Phal is done for? continuing root rot
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  #1  
Old 05-30-2014, 12:03 PM
lauraeli lauraeli is offline
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Phal is done for? continuing root rot
Default Phal is done for? continuing root rot

Well, the Phal I rescued some weeks ago has not decided thus far to live. The bottom leaf started to turn very yellow so I pulled out the plant, to find rotted roots. It only has one root left. The rot got in where the roots were damaged. Some rotted at the base, some from the tip where the original rot was cut off. I am quite sure I only watered when the bark was dry. The roots never seemed very healthy. They shriveled so fast between waterings.

This being my first orchid, Im about ready to throw it out the window. Cant force a plant to live if it doesnt want to.

I cut the top off of one gallon jug and the bottom off the other, put them together with the orchid suspended in there. I put a plastic cup with wet sphagnum for humidity.

Im not really optimistic. I have yet to see root rot end positively for ANY plant. Not entirely sure now why I bought this one, knowing the roots were rotted.

But if anybody would like to chime in with some tips, and possible reasons for the continuing root rot...
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Phal is done for? continuing root rot-103_2700-jpg   Phal is done for? continuing root rot-103_2701-jpg   Phal is done for? continuing root rot-103_2697-jpg   Phal is done for? continuing root rot-103_2705-jpg  
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  #2  
Old 05-30-2014, 12:38 PM
silken silken is offline
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Is the bloom spike still on there? If so I would cut it so it directs energy towards roots. Since its your first one, I would consider just starting with a new one and armed with some new knowledge of how to care for it. But as long as there is some green, go ahead and experiment and try to revive it if you want to. But, go get yourself a new healthier one to keep it company!

A dip in some seaweed water at the root would help encourage roots if that hasn't been discussed.
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  #3  
Old 05-30-2014, 01:18 PM
lauraeli lauraeli is offline
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Ok, I cut the bloom spikes. Not sure why I didnt take them off initially. I kind of liked the way they looked. I cut them above the bottom node...should I cut them all the way off?

Is any seaweed-based fertilizer sufficient?

Also, I do have a mini phal which is healthy. It's not in bloom. But at least the roots are green and happy. There is a finger-sized hole up through the middle of the sphagnum moss. It takes the guesswork out of watering. I cant tell you how much that relaxes me as a newbie orchid grower...
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:43 PM
RandomGemini RandomGemini is offline
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I would pitch the first plant.

Phals are kinda hard for beginners. I got lucky and seem to have a knack for not killing the minis, but their full sized cousins... are hit or miss for me. Either they grow like crazy, or they end up like the one you posted pictures of.

I would pitch it. It will take a year or more for it to recover, if it ever does. It's not worth the heartache. Go find yourself an oncidium alliance orchid. They are EASY. They need a bit more light than phals and a bit more water, but they seem to just grow without much encouragement at all. They also put on a really big show with a ton of flowers when they bloom. They'll make you feel like you're an expert, even when you know you're not.

Just gonna share a couple pics of my oncidiums with you, so you can see what I mean:

Oncidium Twinkle.



Oncidium Sweet Sugar



These two are pretty commonly available, another favorite of mine, that I can't find a pic of, but I think there's one in my Orchid Gallery is Oncidium Sharry Baby. Great big huge sprays of flowers... that smell like chocolate. Probably my favorite orchid ever.

Last edited by RandomGemini; 05-30-2014 at 01:49 PM..
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  #5  
Old 05-30-2014, 01:59 PM
silken silken is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraeli View Post
Ok, I cut the bloom spikes. Not sure why I didnt take them off initially. I kind of liked the way they looked. I cut them above the bottom node...should I cut them all the way off?

Is any seaweed-based fertilizer sufficient?

Also, I do have a mini phal which is healthy. It's not in bloom. But at least the roots are green and happy. There is a finger-sized hole up through the middle of the sphagnum moss. It takes the guesswork out of watering. I cant tell you how much that relaxes me as a newbie orchid grower...
Seaweed is sometimes added with fertilizer, but usually sold on its own. It is rooting hormone and not really a fertilizer. For now I would skip the ferts and just use seaweed to encourage some roots. Until there are some, fertilizer is quite pointless.

Make sure you let that mini Phal get close to dry before watering. I don't see much for side holes, but maybe the large bottom hole is enough.
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:12 PM
lauraeli lauraeli is offline
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Phal is done for? continuing root rot
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I will be careful with the mini. It is easier for me to let it dry out since it is a healthy plant. I dont feel like i have to stare at it and will it to grow roots. There is also no moss in the center of that pot, so the roots have a lot of airflow even without holes in the side.
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Old 05-30-2014, 03:34 PM
tarev tarev is offline
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Your mini-phal looks good. Good to know your mini phal does not have moss at the center. They really enjoy that airflow.

As for the first one, it may just be doing a slow death now..looks like collar rot already. But if you still feel it will improve, who knows..sometimes our orchids may just surprise us.

I am fully understanding now that air flow aspect too..I have this noid Phal that is showing me how it prefers not being too stuffed. Sharing the photo here to show you what I mean. I still have my other Phals in bark, but eventually I will change them to this way too.

Anyhow, all I am saying, aside from moisture..air flow..very important for those roots. So whatever media you prefer do not forget air flow.

Not too stuffed at that lowest level where root meets leaves
Phal is done for? continuing root rot-dsc00825-jpg

Roots easily visible, for sure lots of air around there..
Phal is done for? continuing root rot-dsc00826-jpg
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Old 05-30-2014, 04:52 PM
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Leafmite Leafmite is offline
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Phal is done for? continuing root rot
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Phals are not really very difficult once you figure them out. For most of my phals, I have them potted in either LECA, LECA topped with NZ sphagnum moss or in red lava rock. They are all potted in basket pots for good aeration. I can water to my heart's delight and never worry the roots will rot. The phals are quite happy with the arrangements.
For the rescue, I would put it in a pot with a shallow layer of NZ sphagnum moss around the roots area and then keep that damp. If you have the seaweed, I would definitely try it to encourage root growth. Good luck!
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:06 PM
james mickelso james mickelso is offline
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Phal is done for? continuing root rot Male
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I like your set up with the milk bottles. Leave it there. Spritz the leaves and root area daily with distilled water and seaweed. Especially the under sides of the leaves. Keep the moss wet to impart whatever humidity to the environment. If it is going to live, which I feel it will, you've chosen the best way to achieve it. Good luck.
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:14 PM
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Orchid Whisperer Orchid Whisperer is offline
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Phal is done for? continuing root rot Male
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Regarding your rootless plant . . .

I don't know where in the US you are located, but do you have reasonably humid or rainy summers? Access to a very shady spot outdoors (could be a shaded balcony, branches of a shade tree, etc.)?

If so, here is what I would try. In your shady spot outdoors, just anchor the plant with no growing medium into an empty terracotta pot. You can water the empty pot to keep the humidity up (morning, but it should be dry by night). With luck, these conditions will encourage your plant to push out new roots to look for water, and maybe you will have enough roots before autumn to be able to pot it up in bark again. If the plant is otherwise a lost cause, this is easy to try, and no harm done if it does not work.
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