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Funky coloured phal leaves

This is a discussion on Funky coloured phal leaves within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Lo there. i've just joined up. I've been reading bout phals, especially on this site, ...

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  1. #1
    scopinox's Avatar
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    Default Funky coloured phal leaves

    Lo there. i've just joined up.

    I've been reading bout phals, especially on this site, and you say the colour of the leaves should be an even colour. I bought a white phal for my mum in mid january, and the 5 leaves looked perfectly healthy. Ever since then, the leaves seem to have gone strange. The bottom leaf is a bright green and is yellowing on the edged (this yellowing occured on its first week at home but hasn't spread) as well as drooping slightly, but the top leaf is a dark green. Isn't this odd??

    Also, two roots (not new ones) have been growing on the surface for the past two weeks.

    Btw, the plant still has 8 of its 11 original flowers (i removed the dying one today to press).

    Btw, this is one of the best sources of orchid info i've found.

    Will try to get photos soon.

    Thanx

    Praveer

  2. #2
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    Gin
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    Hi, Welcome ! What you described sounds normal . they will lose the bottom leaves , and start new from the top . The ring of roots around the surface is normal too . Sounds like you are doing well with it . Once it is done blooming you might want to repot it or a lot of roots will end up out of the pot . Happy Growing Gin

  3. #3
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    Eeeeeck!!

    I've never repotted an orchid!! Come to think of it, I've never repotted anything in my life. Can you help?? Pleeease. The phal is sitting in sphag, and since I'm in the southern hemisphere, winter is fast approaching. In Joburg winters are dry, very dry.

    That reminds me, i have to bring the orchids in from the shadehouse.

    I also have a mad scientist, hairbrained scheme brewing in my head. Will tell you bout it soon.

    Thanx!!

  4. #4
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    As Gin said, Praveer, it sounds like the plant is happy. The lowest leaf will occassionally yellow and shrivel (and die.) The newest leaves typically come in a darker purplish green and can be very floppy until they mature. (I stake mine to hold them in place till they firm up.) Aerial roots are extremely common.

    Ok, here's my repotting for newbies lesson:

    1. Fix yourself a stiff drink. You're stressing way to much over the repotting thing. I actually find it fun. It's both thearaputic and it's the closest you come to communing with your plant. It's like you and it are having a conversation about its health.

    2. You need to decide what potting medium you want to use. I personally use sphagnum moss for all my phals. They love it are healthy horses in it. I know many in this forum aren't crazy about sphag and would suggest other media, but I'd offer that if the plant is already in sphag and seems to be doing well, don't change the medium. If you go with sphag, try and find New Zealand sphag. It's the best and the quality absolutely helps. I mail order mine.

    3. You need to consider the size of the pot. This is easiest once the plant is out of the pot and you can see the size of the root ball, but I always try and have a pot one size bigger handy, should I need it. Sometimes they go back in the same pot, sometimes they graduate up a size. The right size pot should give the roots a little room to grow, but not too much. If the plant is swimming in a giant pot, it's called overpotting and the plant will throw so much energy into growing new roots (they want a snuggly feeling in the pot), it will stop leaf and flower development.

    4. Carefully remove the plant from the pot. Do this over newspaper near a sink. Pick the moss away from the roots until they're fully exposed. Do this carefully to avoid breaking any roots. Rinse the root mass in luke-warm water (don't shock the plant with cold water.)

    5. Take a look at the roots. If they're healthy, they're firm and either whitish (that's the vellum covering them) or green. If they're dessicated and crispy, the plant has been under-watered. If they're dark or black and mushy, they've been over-watered and have rotted. Cut away any dessicated or rotted roots, so that only healthy roots are left.

    6. Styrofoam peanuts in the bottom of the pot will provide drainage. Place a layer of peanuts in the pot, after you've cleaned out any old potting mix. Soak your new sphagnum moss for a good half hour before you use it in warm water. I place a bit over the peanuts and then shape it in and around the root ball to cushion the roots and provide moisture to the inner ones in the root ball. It's a little tricky with only two hands, but it's not that hard once you try it once or twice. center the plant and moss wrapped around it into the pot. If it doesn't sit high enough in the pot, place more moss under it. Fill the sides with moss to secure the plant, but don't jam the moss in too tightly. That will take out the necessary air pockets that the roots require. If the plant is wobbly, stake it to secure it.

    7. Don't forget to replace the ID tag, if you have one.

    Ta da! You're done.
    Fix yourself another drink in celebration of your achievment!

    Good luck and let us know how you do! Shout if you have any more questions.
    Julie

  5. #5
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    Thanx for the info.

    There is an orchid show coming up at the end of may (last weekend), where i intend to spend a good portion of my life savings on orchids. I will look out for sphag there. Hopefully i'll be able to repot the phal the next day.

    The one main reason why this is stressing my out a little is that in may i have tons of tests, and in june i have exams. So the orchids are going to be ignored for a while. Btw, during exams last year i ignored my plants so much that my little bonsai died of a monstrous scle infection (* moment of silence for the duely departed*)

    Also, since i don't drink, i'll be substituting the drink for a slab of nice dark chocolate.....yum.

    Thanx once again

    Praveer

  6. #6
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    pics as i promised.

    first pic is the phal in question. second pic is the leaves that i told you bout. third pic is the medium. and the fourth is off a new leaf that i just noticed yesterday
    Attached Images Attached Images     

  7. #7
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    Here's the pics as I promised. The first one is of where the phal in question and where it resides. The second is of the leaves. The third pic is of the medium (sphag). The last pic is of the new baby leaf that i just discovered yesterday!!

    Please look at the new thread that i started about the aquarium greenhouse . It will be the home for the phal once it has stopped flowering.

    Thanx

    Praveer
    Attached Images Attached Images     

  8. #8
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    just curious,
    what are all those little salt and pepper shakers on the table there?


    j/k
    i see they're trophies of some sort,
    but what for, if i may ask?

  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    Ennui,

    About 25% of the trophies are for sport, mainly karate on the graduation evening. The rest are all for academic, eg subject awards, best in grade etc. About 40% are mine, another 40% are my brother's and the rest are my sister'. The scary thing is that these only cover awards till grade 7.

    Hope your curiousity has been satistifed. You now have 8 lives remaining.

    Cheers.

    Praveer
    ps. Mike, thanks for the info.

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