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Help needed with yellowing phal please!

This is a discussion on Help needed with yellowing phal please! within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I think phals do wonderfully outside. Mine are all outside now, in sphagnum, under shade ...

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  1. #11
    Liz's Avatar
    Liz
    Liz is offline Senior Member
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    I think phals do wonderfully outside. Mine are all outside now, in sphagnum, under shade cloth, and I'm amazed at how well and beautifully they are growing. I don't think crown rot is an issue with rain water, but rather something that occurs with the use of tap water.

    As to saving a phal with root rot, I have now revived three from the brink of death, having essentially no roots left, to now sprouting new leaves. It's not that hard, and if you're successful, I can't tell you how good it feels! Some people complain it takes too long, but I did the following steps starting in mid-April, and my plants are well on their way to full recovery.

    You must remove all the rotted, dark, mushy roots. (There is some disagreement whether to leave the white thin center to help stabilize the plant; I didn't leave them.) I dusted the nubs of the plants with cinnamon (a natural fungicide) and a little rooting hormone. Then, I wrapped the nubs in sphagnum moss, soaked in a SuperThrive solution, and then squeezed out, like a sponge. I put the plants in unglazed clay pots, and put just enough additional sphagnum to stead the plants. Bark will not keep the roots padded and cushy in the moisture they need to encourage new growth.

    It's important to keep the humidity up, because the plant isn't getting moisture from it's non-existent roots. So, at this point, some people put the plant, pot and all in a plastic bag, creating a little terrarium. But instead, I put the pots on a humidity tray, pebbles in a baking dish with water about half-way up the pebbles. I also misted the leaves daily or more, for a few weeks. I watered them with a SuperThrive solution (but no fertilizer) when the top of the sphagnum got crispy dry.

    After about 2 weeks, I moved the plants from a lower light window to a brighter window with an $8 supplemental grow light. A few weeks later, when I saw new leaves poking through, I put them outside with everyone else, and added fertilizer to their water, and started cutting back on the SuperThrive (because I've heard too much can cause deformed leaves.)

    So, it took a few weeks, but I am so proud of myself!

    Good luck, and report back on your progress.

    Liz

  2. #12
    PAGrower is offline Senior Member
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    So, it took a few weeks, but I am so proud of myself!
    Bravo. I agree that it can seem like a big pain to save a sick plant but it's also so rewarding when you succeed. They are living things, after all, and I so hate it when I lose one.

  3. #13
    Liz's Avatar
    Liz
    Liz is offline Senior Member
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    Oh, duh! You basically got the same thing from Lisa and Gilda... and I did forget about the styrofoam peanuts or broken clay pieces in the bottom, for good drainage.

    And yeah, sphagnum is controversial. Some people love it and some people hate it. I think it's essential for reviving a root rotted plant. After that, it depends on what works best for you, your growing conditions, whether you use clay or plastic pots, and what plants you put in it. I hated it for a while, and now I love it for my phals.

  4. #14
    Jmoney's Avatar
    Jmoney is offline Senior Member
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    The key is to get another, healthy plant (or more than one) to pass the time while the first one recovers.

  5. #15
    Liz's Avatar
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    Oh, yeah, JMoney. I forgot that step, too. It is absolutely essential to the recovery of a sick plant! I think it gives the sick plant something to hold on to, something to give it hope... or at least that's how I rationalize it.

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