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  #1  
Old 07-18-2021, 12:16 AM
sweta sweta is offline
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Phal leaf yellowing do I need to worry?
Default Phal leaf yellowing do I need to worry?

Hello friends,

I bought this phal from a retail store about a year ago. I repotted her after it finished blooming last year and since then its grown 2 new leaves and lots of roots. Its got a very strong root system. It skipped blooming this year for some reason. Recently I've noticed one of the leaves that is not the bottom one has started yellowing and I'm worried whats wrong with it. I dont see any stem rot. Is this something to worry about? I've quarantined the plant and I'm hoping there's nothing wrong with it. In one of the pictures I've highlighted in yellow the leaf thats yellowing. Would appreciate any advice.
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Last edited by sweta; 07-18-2021 at 12:24 AM..
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  #2  
Old 07-18-2021, 02:23 AM
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estación seca estación seca is offline
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When you ask a question let us know your growing conditions: Temperatures day/night; relative humidity; how much light is it getting; how are you watering and fertilizing it.

A lot of Phals sold in markets have been pushed with heavy fertilizing and good greenhouse conditions to flower earlier than they might without all the fertilizer. They may take a year off from flowering to recover after this treatment. If you continue to provide good care it should initiate spikes next fall or winter.

Cooling the plants down in fall helps initiate spikes. If you search the Phal hybrids forum for posts containing keyword "cooling" and username Ray you will find excellent information about this.

I see some purplish pigment near the base of the most recently emerging leaf. The rest of the plant is solid green. Purple pigment is normal for many Phals; others produce pigment only when grown in relatively high light.

The yellowing leaf looks like a leaf dying naturally. Ordinarily they die from the bottom up. Many Phals growing in a house carry from 3-5 leaves. Yours has six.

The roots look very healthy, so I'm guessing your humidity is somewhere around 50% or more in the house.

I don't have your growing information, but if this plant is in a fairly warm and sunny spot, it will need more water than if grown in the shade. Plant water needs are determined by how much leaf mass there is to support, and how dry the air is. The plant must take up at least as much water as transpires out the leaves to maintain water balance. If the roots can't supply that water, either because they root system is not adequate or the water demand exceeds what they can supply, Phals drop leaves to get back into water balance.

You might not be watering enough. I can't tell without more information. If you have it in a sunny spot, I would move it to bright shade. Phals don't ever need sun shining on their leaves, even if they tolerate it. They flower fine without producing that pigment.
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  #3  
Old 07-18-2021, 07:25 AM
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Phal leaf yellowing do I need to worry?
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I don't think there is anything wrong with this one. Nice healthy new growth, very healthy looking roots, it might even be getting ready to flower soon.
The leaves it is sucking energy from are lower leaves that never receive any sun.

I wouldn't change a thing personally.

But do consider thinking about fertilizing. That does not mean feed it like a tomato plant. I can see from the health of the roots this one has been getting a good low dose of fertilizer but long term possibly a bit too low so a bit of very weak fertilizer (1/4-1/2 strength what manufacturer recommends) every once in a while could be beneficial if you do not fertilize regularly yet.

Last edited by Shadeflower; 07-18-2021 at 07:32 AM..
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Old 07-18-2021, 12:55 PM
sweta sweta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estación seca View Post
When you ask a question let us know your growing conditions: Temperatures day/night; relative humidity; how much light is it getting; how are you watering and fertilizing it.

A lot of Phals sold in markets have been pushed with heavy fertilizing and good greenhouse conditions to flower earlier than they might without all the fertilizer. They may take a year off from flowering to recover after this treatment. If you continue to provide good care it should initiate spikes next fall or winter.

Cooling the plants down in fall helps initiate spikes. If you search the Phal hybrids forum for posts containing keyword "cooling" and username Ray you will find excellent information about this.

I see some purplish pigment near the base of the most recently emerging leaf. The rest of the plant is solid green. Purple pigment is normal for many Phals; others produce pigment only when grown in relatively high light.

The yellowing leaf looks like a leaf dying naturally. Ordinarily they die from the bottom up. Many Phals growing in a house carry from 3-5 leaves. Yours has six.

The roots look very healthy, so I'm guessing your humidity is somewhere around 50% or more in the house.

I don't have your growing information, but if this plant is in a fairly warm and sunny spot, it will need more water than if grown in the shade. Plant water needs are determined by how much leaf mass there is to support, and how dry the air is. The plant must take up at least as much water as transpires out the leaves to maintain water balance. If the roots can't supply that water, either because they root system is not adequate or the water demand exceeds what they can supply, Phals drop leaves to get back into water balance.

You might not be watering enough. I can't tell without more information. If you have it in a sunny spot, I would move it to bright shade. Phals don't ever need sun shining on their leaves, even if they tolerate it. They flower fine without producing that pigment.
So sorry that I missed giving information about the growing conditions. It sits on a west facing window sill during the winter. But I moved it to east facing window since April. So she currently gets some filtered sunlight in the morning
I live in Seattle so we dont get a lot of sun except for summers. Humidity is relatively low in our house, I have never measured exactly how much. But winter times home temperatures are in the range 60-70 F. Summer times heater is turned of, windows are left open and the day time temperatures are between 70-80 F on an average. Winters I water it once a week but recently I'm watering every 3-4 days based on how dry the media and roots look.I fertilize it every 2 weeks. Glad to know that you dont find anything wrong with the plant. I was a bit worrief about the purple pigment but glad its normal with phals. I'm looking forward to fall to see if it initiates new spikes😍

---------- Post added at 12:55 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:47 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadeflower View Post
I don't think there is anything wrong with this one. Nice healthy new growth, very healthy looking roots, it might even be getting ready to flower soon.
The leaves it is sucking energy from are lower leaves that never receive any sun.

I wouldn't change a thing personally.

But do consider thinking about fertilizing. That does not mean feed it like a tomato plant. I can see from the health of the roots this one has been getting a good low dose of fertilizer but long term possibly a bit too low so a bit of very weak fertilizer (1/4-1/2 strength what manufacturer recommends) every once in a while could be beneficial if you do not fertilize regularly yet.
Thank you for the response. I'm relieved to know that theres nothing wrong with her. I regularly fertilize it every 2 weeks during the summer but winters just once in a month. I'm afraid of fertilizing it more in the past I've had some root burn due to excess fertilizer. I'm really looking forward to see her initiatenew spikes😘
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  #5  
Old 07-19-2021, 11:24 AM
Phalaenoptics Phalaenoptics is offline
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Phal leaf yellowing do I need to worry?
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Question: is it normal for a phalaenopsis orchid to drop a leaf that's not a bottom-most leaf? 🤔 I had this happen to 2 of my phals and I'm still trying to think what it could be. It was a leaf that was second from the bottom on both, and it looked much like OP's pics. All other conditions were normal.

The first one I thought it was red spider mite damage, quarantined the plant quickly, and treated for it. There were no webs. ( I thought I saw a red spider mite, but I'm not sure. It looked like it was one of those little red mites that crawl around outside on the pavement that I used to watch as a kid)

The second one was far away from the first phal in a completely different area of the house, and it showed no sign of pest damage.

Both orchids have been faring well since, no issues!
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Old 07-19-2021, 11:53 AM
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Hard to say Phalenoptics.
Sometimes the plant doesn't follow a strict order. If it pushes out new roots and a leaf is in the way even if it's not the lowest one sometimes that gets pushed away to clear space for the roots.
Generally it should not be losing leaves higher up but I have lost a middle leaf occasionally with no ill effect but it is a sign of concern as I have lost plants like this too.

You need to look at the overall signs the plant is showing. New leaf growth, new root growth etc. You might be worried about a leaf yellowing but if the plant is growing well then I'd not worry too much. If the plant is stagnating, no new leaves being grown in months and the roots not growing then there is a problem. A yellow leaf without a picture is not possible to assess. But ideally you should be the one assessing it as nobody online knows what it has been fed, how often it gets fed, if it was an overwatering that cause symptoms to develop etc etc.
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Old 07-19-2021, 03:54 PM
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If water uptake is less than needed, I'm guessing the leaf getting the least water will drop. That will usually be the bottom one, but maybe not always so.
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Old 07-19-2021, 05:10 PM
Phalaenoptics Phalaenoptics is offline
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@shadeflower thank you for your insight! I do always try to look at the overall health of the plant and troubleshoot any potential problems. I enjoy looking over all my plants daily just to make sure everything is doing well. It gives me a lot of pleasure to see them thriving. Getting over that "new parent" phase where everything is a cause for concern.

Quote:
Originally Posted by estación seca View Post
If water uptake is less than needed, I'm guessing the leaf getting the least water will drop. That will usually be the bottom one, but maybe not always so.
@ES this makes perfect sense to me! Learning this concept about phals and water intake/water needs really helped me learn to manage my care.

Last edited by Phalaenoptics; 07-19-2021 at 08:02 PM..
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