Sick rescue Phal. Any thoughts?
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  #1  
Old 03-19-2014, 11:52 PM
lotis146 lotis146 is offline
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Sick rescue Phal. Any thoughts? Female
Exclamation Sick rescue Phal. Any thoughts?

About a couple of weeks ago I picked up these two rescue Phals. from Lowe's. They appeared to be suffering from under-watering. I got them home and watered them well. They're potted in sphagnum moss. The fuschia plant recovered quickly and is still doing well. The the white one which has two spikes and at the time at least 5-7 blooms on each spike, two flowers on each spike are small like those on minis and one of each 2 didn't open fully with the top sepal still folded over like in bud.

This white one however after watering immediately dropped several flowers, except for the small flowers. (I did post about this before when I repotted and found some dirt-like substance that was determined to some extent of have been old medium.) I repotted it with bark/charcoal/lava rock mixture and used some fertilizer. I did some root pruning but the roots seemed alright. In the last 5 days or so a couple of old inflorescences started to yellow and wilt, I cut them off. The leaves have remained limp but the tips of a few of them have started to brown and sunken in. Now I see that all the tips are sunken in like that. And today inspecting the spikes I see "lesions", little vertical tracts and pitted areas that I'm pretty sure weren't there before. I don't see any bugs. Oh when I first noticed the brown tips (Monday) I took the plant out of its pot thinking I have root rot planned to leave out to dry out for a day then repot which I haven't done yet but have spritzed a few times. As you'll see in one of the pictures, there are some white circles on the underside of one of the leaves which I thought a week ago was due to my hard water but now it appears there's more.

SO, any thoughts? Should I cut the browning tips off? Remove the leaf with the white spots? It's in the other room away from the rest of my Orchids, after having had both rescues right next to them for a couple days but also next to the other rescue that's still doing well.

Thanks in advance for any help you may offer.

The second picture by the way is the underside of the leaf if you can't tell.

Sick rescue Phal. Any thoughts?-20140319_221250_resized-jpg

Sick rescue Phal. Any thoughts?-20140319_221328_resized-jpg

Sick rescue Phal. Any thoughts?-20140319_221406_resized-jpg

Sick rescue Phal. Any thoughts?-20140319_221417_resized-jpg

Sick rescue Phal. Any thoughts?-20140319_221519_resized-jpg

Sick rescue Phal. Any thoughts?-20140319_221642_resized-jpg

Last edited by lotis146; 03-19-2014 at 11:53 PM.. Reason: extra info
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  #2  
Old 03-20-2014, 12:09 AM
james mickelso james mickelso is offline
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Sick rescue Phal. Any thoughts? Male
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Classic overwatering. Probably before you got it. The roots look dead to me. The leaves look exactly like they would if they were dieing. This plant suffocated. Sorry.
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  #3  
Old 03-20-2014, 01:53 AM
lotis146 lotis146 is offline
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Originally Posted by james mickelso View Post
Classic overwatering. Probably before you got it. The roots look dead to me. The leaves look exactly like they would if they were dieing. This plant suffocated. Sorry.

So I'm getting that you're telling me this plant can't be saved? After I got it home and watered it very thoroughly because it was so dry, then repotted it I discovered that the mass was packed in there pretty good. The other one, whose leaves have regained full vigor, has much less moss in its pot.

Like I said I've had the dying plant out of any medium for a couple of days now. I'll hold on to some hope that the roots aren't dead but thank you very much James. I did some research on pests and diseases but didn't find anything conclusive and am grateful to know that this is not a case of either. Bummer if it is in fact hopeless as I've taken a liking to its little white & pink flowers.


Thank you!
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Old 03-20-2014, 03:02 AM
ELORCHID ELORCHID is offline
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I wouldn't give up on it. The roots look fine to me, not great, but not dead. Cut the spike, so the plant can focus on growing new leaves and roots and pot it up in sphagnum but not too tightly packed and keep it in warm shady spot away from your other orchids, just in case. I would hold off on fertilizing for a few weeks and let plant enjoy being in the fresh new media. The worst thing that can happen is that it I'll die on you, but at least you tried.
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Old 03-20-2014, 04:52 AM
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Orchid Whisperer Orchid Whisperer is offline
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I would rely on what the roots feel like rather than appearance. Are they firm or soft/mushy? You want firm roots. If the roots are soft or mushy, or papery when dry, the roots are dead and I would toss the plant. If they are firm, the plant will recover.

The appearance of the leaves indicates water is not getting to the leaves. This may be due to dead roots, or very long periods (weeks/months) with no watering.

Although experts can grow Phals in sphagnum. I would avoid this, use a bark growing medium instead, which drains better. It is too easy to over water and kill roots with sphagnum. Only bother to repot if the roots are firm.

Cut off all flower spikes.

Check the spots on the leaves to be sure they are not scale insects (scale can be removed using a cotton swab and alcohol).

After repotting, water thoroughly, twice a week but no more. Skip fertilizers, etc. until you see some signs of growth, such as new leaves or new roots.

Good luck!

---------- Post added at 03:52 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:45 AM ----------

BTW, if the sunken areas on the leaves are spreading, cut off the sunken tips. Otherwise, leave them alone until the plant shows signs of growth/recovery.
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Old 03-20-2014, 03:35 PM
lotis146 lotis146 is offline
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Originally Posted by Orchid Whisperer View Post
I would rely on what the roots feel like rather than appearance. Are they firm or soft/mushy? You want firm roots. If the roots are soft or mushy, or papery when dry, the roots are dead and I would toss the plant. If they are firm, the plant will recover.

The appearance of the leaves indicates water is not getting to the leaves. This may be due to dead roots, or very long periods (weeks/months) with no watering.

Although experts can grow Phals in sphagnum. I would avoid this, use a bark growing medium instead, which drains better. It is too easy to over water and kill roots with sphagnum. Only bother to repot if the roots are firm.

Cut off all flower spikes.

Check the spots on the leaves to be sure they are not scale insects (scale can be removed using a cotton swab and alcohol).

After repotting, water thoroughly, twice a week but no more. Skip fertilizers, etc. until you see some signs of growth, such as new leaves or new roots.

Good luck!

---------- Post added at 03:52 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:45 AM ----------

BTW, if the sunken areas on the leaves are spreading, cut off the sunken tips. Otherwise, leave them alone until the plant shows signs of growth/recovery.

The roots appear to be alive though I did prune obviously dead parts. Some parts that were wrinkled and thin once cut revealed bright green underneath. I went ahead and "sort of" repotted it. The medium I used last (when I initially repotted after bringing home) I held on to because it's still fairly new. I put about an inch or more of it in the bottom of my ceramic orchid pot, soaked it with hot water. Then I put a handful of medium-large bark pieces in the bottom of the original clear plastic pot. I wet the roots and placed it in the plastic pot then put some medium-large pieces of bark I had wet around the roots but only enough I'd say to hold the plant in place, and even then it still wants to lean so the roots still have tons of free space. I put the plastic pot over the wet bark in the ceramic pot. I reluctantly went ahead as well and cut both of the spikes.

In terms of the spots, I went ahead and put alcohol on a cotton swab and wiped at them. The biggest circle took about 3 or more swipes before it was gone, that's about the same for all of them. The other fuschia rescue that is sitting a couple of feet away and doing really well since I brought home and watered had some spotting on its smaller lower leaves but not quite the same, I wiped them as well to see and it only seemed to smear the white around.

The sick Phal. has been without a pot for a couple of days. I'm hoping that the method I used today to "repot" it will provide it with moisture/humidity but provide little to no chance of it being over-watered and drown again. I think the brown on the leaves has spread some on a few but I'm going to keep an eye on to confirm this. If it is spreading I will then cut.

Thank you again everyone. I'll keep posted on how this turns out.

Lotis
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