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  #1  
Old 03-28-2023, 01:33 PM
dlewan dlewan is offline
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Phal. bellina, et al.
Default Phal. bellina, et al.

OK, I clearly don't understand how to grow Phal. bellina and hybrids in that group.

I managed to kill a Phal. bellina, so I thought I'd try a hybrid. Well, it looks like I'm getting the same results.

Very quickly the leaves go floppy. Here's my introduction protocol:
1. Quarantine and observe for a wek.
2. Acclimate with my collection for a week or so. And finally
3. repot into my mix. Don't water for a week.
Like I said, very quickly the leave on these plants go limp, and again I'm anticipating a decline over, say, the next 3 months, followed by death.

I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong for it. (I have to admit that in general I just expect a plant to grow for me, and, if it can't, then, well, it gets to die. However, there are a few things I can change.
  • Location (and microclimate): It's in with all my other phals, most of which are grocery store phals. Those all seem pretty happy and grow and bloom almost without thought. The current location is a little dark, away from the window, among other planrs.
  • Air: I do my best to be very good with air. I have fans throughout my set-up. (Yes, that goes to microclimate too.) It's current in a small net pot and gets direct air movement from a small fan about 30cm away. I let it get pretty dry, but it still gets watered every 2 days.
  • Temperature: The current temperature is 22-24C (low 70sF) and that's kind of immutable. From what I've read, this group likes it warm. Could this be a problem?

Could there be other problems? Neither of the plants has had a lot of roots. (The grocery store phals all do.) Another possible problem? What other questions should I be asking?

Thanks.

,Doug

Last edited by dlewan; 03-28-2023 at 01:36 PM..
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  #2  
Old 03-28-2023, 02:36 PM
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Roberta Roberta is offline
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The limp leaves say "I'm dehydrated!" The lack of roots plus the likely low humidity plus not watering can do this. Phals have no pseudobulbs, so the water storage is only in leaves and roots, not a lot of reserves. Phal bellina also does like to be warmer than most Phals, but the hybrid may be more forgiving. The "how" part, other people will have good suggestions. But the goal is to prevent water loss until it grows a new root system. A bad root still can transport water to the plant, though inefficiently, so don't cut anything. Then you might make a "mini-greenhouse" with a plastic bag so that the local humidity stays higher. At this point, I'd worry more about water loss than air movement. A Kelpak soak may help jump-start the new root growth. You can boost local temperature in the root zone with a seedling heat mat.
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  #3  
Old 03-28-2023, 02:55 PM
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These are hot, wet, high humidity growers. A plant moved from that environment to a typical home will have far higher transpiration losses and it may be unable to take up enough water with a root system adequate for the previous high humidity environment.

Your temperatures are low for this plant. You can keep it alive and probably flower it, but it will never be happy. My house and growing areas are too cool in winter for this kind of Phal so I no longer try to grow them. Perhaps I'll try a heated terrarium in the future.
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Old 03-28-2023, 04:39 PM
dlewan dlewan is offline
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Thanks.

The quick answer is:
Too dry.
Too cool.

I'll do my best to make sure it never really dries out. (My dictum is usually "if it could wait a day, then wait a day". That works for the grocery store phals, but this is probably different. In the net pot, there's going to be no shortage of air movement, so daily watering is probably OK.)

I'll more it closer to the window where it is hopefully warmer. (My guess is that direct sun would not be a good thing.)

If I'm good, I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 03-28-2023, 04:59 PM
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Definitely no direct sun - Phals need to grow on the shady side. Looking forward to updates!
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  #6  
Old 03-28-2023, 08:56 PM
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I think it might be the lack of roots more than anything. Until you have roots, you need to preserve what water is stored in the leaves and rest of the plant. If you have any good roots, I would try soaking the roots for twenty-four to forty-eight hours to see if the leaves will get plump.

I have a Phal bellina 'Star' which seems to tolerate cooler temps but recently added another bellina (I am hoping for a more fragrant one), a violacea and a Sumera. They are tiny seedlings with very short roots. I put them in the warmest room in my home (seventy F). My home was not humid enough so the leaves got limp quite quickly. I moved them to one-half/one inch pieces of lava rock/clear plastic pots with holes and began to water daily. The leaves have become firm and the roots turn green once more. Now I water when the roots I see are beginning to turn white. With the rock, I do not need to worry about the roots rotting and the rock provides humidity.
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Old 03-28-2023, 09:15 PM
Dalachin Dalachin is offline
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What is “your mix?” If bark based, a bellina would like to be watered daily or every other day while acclimating from a moist spagnum environment. Also, as others have said… heat. Seedling heat mat? And… you don’t spray or treat the roots with anything like hydrogen peroxide or alcohol like some popular Internet personalities advise? Standard phals might tolerate that, but bellina and other species might decline and never recover.
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Old 03-28-2023, 09:34 PM
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Phalaenopsis bellina should not dry out and should also not go bellow 65 degrees at night.
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Old 04-17-2023, 11:08 PM
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full disclosure, I only really dabble in phals but I really love the bellinas, violaceas, and similar hybrids. I grow on windowsills in the northeast and they really hate our cold winters. house is about 63-65 degrees, with very low humidity. not a recipe for happy bellina. they have made it through several winters, not happy though. summering outdoors (under heavy shade) really perks them up.

I was told a heat mat is very useful in growing these warm-lovers in colder climates (also applies to certain paphs). I just moved into a basement greenhouse with high humidity and I'm looking forward to plugging in a heat mat I got off amazon.

indoors, maybe heat mat + terranium + fan?
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Old 04-18-2023, 10:29 AM
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Gave a suggestion to a friend living in northern NJ that she put hers outside in shade and very, very warm(even hot) conditions. It bloomed very nicely. Now I need to take my own advice.
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