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  • 1 Post By nlnelson
  • 1 Post By Dazed
  • 2 Post By TwoStems

Phal on its way to recovery (with lots of thanks to all of you!) and now a question

This is a discussion on Phal on its way to recovery (with lots of thanks to all of you!) and now a question within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; This phal came potted tightly in sphag and I repotted it in a sphag/bark mix ...

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  1. #1
    nlnelson's Avatar
    nlnelson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Phal on its way to recovery (with lots of thanks to all of you!) and now a question

    This phal came potted tightly in sphag and I repotted it in a sphag/bark mix last October. When my SO accidentally knocked over the pot 3 weeks later, I could see that every root had rotted away. Since the plant seemed fairly healthy, I decided to try to sphag and bag it, using techniques and advice I found in lots of places here. So, this phal survived rootless for 6 months (and through an international move, no less!), grew a new leaf, and started sending out roots like crazy in April! My very sincere thanks to all the great advice-givers here!!

    Now, a few of the roots are nearly 2 inches long, but I'm a bit afraid to pot it up - I've only had one phal keep its roots after I re-potted it, and that was once I discovered CHC. Also, most of the roots on this phal seem to be growing perpendicular to the stem, rather than down toward any medium I might put it in, and one root is above the lowest leaf. So, my question is this: how soon do I need to re-pot it and how can I repot it in such a way that the roots will end up in the medium??

    Many thanks!!
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  2. #2
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    Wow! Just found this thread, hope it's not too late to answer your question. First thing; great going on the new growth. Secondly, the root that's above the leaf would be an aerial root til it gets long enough to grow into the media and the leaf eventually falls off. I have a few of those but I'm the type that just let's em do as they please so it's not a big deal to me if it's not in the pot. See:
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    Most people would have shoved this root back in the pot in the early. If you are having issues with the rotting it may be your environment is more humid and moisture sticks around longer like it does for me. The media you are using may be retaining the moisture a lot longer and if you wet too regular causes the rotting. I switched to the clay balls and coconut husk chunks, it worked. Make sure there is ventilation in the pot to help with the drying out process. Above is one of the 2 orchids I have in plastic pots, the other is an onc, even if you have to make more holes with a hot ice pick (which is what I used to make the plastic container into an orchid pot) or drill or utility knife. Mounting may also be an option, depending on your space available.

  3. #3
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    I like your method of using a glass enclosure with something underneath! I've got a mini in a bag right now and I feel like I'm always going to knock it over. May try this technique!! And great growing!

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the kind words!

    Ali, I put the phal in a glass enclosure because my other half got tired of having the plastic bag it was originally in sitting on our coffee table Once the roots were growing, I was afraid things in the glass would start to get moldy so I used spacers to raise and lower the glass container off the tray below, to allow at least a little bit of air to circulate.

    Tamara, thanks for the info! I do think I have better luck when I leave lots of open space in the pot - ventilation does seem to be a problem for me. I eventually decided to VERY loosely place sphag around the roots while it was in the glass enclosure so the roots could start to adjust to being surrounded by medium. After a few weeks I potted it into a clear plastic container. I put an inverted net pot in the bottom of the container, lined coco chips around the net pot, and then cut open the small center circle of the bottom of the net pot (now facing upward). I pushed the dead lower part of the phal's stem through the opening so the plant is now being held steady by the net pot. That allowed me to put a layer of very loose sphag on top without worrying about packing it tight enough to hold the plant.

    Here are pics of how it looks now, the close up picture is of the phal sitting in the net pot and the other is how the plant looks potted - the pot looks big but there is actually very little media in it. The root tips are still green and new roots are growing, so hopefully it will adjust and thrive!

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  5. #5
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    Very smart use of the net basket, never thought of that. Sphagnum moss isn't available here so I raid my coconut tree for husks and I cut them up in chunks, to help retain a little moisture. Just don't leave it too moist, and btw, just take a smidging of the sphag from so close to the bottom leaves, reduces the chances of rotting.

  6. #6
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    Good advice, I'll take some of that sphag off the top.

    It must be wonderful to have a ready-made supply of coco husks! Plus, you don't have to worry about whether you flushed all the salt out of it...

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