiki and started showing signs of distress. I removed and potted the keiki, successfully, I hope.

Then I went to work on repotting the mother. There were some mushy, rotted roots, which I removed. There are only a few remaining roots. There are two long ones that are light brown, plump, and firm. I'm assuming they are that color because they were not in a clear pot. My concern is that there are a few black spots on those roots that I cannot clean off. Is that just dirt or is it a problem?

There are also two other roots that are only about an inch long. They are firm and plump, but all black. Should I remove them?
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  #2  
Old 04-24-2021, 11:00 PM
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I don't remove roots unless they fall off. Older roots are light brown. They still function. Black spots are common on light brown roots.

I would repot to the medium you prefer, with plenty of air at the roots. Keep warm and humid. It should grow new roots.
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  #3  
Old 04-24-2021, 11:25 PM
Lindyloo Lindyloo is offline
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Estación seca, thank you so much for your quick reply. I will definitely heed your advice. I'm using Miracle Grow Orchid Medium (bark), so that should allow air around the roots.

Last edited by Lindyloo; 04-24-2021 at 11:57 PM..
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Old 04-25-2021, 08:17 AM
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Light brown roots on Phalaenopsis Female
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Miracle Grow is horrible orchid bark. It's full of fines, which you could rinse out but, it looks to be decomposed pallets (to me.) Look for something else if you can, and save that for Cymbs, or other plants.
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Old 04-25-2021, 10:55 AM
Lindyloo Lindyloo is offline
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Light brown roots on Phalaenopsis Female
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Thanks for the input, Dollythehun. I didn't realize that Miracle Grow wasn't a good product. I've used their potting soil and plant foods for years with good results for other indoor and outdoor plants. I'll check for a better product next time I go into town (I live in the boonies).

What are fines? Does that mean fine particles in the medium? I didn't notice that there were many fine particles in this medium, but since I lack experience I guess I wouldn't know the difference.

Edit: I just realized that because I soaked the bark for a few hours, the fine particles settled to the bottom of the container. That's why I didn't notice them as I was transferring the bark to the pot.

Last edited by Lindyloo; 04-25-2021 at 02:09 PM..
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Old 04-25-2021, 11:35 AM
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Check out this link here too.

I think the general view of the miracle gro orchid mix is ----- it can work --- but just like most media -- need to maintain control of the conditions such that the orchid has what is needed to keep functioning properly. Maintaining suitable growing conditions is a great thing already.

Consider pot type - depth, diameter etc too if using the miracle gro orchid mix, and watering schedule (and amount of water applied, and how it is applied).
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Old 04-25-2021, 01:50 PM
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I think MiracleGro sells different mixes in different parts of the country, in the same bag. If your product is mostly chunks of bark, with no small pieces of sawdust or dust, it should work well for you. Here in metro Phoenix it's mostly fine pieces of sawdust.

It is hard to be an orchid grower living far away from retail stores. You could consider learning to grow in sphagnum moss or LECA clay balls. Those products are fairly uniform and readily available. Or, order bark from orchid specialty nurseries rather than from online marketplaces. The LECA is available at hydroponics shops, if you have any in your area.

If your current potting mix is bark chunks, with good air spaces in between, I wouldn't repot now.
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Old 04-25-2021, 03:21 PM
Lindyloo Lindyloo is offline
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Oh, my goodness. I've managed to make a mess of these responses. I'm unable to separate the two, so I'll leave them as they are.

What interesting information, Eestación seca. This appears to be the case for me, as the Miracle Grow Orchid Medium that I purchased has large chunks of bark, some so big that I broke them in half to fit in the pots. If there is any fine medium in the bag, it may have settled to the bottom because I didn't find it when I was filling my pots. Definitely no sawdust in there. Good to know that I won't have to repot again until next year. For now, I'll use the Miracle Grow, making sure that there are no fine particles. I only have one more orchid to repot and she's in full bloom right now. I'll wait until the blossoms drop before I repot her.

I love living in the mountains, but it's a half-hour drive to town and all shopping is limited. There are quite a few things I need in order to take proper care of my plants. I really miss the wonderful nursery where I grew up in MA. They had just about everything you could need, including very knowledgeable staff.

I so appreciate the help I'm receiving on this board. I feel so much more confident in my ability to help my orchids thrive.

---------- Post added at 02:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:47 PM ----------

I know that I responded to SouthPark, but my reply is missing. Must be user error, lol.

Thank you for the link, SouthPark. I think that my Miracle Grow Orchid Medium is different from what tom e boi had. Mine is very chunky with no fine particles. Either they've fallen to the bottom of the bag or they settled on the bottom of the container where I soaked the medium. It was interesting to read all the comments on that thread. One person said that repotting has to be done at 6 months because this medium becomes depleted more quickly. I'll be keeping my eye on that.

As someone who is here because I killed three orchids over the past year, I am determined to give my remaining orchids the proper care. The keiki and mother that I repotted last night, as well as the two minis that I repotted a few days ago, are all sitting on glass stones with a little water around the stones so that they are humidified. All are potted in clear plastic pots with good drainage, except for the keiki. I had to put her in a plastic cottage cheese container, but I poked a ton of holes in both the bottom and the sides. It probably will work fine, but I want to be able to see the roots and it's ugly, so I'll order clear pots with good drainage and move her eventually.

I'm keeping an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of watering, fertilizing, repotting, etc.

Last edited by Lindyloo; 04-25-2021 at 03:25 PM.. Reason: messages combined due to my error
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Old 04-25-2021, 06:52 PM
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Light brown roots on Phalaenopsis Female
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Awhile back, I asked my husband to pick up orchid bark from Lowe's in a pink bag. I was remembering Better Gro. He came home with Miracle Grow and it was so muddy, I was concerned about rinsing that crud down my sink. If you're was chunky, good for you. At best it's an inconsistent product.
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Old 04-25-2021, 07:02 PM
Lindyloo Lindyloo is offline
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Light brown roots on Phalaenopsis Female
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Well, if it's that inconsistent, Dollythehun, I won't buy it again.

I also bought Miracle Grow Orchid Food. I'm now wondering if I want to use that.

I am currently searching this board to see what I can find.

Last edited by Lindyloo; 04-25-2021 at 07:40 PM.. Reason: Add info
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