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  #11  
Old 04-20-2010, 12:40 AM
fturner fturner is offline
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Phalaenopsis Problem, I think... Female
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Watering is sparse. I try and keep them drying out then watering. Is this bad? I travel A LOT so sometimes I am not home for 5 or so days at random times so they are not on any type of everyday water schedule.

Could I be doing something wrong since she hasn't rebloomed since last April?
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  #12  
Old 04-20-2010, 01:29 AM
Izzie Izzie is offline
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Phalaenopsis Problem, I think... Female
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She may have been forced at the grower and is taking a break. Most commonly, phals don't flower if they aren't getting enough light- perhaps not good fertilizer.

Next time you're gone for that 5 days, water before you leave, and put the plant and pot in a plastic bag (I don't close it completely, and don't put it in strong light or it will cook).

First, what do you have it in now?
-the old standby is some good bark (orchiata/monterey pine being the best), with perlite and charcoal. Holds water well, and is nice and airy.

What are your temperatures during the day and night?
Phals need a 10-15 degree drop in temp at night to bloom well, some need a couple weeks of cooler temperatures at night to cue it to bloom.

What's your humidity like where you keep the plant?

What kind of light do you have it in? West windows are great, filtered/double paned southern windows are ideal in northern climates (like mine!).
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  #13  
Old 04-20-2010, 05:46 PM
RosieC RosieC is offline
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Lots of new roots... always good!

Don't cut off the leaf. Once the plant has finished with it a gently tug will pull it loose. I test old wrinkled leaves this way and if they stay put then I leave them be... if they come away then I know the plant has finished with them. As Izzie said, the plant will take the nutrients out of it.

I don't think you need to worry about leaving a Phal for 5 days unless you are in really dry conditions. Mine tend to get watered every 7 days in bark and can go 14 days at this time of year without any problem, but then the UK tends to be quite humid.

I let mine dry between waterings, for me that is arround 7-10 days at this time of year, maybe 5-7 days in the summer. If you are going away for a period longer than the normal time it takes to dry then you may want to just make sure they are not going to get so much light.

I have only had a problem with a 14 day break once and that was mid summer during a sudden heatwave and only one of three phals in an east window had a problem and it turned out that already had a root problem I had not known about.
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  #14  
Old 04-20-2010, 05:52 PM
RosieC RosieC is offline
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As for repotting, a good quality bark is the best (especially if you are currently used to bark). If you are having problems with them drying to fast then a good quality sphag moss may be good BUT this can be trickier to avoid rot for many people (other LOVE it).

I don't get on with Orchid Mixes much. The phal with root problems I mentioned in the post above actually got those root problems while in an Orchid Mix I got from my local garden center. It was only after others started getting problems in the same mix that I realised the cause and since switching to bark/CHC from a good supplier I've had not more problems.

I've heard here on OB that rePotme Orchid Supplies - Orchid Mix - Orchid Pots - Orchid Care - Orchid Fertilizer is a good site in the US to get medium. I've not tried it myself because I'm in the UK.

When you repot remove any hollow, or squishy roots. Leave any firm roots. If you repotted less than a year ago with completely fresh medium then you should be OK for now. It's all a matter of how much it has broken down/compacted. Orchids like plenty of air arround their roots so you want to repot before it compacts down too much.
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  #15  
Old 04-20-2010, 10:07 PM
fturner fturner is offline
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Phalaenopsis Problem, I think... Female
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Perfect. Thank you so much for the advice. I am in Southern Virginia and it is far from dry. The plants are in full bloom and pollen is EVERYWHERE! Which is good because they are enjoying being outside for a few hours a day and I have yet to turn the AC on.

They get about 8 hours of sunlight a day. Is this too much or little? They seem to be really doing well. How long do blooms usually last on the plant before wilting off?

I did use an Orchid mix and I have noticed she is still with green roots and she has been doing well so I think I will re-pot when the other is done blooming. You recommend bark and what else? I am up for whatever suggestions.

Thank you everyone for the input and suggestions. I am just quite happy she is growing new roots and is still green and alive! I believe I have a lot to learn!!!

Thanks again!
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  #16  
Old 04-21-2010, 09:58 AM
RosieC RosieC is offline
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If they are doing well for you in the orchid mix you may be fine with that, they vary and I've had some bad ones but it yours seems to still have good roots in it then you may want to stick with it.

When you say 8 hours of sunlight is that direct sunlight, or is it just bright but not direct? Phals don't like direct sunlight generally. I keep mine in an east window so they get some direct through a sheer curtain in the morning and then just the ambiant light the rest of the day.
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  #17  
Old 04-21-2010, 12:27 PM
Izzie Izzie is offline
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Phalaenopsis Problem, I think... Female
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About direct sunlight- my phals get a couple hours of strong sunlight a day, but it's coming through a double paned, filtered window- I've never had ill effects.
If your plants are happy where they are (no sunburn or general unhappiness), I'd say you're okay.

Depending on the conditions, blooms can last from weeks to a few months. Some say that if you keep the temperatures lower, they last longer- works in my experience.
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