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  #1  
Old 05-17-2012, 12:00 PM
Melody Melody is offline
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Default Phal schilleriana help

I picked up my first species phal, a Phal schilleriana 'Pink butterfly' at Carter and Holmes Open House on May 10th. But it doesn't seem to be transitioning to my home very well, and I'm not sure how I can help it.

Here's some pics. The one on the left was taken on the day I brought it home and the one on the right was taken today. It looks like it's going to loose a leaf and a few of the grow tips on the aerial roots have shriveled up.


It's in a 2 1/2 in pot and in a medium I've never seen before (some type of peat/perlite mixture I think). I've been keeping it under my CFL light on a humidity tray (that has pebbles and spag). I've only watered it once (on the 15th) and I think the medium was totally dry (so maybe I needed to water it a little sooner). I should also mention though, that the leaf in question didn't look so bad on the 15th. It's changed color and shriveled pretty quickly. When I watered it, I had a drop of superthrive in the water, but didn't fertilize, since I don't know when it was fertilized last. My el-cheapo humidity meter says it's at about 60%.
All I can figure is that it's in some type of shock from being taken out of the greenhouse, but I'm not sure what I can do if anything.


And here is some eye candy from C&H, just cause...
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:05 PM
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Remove from pot and get a pot that is 1/2" larger and put the aerial roots in the pot.

Take it easy on the watering. New root tips will grow.
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:26 PM
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make sure when repotting to clean the roots of debris and old sphag ball at the center of the root system, that might be the culprit(some plants are wrapped in a tight ball of sphag as a seedling and as the plant grows big the sphag ball can cause root rot
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:55 PM
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Agree with the repot suggestion, or if possible, you can try and coax the aerials into the pot you already have. These also like a faster wet/dry cycle than other Phals, so consider that when watering and potting. I'd imagine the leaf loss and root tip stall is from the humidity and temp change between the conditions C&H and your house. If your conditions are good, it should acclimate just fine.
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:56 PM
Melody Melody is offline
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Thanks for the replies, but I'm a bit hesitant about re-potting. I don't want to add to it's shock if it is in shock from transitioning out of the greenhouse.
From what I know about C&H, they grow most of their phals in this peat mixture stuff, so I don't think there is any spag ball at the center that would be responsible, and I get the feeling that if it was still in their greenhouse it would be perfectly happy. In short, I am the problem...I just don't know how to be the solution.
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:58 PM
Melody Melody is offline
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zxyqu: why do the aerial roots need to be buried? I'm not understanding this.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:08 PM
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They dont need to be buried really, but I generally do for a couple reasons. When I was a windowsill grower, I couldn't keep the himidity up high enough, so any aerials would generally shrivel up (since they are used to high humidity in most greenhouses). Burying them, or just the growing tip, often saved more than of these roots than leaving them as they were. This might be because of the increased humidity within the pot, but not sure entirely. Lastly, just shear aesthetics, especially when you've got some crazy long ones. I dont recommend repotting aerials into a phal potted in just sphag, as this has been very unsuccessful for me (prob. too much water around a root used to no water at all, less humidity).
With all this in mind, it's up to you, but unless you're overly concerned about something going on with the plant, maybe just sit back and watch it for a bit. Summer is a great time to watch orchids grow.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:11 PM
Gage Gage is offline
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Melody, congrats on your new phal! You may need to make the changes suggested, not because there is something wrong with the grower's culture, but because your conditions will likely need different culture than theirs. And potting the aerial roots let's those roots be utilized by letting them absorb water from the media. I would repot it in something you would pot your other phals in, ie pot size and media, keeping in mind the earlier comment that schilleriana needs to dry a bit more quickly than other phals. My 2 cents. Good luck!
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:27 PM
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do not be scared to repot. I have repotted Phals even while in bloom...they are hardy and sturdy plants...it will not shock them to kingdomcom...but they will recover quite easily and help them adjust to your environment
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melody View Post
zxyqu: why do the aerial roots need to be buried? I'm not understanding this.
Why not?

Why make it harder on yourself trying to properly maintain aerial roots that have the potential to shrivel up should the moisture levels not be adequate enough at any given point in time?

Why agonize over lost roots should they shrivel up if the environment they're in changes to their disliking?

Isn't the prospect of potential root damage/root loss the original concern of this post?

Why leave the aerial root exposed to potential harm from physical damage from accidental mishandling situations? Isn't this another potential problem?

Why increase your odds of potential problems? We all know how finicky Phals can be. I thought the goal in cultivation is to minimize potential problems in as controlled a setting as possible. Isn't the goal to grow good, healthy, strong plants that look as aesthetically pleasing as possible?

The real answer is - no, you don't need to put the aerial roots in the pot, just like you don't need to leave the aerial roots hanging out of the pot either. You can choose to do whatever you want to do. It's just a recommendation. You DO need to understand the consequences of your decisions though.

Given certain circumstances however, some choices ARE stronger than others. Depending on the context, some choices are about equal to each other too.

Btw, I forgot to answer the other question. The shriveled bottom leaf is an inconsequential issue. It's an old leaf, that is natural.
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Last edited by King_of_orchid_growing:); 05-17-2012 at 03:59 PM..
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