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  #1  
Old 08-03-2020, 05:08 PM
bunnylotus bunnylotus is offline
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Tetrapsis striped Phal - constant bud blast? Female
Question Tetrapsis striped Phal - constant bud blast?

Howdy everyone,

I bought this Tetrapsis phal in April for my birthday because it is one of my favorite orchids - had to have it - and have been having problems with bud blast. When i got it it started producing a lot of buds, and I was absolutely thrilled. Well, slowly, I noticed most of the buds would start to yellow and shrivel off before they really matured. Then one bud started really taking off, I could see the stripes forming it was beautiful plump and green getting ready to turn white, I was ecstatic. I assumed that perhaps the plant was still young so from an energy stand point it couldn't sustain all the buds only just the one.

Well then I went on vacation for about a week, (I was so worried about missing the one bud bloom). And then when I came home THAT BUD WAS JUST ABOUT READY TO BLAST! I was so upset! The orchid hadn't moved was still getting same consistent light, I had left a humidity tray and had watered it pretty thoroughly before I left, and roots were green when I came home. So what gives?

Now i'm back to where I started with beautiful leaves and green stalks and some potential buds. You can actually see one of the buds on there that is already yellowing/blasting.

I don't know if it is the curse of my birthday, (I bought a cattleya also on my birthday that has been a struggle), or what. I realize these are not like regular phals, being a summer phal, but I was clearly doing something right when it was really taking off, and then the plant just decided 'nah don't feel like it'. At first I was wondering if it got too much water? But I read that they actually need more water than regular phals? Does it need more light?

I defer to the experts on here to advise. Pics attached in case you want to inspect! The potting medium & clear plastic pot are what it originally were packaged in when purchased from Hausermann in Chicago.

Thank you all!

- Bunnylotus
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Tetrapsis striped Phal - constant bud blast?-img_4766-jpg   Tetrapsis striped Phal - constant bud blast?-img_4762-jpg  
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  #2  
Old 08-03-2020, 06:52 PM
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This kind of Phal is a warm, humid grower. It often drops buds when moved from a warm, humid environment to a cooler, dryer one. It also drops buds when the ambient humidity is too low.
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Old 08-03-2020, 07:50 PM
bunnylotus bunnylotus is offline
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Tetrapsis striped Phal - constant bud blast? Female
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Originally Posted by estación seca View Post
This kind of Phal is a warm, humid grower. It often drops buds when moved from a warm, humid environment to a cooler, dryer one. It also drops buds when the ambient humidity is too low.
Interesting I knew about the warmth and humidity. Maybe the humidity dropped too much while I was away...not sure since the plant hasn't really been moved since I placed it in my room. We live in North Texas so it is insanely humid and warm during the summer and AC was not on full while we were away. For safe measure I have turned on my humidifier into my room where it is living currently to see if that helps.
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Old 08-03-2020, 08:31 PM
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If it got completely dry while you were gone, that too could have caused bud drop. The summer blooming, jungle ancestry Phals are much more persnickety about temperature, water and humidity than are the winter blooming, pink-white-red complex hybrids.
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:01 PM
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Tetrapsis striped Phal - constant bud blast? Female
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Originally Posted by estación seca View Post
If it got completely dry while you were gone, that too could have caused bud drop. The summer blooming, jungle ancestry Phals are much more persnickety about temperature, water and humidity than are the winter blooming, pink-white-red complex hybrids.
That's possible too actually. It's what I was afraid of (honestly I didn't even want to go on vacation out of fear of the bloom hahaha!). I think at this point i won't know entirely but I can take your feedback points and just keep a strict watch on the tetrapsis going forward. Checking for humidity light etc. :-)
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Old 08-31-2020, 12:47 PM
bunnylotus bunnylotus is offline
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Well I ended up repotting the tetrapsis and saw that i guess it's growing mold or having some rot? There are black spots on the roots. I threw out the medium and repotted it and then saw a little mold growing, so I let it dry out / disinfected it but cinnamon on areas I cut. And have repotted it again, also putting the crown a little higher so it doesn't get wet to be safe. I'm wondering if this could have been contributing to the bud blast as well?

Not really sure if it's doing very well now. Just seems like its struggling. It seemed like with the mold it was getting too much humidity, and now i wonder if the root system is too damaged.
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Old 08-31-2020, 05:29 PM
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Tetrapsis striped Phal - constant bud blast? Female
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Just remember that orchids grow slooowwwwly. So to get feedback on anything that you do, will take place over a period of months, not days. Now that it is potted in fresh medium, keep it warm, keep it watered, and resist the temptation to disturb it further. Not sure what you cut... especially on a monopodial orchid (one growth point) such as a Phal, there is not much that you can cut without doing significant damage. So just let it do its thing, If it got some rotted roots from bad medium, the new mix will give new roots the opportunity to grow. Orchids teach patience...
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Old 08-31-2020, 07:20 PM
bunnylotus bunnylotus is offline
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Tetrapsis striped Phal - constant bud blast? Female
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Originally Posted by Roberta View Post
Just remember that orchids grow slooowwwwly. So to get feedback on anything that you do, will take place over a period of months, not days. Now that it is potted in fresh medium, keep it warm, keep it watered, and resist the temptation to disturb it further. Not sure what you cut... especially on a monopodial orchid (one growth point) such as a Phal, there is not much that you can cut without doing significant damage. So just let it do its thing, If it got some rotted roots from bad medium, the new mix will give new roots the opportunity to grow. Orchids teach patience...
Hi Roberta,

I had to cut some of the roots which were black and mushy or totally hallowed out. They were obviously dead. Thats all. Those were just the parts that had the rot / mold. Otherwise left everything else. And replaced the medium.

Yeah I think i'm a little paranoid about this one because I've never had one of these species before so it's just my anxiety getting the best of me wanting to make sure its okay. But yes, it is definitely a test of my patience.
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Old 08-31-2020, 09:41 PM
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Tetrapsis striped Phal - constant bud blast? Female
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With the new medium, you'll get new roots. So just sit back and let it do its thing...
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Old 10-03-2020, 02:45 PM
bunnylotus bunnylotus is offline
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Tetrapsis striped Phal - constant bud blast? Female
Thumbs up Update!

Well, I left the tetrapsis alone after removing the rotted roots. Sadly leaves went dang limp due to dehydration / weakened root system. But, nevertheless I have been patient and kept waiting.

As of this week I can see what looks like a new root tip starting to grow from the base of the plant!!! So huzzah! I have been watering it rather frequently and have it in an ICU /humidity double pot tray of sorts and with the new root activity I think that it’s working! I also did the kelpmax at the time of repot. Haven’t done any more kelpmax yet.

Also noticed some new green bud looking things as well. Normally, I’ve read to cut the flower spikes on sick plants, but since the tetrapsis grows new flowers from the same spike I have completely left the spikes alone and will continue to do so.

Anyways, only update for now, but looks like she’s still kickin!!!!
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