Potting technique leading to crown rot
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  #1  
Old 05-14-2013, 01:49 PM
Sunshine Peony Sunshine Peony is offline
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Potting technique leading to crown rot Female
Question Potting technique leading to crown rot

Hi I have a question regarding crown rot and the potting technique that may lead to it / prevent it.

I have a few phals. Two small phals came in moss and two large came in bark.

I repotted the ones in moss into a ~60% moss, ~40% bark mix. The ones in bark were repotted in bark/perlite/charcoal. Of the ones in moss, one was ok and one had a old dead leaf that wasn't visible from above the moss that had dried/blackened. One of the two phals in bark had a black spot on the base. The other was fine. I treated the black spots of the ailing plants with listerine and cinnamon.

When looking around the web which includes this site, repotting seemed simple-just unpot, cut and treat bad roots, and fill pot with orchid mix. I'm growing the orchids windowside on humidity trays. A slight breeze is provided by a air purifier angled in their direction. I water when the skewer I put in each pot gets mostly dry.

In the past I had one orchid which developed mold and expired no matter what I did and how loosely I packed the potting medium (previously just moss). As a result, I'm quite paranoid about rot/mold growing so a week or two after repotting, I took the repotted orchids out of their mixes and checked on the condition of their roots. I found that the phal in bark with no rot now had a bad root and a black base. I treated with listerine and cinnamon and angled the plant so that the base had a gap under it so no damp bark would come in contact with the blackened spot and proceeded to fill the rest of the space around the roots with mix.

I noticed one of the repotted mini phals had a yellowing leaf and upon removal of its bark/moss mix saw the similar thing occuring as the larger phal. I treated the blackened base and left a gap around the base of the orchid with some bark and filled the rest of space with moss/bark.


Sorry for the long description above of my situation. My questions are below.

Why can other people repot and have wet media touching the base of the orchid (The base below the first set of air roots) and not have a problem? It is obvious that the middle would have the most difficult time drying and I am sure others encounter this issue. Is it my potting technique?

I already cut slits in the sides of the plastic pots holding the orchids and the roots and media adjacent to the slits dry very quickly leaving them white the next day. Is this bad that they stay dry so long btw waterings?

Did I do the right thing by leaving space below the base of the orchid? I've seen it recommended to level the whole orchid below the edge of the pot and just fill with media but that just led to rot in my case.
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  #2  
Old 05-14-2013, 02:10 PM
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in your case, it must take a longer period to let the crown dry when watering, you need to use paper towel to dry the crown.....what position of light is your plant located? What is the temperature? does it have air circulation?
its the wet, cold and damp that lets crown breed bacteria, fungi or algae....this is where the skewer method needs to be perfected.
its not the mix or the way you angle the plant on the pot....its just that your humidity is high indoors that the crown takes longer to dry....also, spray the table or the surroundings of your plant with physan20= make sure there is no infestation
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  #3  
Old 05-14-2013, 02:41 PM
King_of_orchid_growing:) King_of_orchid_growing:) is offline
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To fix your problem. you must understand how Phals grow in the wild.

Here's a YouTube video to show you:

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  #4  
Old 05-14-2013, 03:24 PM
Sunshine Peony Sunshine Peony is offline
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Potting technique leading to crown rot Female
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud View Post
in your case, it must take a longer period to let the crown dry when watering, you need to use paper towel to dry the crown.....what position of light is your plant located? What is the temperature? does it have air circulation?
its the wet, cold and damp that lets crown breed bacteria, fungi or algae....this is where the skewer method needs to be perfected.
its not the mix or the way you angle the plant on the pot....its just that your humidity is high indoors that the crown takes longer to dry....also, spray the table or the surroundings of your plant with physan20= make sure there is no infestation
When I mention the "crown" of the plant I am not referring to the top of the plant or the middle but the part below the first set of aerial roots which is located in the media in pots. Is there a proper name for it? I am currently calling it the "base." I make sure that I don't get water in the leaves and if I do, I dab with a paper towel.

My humidity with the humidity tray is ~67-50 so I don't feel it is too high compared with a greenhouse. Temperature is ~73 and kept constant with a heater a few feet away. Air movement kept constant with air purifier breeze on low facing the plants.

If the media stays constantly damp and stays in contact with the plant wouldn't that lead to rot?

Thanks

---------- Post added at 03:24 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:19 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by King_of_orchid_growing:) View Post
To fix your problem. you must understand how Phals grow in the wild.

Here's a YouTube video to show you:

I've seen that video since you posted this somewhere on the forum before- phal abuse thread perhaps?.

I know that phals naturally grow downwards and mounted on trees in the wild. Unfortunately, I don't think the lower humidity indoors (~40's w/o humidity tray) would allow for it. Perhaps I am wrong about the humidity levels required for it. Would misting daily make up for it?

It reminds me of where I read somewhere that some individuals tried mounting and the usual method of putting sphag right underneath the base did not work for them since it rotted the crown of the plant. Instead, they just worked sphag around the roots. It seems similar to what I'm noticing but in a pot.

Last edited by Sunshine Peony; 05-14-2013 at 03:28 PM..
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  #5  
Old 05-14-2013, 03:31 PM
King_of_orchid_growing:) King_of_orchid_growing:) is offline
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It is to show that the base of the plant, not the crown, is not covered by anything.

The base of the Phal should not be buried in any material whatsoever. If you buried any part of the base of this orchid in whatever potting media you're using, it has the potential to lead to rot.
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Old 05-14-2013, 03:33 PM
Brooke Brooke is offline
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Were both leaves the bottom leaves? If that is the case then it was normal.

Sometimes there is water trapped where the leaf attaches to the stem of the plant. Sometimes this can lead to stem rot which is the same as crown rot. Instead of bacteria killed the crown, the bacteria starts at the bottom and goes to the crown.

If you put alcohol or peroxide on the dark spot you should be fine.

Brooke
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:45 PM
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When you water an orchid you want to let the water run through the plant for a minute or so. Don't use cold water as this will shock the plant. Take your orchid to the sink and let tepid water or room temperature water run through the pot to soak the plant thoroughly. Be sure to let the plant drain completely. If water remains in the crown of Phalaenopsis plants (where the leaves join in the center), it can provide a perfect environment for fungus or bacteria to do their dirty work. Use a paper towel to blot the water to avoid crown rot.

*crown rot is your title so I assumed you wanted to address this issue.

the factors of potting at an angle or choice of media mix is of little importance as to following the correct watering method to avoid crown rot.... other members pot upright and they use different kinds of mix....yet they can grow Phals well....

---------- Post added at 06:45 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:35 PM ----------

the bottom most crown=last two leaves meeting at the very bottom of the plant is what you mean...then it is the 'basal crown' ...if you have more than 10 leaves then there will be more than 5 crowns....
*its just a matter of looking at the RHS illustration of the parts of a Phaleanopsis (it can also be found in a bound book made of paper without batteries)....
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:24 AM
Sunshine Peony Sunshine Peony is offline
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Potting technique leading to crown rot Female
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud View Post
When you water an orchid you want to let the water run through the plant for a minute or so. Don't use cold water as this will shock the plant. Take your orchid to the sink and let tepid water or room temperature water run through the pot to soak the plant thoroughly. Be sure to let the plant drain completely. If water remains in the crown of Phalaenopsis plants (where the leaves join in the center), it can provide a perfect environment for fungus or bacteria to do their dirty work. Use a paper towel to blot the water to avoid crown rot.
I was doing that but started soaking the pot for a few minutes instead because the bark is relatively new. (bark was presoaked before repotting was done)

Quote:
*crown rot is your title so I assumed you wanted to address this issue.

the factors of potting at an angle or choice of media mix is of little importance as to following the correct watering method to avoid crown rot.... other members pot upright and they use different kinds of mix....yet they can grow Phals well....
I decided to ask regardless since it is well known that growing conditions result in changes that must be made to potting medium/watering schedule etc.

Quote:
the bottom most crown=last two leaves meeting at the very bottom of the plant is what you mean...then it is the 'basal crown' ...if you have more than 10 leaves then there will be more than 5 crowns....
*its just a matter of looking at the RHS illustration of the parts of a Phaleanopsis (it can also be found in a bound book made of paper without batteries)....
"it can also be found in a bound book made of paper without batteries" You can ask me to look at a illustration of a phal without adding this on to the post. It sounds offensive with the second part you added.

---------- Post added at 10:19 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:14 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by brooke View Post
Were both leaves the bottom leaves? If that is the case then it was normal.

Sometimes there is water trapped where the leaf attaches to the stem of the plant. Sometimes this can lead to stem rot which is the same as crown rot. Instead of bacteria killed the crown, the bacteria starts at the bottom and goes to the crown.

If you put alcohol or peroxide on the dark spot you should be fine.

Brooke
Yes they were the bottom leaves.

It would make sense that water was trapped because the method I was using to water recently was to dunk the pot and soak for a few min.

I put listerine and cinnamon because I ran out of H2O2.

Thanks

---------- Post added at 10:24 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:19 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by King_of_orchid_growing:) View Post
It is to show that the base of the plant, not the crown, is not covered by anything.

The base of the Phal should not be buried in any material whatsoever. If you buried any part of the base of this orchid in whatever potting media you're using, it has the potential to lead to rot.
Got it, okay. I did leave a space below the base so there is nothing around it. Hopefully this resolves the issues I've been having.

It is a bit misleading though since the plant was already potted this way and every video showing repotting has phals this way too.

Thanks again
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:09 PM
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Leafmite Leafmite is offline
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Potting technique leading to crown rot
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To help the medium dry faster, I use basket pots or pots that barely fit the roots and jam styrofoam peanuts or red lava rock in the middle and bottom. I live here in Ohio where winters are cool and grow in the home during this time...not ideal. When I put the plants and orchids outside, we can have weeks of rain...or not. Makes growing plants and orchids fun. Good luck on your orchids!

---------- Post added at 12:09 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:06 PM ----------

By the way, welcome to the forum! So glad to have you join!
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:41 PM
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'books with batteries'
Sunshine, it was meant as a joke....
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