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This is a discussion on no roots and new leaf within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Sometimes I have had a Phal or Paph with seemingly no viable roots and then ...
Sometimes I have had a Phal or Paph with seemingly no viable roots and then it starts to grow a new leaf! These don't always make it, needless to say. How can an orchid sustain a new leaf when it does not even have any roots? It must take all of the energy so it can't grow new roots in any case.
So you mean that a phal needs to grow its roots first, then start growing leaves. Yes, I can see that. But usually that new leaf will never grow big because the orchid has no roots to fuel the energy needed for the maturity of a leaf. Most likely that leaf will just stay small, or grow very slowly. That's from my experience when I had a phal with a tiny new leaf that stayed exactly the same size for a long time. Then the lower leaves got very floppy, so then it became apparent that the phal had severe root rot. It's a pity to see rootless orchids trying to stuggle to sustain all their leaves...