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New to this- help!

This is a discussion on New to this- help! within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I am new into orchids. I'm doing fairly well, except in my egotistical manner I ...

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  1. #1
    thefastestslug is offline Junior Member
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    Default New to this- help!

    I am new into orchids. I'm doing fairly well, except in my egotistical manner I took over caring for a severly rotted phal. and am having trouble getting it to bounce back. When I got the orchid it was so damaged, there was very little that I did not cut back. Now, months later, after the appearance of two new beautiful leaves, the orchid is having problems again. The crown has taken on a very purplish hue and the leaf nearest to the crown looks as if its about to rot away (it's still green, but getting more flacid and lighter in color each day). There is some healthy looking root, but most of it is getting covered with a rotted brown casing (underneath the casing the root looks green and healthy). I'm under the impression that I need to cut all of this off, but I'm worried that I'll have little to nothing left of the plant! Help me! Can it be saved??? If so, how can I keep it from recurring?? I don't think I overwater it....

  2. #2
    JB_Orchidguy's Avatar
    JB_Orchidguy is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Your descriptions were good, but it may help some if you can post a picture of the plant too. Sometimes what one person may thing it rot may just be the color. A picture can be a great help. Thanks

  3. #3
    LJA's Avatar
    LJA
    LJA is offline OrchidTalk Tech Admin
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    Hi fastest, welcome to the forum!

    As Josh said, a picture if you could post one would be of great help.

    Going by your descriptions though, it sounds as if the plant is getting too much light, and either too much, or too little water. Roots out of the pot should be a milky tan or grey in color; roots buried in the potting medium should be a tannish yellow. If they're rotting, they'll turn brown, and the outer covering will easily slip off the root thread inside. From what you described though, a root being green under the outer covering, it sounds healthy, but others may be either too dry or rotting; in either case, the plant is not taking up enough water, and that's leading to the flaccid leaves.

    Unpot the plant, get rid of any old medium, clip away any rotten or dead roots with sterilized shears, and repot in fresh medium, using a size pot that will just comfortably hold what good roots are left--in other words, don't go too big.

    Then, move the plant back from so much light, and water it. You should only water it again when a q-tip pressed a couple of inches down into the root zone comes up barely damp. If it comes up dry, you've waited too long; if it comes up wet, you need to hold off.

    See if that doesn't help (the plant is going to take a while to recover, so don't expect an immediate turnaround), and try to post a pic if possible.

  4. #4
    thefastestslug is offline Junior Member
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    Cool

    I don't have the ability to take pic and scan them from my home. I'll try to find an example somewhere if I can. The other advice sounds really good. I'll give it a shot. I think I will need to go much smaller on a pot and I'll move it to another location. Thanks!

    PS: Do you have a reccommendation for an appropriate medium for my troubled phal??

  5. #5
    LJA's Avatar
    LJA
    LJA is offline OrchidTalk Tech Admin
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    Every grower has their favorite, and you can do a forum search on "potting medium" to find out the different things people are using. Here, we use a mixture of fine bark, charcoal, fine coconut husk chips, and sponge rok, but lots of things will work. Since you're fairly new at growing, if I were you, I would just go down to a Lowe's or boxstore and buy a bag of "Orchid Potting Mix." Then, just keep an eye out for how much moisture the stuff retains under your conditions, and water / fertilize accordingly.

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