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  • 1 Post By Carolla

Noob - leaves falling off

This is a discussion on Noob - leaves falling off within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; First of let me say that I have read through several articles on this and ...

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  1. #1
    Pistolero is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015

    Default Noob - leaves falling off

    First of let me say that I have read through several articles on this and based on the specifics I cannot really tell what is going on which is why I am adding yet another noob question about my phalaenopsis leaves suddenly falling off.

    I first bought mine Feb 19, I've only watered it four times since then because it takes ages for the media to dry up and based on what little I knew about it then, i would wait until it had dried before attempting to water it again which could take 14-21 days. I did try to add holes along the plastic container to aid in circulation hoping to shorted drying time but that didn't really help.

    From date of purchase I have since read up a bit on them and watched a few videos but decided to wait before repotting it since by the time I read up on that aspect, it had already started to bloom.

    Since my last watering a few days ago the leaves have all of a sudden dried up and become lighter. The rear ones are starting to wither and die and the stems are turning yellow. The front ones are showing signs of the same thing as well.

    My question is, did i overwater it or underwater it, did that last watering have anything to do with the death or dying flowers? Is this the natural progression of the plant? The lady told me it would last about 4 months which is about right but I was under the impression the flowers would die one by one and not all at the same time.

    The orchid is quite large, the leaves are 10'' each in lenght and the flowers are 5'' across in a 4'' plastic container.

  2. #2
    Carolla's Avatar
    Carolla is offline Senior Member
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    Phals, Catts, Onc. Alliance
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    Dec 2012
    Eastern WA State, USA


    Are you talking about the leaves drying out or the flowers? If its the flowers, not so bad, but if its the leaves, then you need to take it out of its pot and check the roots. It's possible they started to rot and need to dry out and be repotted. Either way, you have a bit of a problem, as leaving it as you got it is very likely to damage the roots and the plant and repotting it will also damage the roots (they have grown to the conditions the plant has grown in and it will have to grow new roots). Still, personally I would take it out of its pot, check the roots, let it dry out and repot it. The roots need air as well as moisture - you've been doing well not over watering it sounds like. It's also possible you got water in the crown when you watered it and started a crown rot - that's pretty much the end of it, it will rot from the top leaves down. If the roots go bad, it will rot from the bottom up.

    If its in sphagnum moss, I'd probably add some into coarse orchid bark and pot it up in that. Pick your pot on the viable root mass, not the current pot size. I'd also be sure to get a seaweed based root stimulant and put some of that in the water you soak the new media in before you pot it. Also use some (follow directions) in your water for the first few times you water it after repotting. I've had great results getting new roots that way on my Phals. If you have high humidity, you might skip sphagnum moss in your pot entirely, I have dry conditions and use it to help keep moisture at the roots.

    Then keep the plant in low stress environment, not too bright. Also Phals like warm roots, so keep that in mind too. Water when its dry, it should dry out quicker than it was depending on what it is currently potted in.

    You don't have to be in a big hurry to get it into a pot after you take it out, a couple of days or even longer is fine. If it sits on a counter for several days, you might want to run some water over the roots though. I would also try to post pictures, that will improve the advice you get a lot and I'd wait a couple of days at least to get more than one person's ideas. Better not to jump right in and cut things off or whatever until you read a few things and we get a picture to see what's going on. It should be ok to take it out of the pot to examine it though and post pictures of what you find.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    ksriramkumar is offline Senior Member
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    Outside 24/7
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    Vanda, Phals & Dendrobium
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    Jul 2013
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    Concur with Carol. Posting a picture would help

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