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Stimulating root growth in Phals

This is a discussion on Stimulating root growth in Phals within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; "OrchidTracy here has had experience revitalizing Phals; she might have something to add... In any ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Re: Re: Methinks my new orchid is sick

    "OrchidTracy here has had experience revitalizing Phals; she might have something to add...

    In any case, thanks for offering to answer questions and, glad you're here!"

    I think I may have just posted to you on this, so sorry if I say the same thing twice. On one of my Phals, there seems to be NO root growth (I had to cut most of them off of one). How long does it take for healthy roots to appear? Also, My Happy Girl Phal (my favorite one to boot) roots seem to go up and down as far as their health , they look good a couple weeks and now aren't looking so good(a little mushy). I'm not overwatering them (about 1 good thorough wet down and some fine misting a week) and have them on humidity trays since the air is so dry. What am I doing wrong? Or does Happy girl have a bad attitude?

  2. #2
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    LJA
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    OrchidTracy, I started a new thread with your question; that's why it's here and not on the tail end of the other....

    Phals will put out new roots during the active growing season--spring, summer, and early fall--about the same time they're putting out new growth and starting to spike. Once they've bloomed, it will look like they've gone into suspended animation where they will do absolutely nothing for a while.

    I don't know what your lighting or temperatures are like but, if you can keep good light on them and grow them at around 75 F, even during the winter, you can simulate a "year-around" growing season. Given that criterion, to initiate new root growth, you can dust the plant's stem between the second set of leaves from the bottom and the growing medium with powdered Rootone or another type of root stimulator. Then, wrap the dusted areas with a few strands of sphagnum and mist that daily, in the morning, to keep it moist but not soggy. In about a month and a half or so, roots will begin to appear through the sphagnum.

    This won't work, however, unless you can keep the temps and light up and strong. A couple of customers who had over-watered have tried this and have had good results, so it's worth giving it a shot if you're willing to go to the trouble.

    As far as the roots looking good, and then mushy, and then good again, are these roots exposed so that you can see them? I'm assuming you're not constantly unpotting to check their condition, which would put a lot of stress of the plant...

    Good growing!

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    Thanks for al the tips. The reason I know about the roots is because when I first brought it home, I did repot it and cut quite a bit off that had rot. The arial roots were ok and seemed to be growing fine. Then, unfortuanatly, my cat got curious and knocked over the pot, and that was a disaster. So I had to once again repot it (and took off even more root rot since it was already exposed) I'll be lucky if this one pulls through.

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    LOL! Cats and orchids definitely don't mix. Our cats seem intent on chewing any orchid we bring in from the greenhouse for display, so we don't do that any more because catnip is a ton less expensive... Phals (and orchids in general) are extrememely hardy and will take a phenomenal amount of abuse before expiring: I'll bet that, given the care you seem to be giving yours, your Phal will pull through with a little patience and TLC.

    Good growing!

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