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Phal aerial root shriveled?

This is a discussion on Phal aerial root shriveled? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I am new to orchids and recently bought a Phalaenopsis orchid. When I first bought ...

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  1. #1
    tan168 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Phal aerial root shriveled?

    I am new to orchids and recently bought a Phalaenopsis orchid. When I first bought it, it had a thick white aerial root? now it is shriveled and turned a light brown color. Is this due to not watering enough? Is there any value or harm in using a plant mister to provide some humidity for these roots? I already have it sitting on a tray of water (not touching the pot). Thanks !

  2. #2
    LJA's Avatar
    LJA
    LJA is offline OrchidTalk Tech Admin
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    Hi tan, those aerial roots definitely should be misted / fertilized. If it shriveled, you more than likely didn't provide it with enough water. Any aerial roots should be watered and fertilized at the same time you water and fertilize the pot. And, since aerial roots dry off quicker than roots in a medium, you can even mist them every morning to good advantage, especially now, when summer's coming. Phals will put roots out all along the length of their "stems," many times right alongside or on the other side of a flower spike. If you don't water those roots, the plant won't get the moisture it needs.

  3. #3
    tan168 is offline Junior Member
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    Default thanks for the quick reply!

    Thanks, that is what I was suspecting but didn't want to err on the side of overwatering. what type of fertilizer do you recommend? the plant currently has two flower spikes, should I fertilize while it is flowering?

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    LJA's Avatar
    LJA
    LJA is offline OrchidTalk Tech Admin
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    I always tell people who are starting out with orchids to use a fertilizer that's balanced, in other words, where all three numbers on the label are the same. The brand you use when you start is pretty immaterial. As you get experience, you can try fertilizers with different ratios on different potting mixes, etc. But for now, any fertilizer that doesn't use Urea as its nitrogen source will work: Peter's, Dyna-Grow, Miracle-Gro even. For more info, do a search on the forum here for "Fertilizer," or check out our CARE pages.

    The only time you want to withhold fertilizer is when you're tending a sick plant, or when a plant goes into "suspended animation" for a month or two after blooming. So yes, while the plant is in bloom, keep up the fertilizer!

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