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I feel so frustrated!!! A rotten phal...

This is a discussion on I feel so frustrated!!! A rotten phal... within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I find them tricky too...but especially the cheapies that I have bought at HD/Lowes/Target that ...

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  1. #11
    Cinderella is offline Senior Member
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    I find them tricky too...but especially the cheapies that I have bought at HD/Lowes/Target that come in 2 million feet of moss. Who knows how much they are watered before you even get them? I think in the future if I buy something like that in moss I am not going to wait so long before repotting because even when watering only every 3 weeks, the roots seem to rot!

    Glad your s/h phals are working. I am beginning to think that all of my weak ones will go into s/h and succeed or fail.

    I am finding the oncidiums tricky. They are supposed to be beginner orchids just like phals but I have either pleated leaves, which are so ugly or emaciated bulbs which aren't too good either. I can't seem to get the watering down right. s/h??

  2. #12
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    JOHNnDC is offline Senior Member
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    See, and for me my oncs grow great. I really do believe that each home has its own unique conditions, which is why it scares the hell out of me that I'm condo/house hunting now. I'll probably move into a place that hates my plants.

  3. #13
    Heather is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cinderella
    I find them tricky too...but especially the cheapies that I have bought at HD/Lowes/Target that come in 2 million feet of moss. Who knows how much they are watered before you even get them?
    AMEN! I think this is a big problem when you buy from non-orchid growers...I saw some phals today that had HUGE leaves and 5" blooms (so healthy looking!) and you know, they were all in overpacked sphag and will likely not sell due to outrageous prices and be trashed in a week or two. Pisses me off, frankly....It is so hard to visit these plants and see what will likely happen because they are so much pricier than the HD/Lowes orchids, and yet so much healthier and they stand no more of a chance than the cheapy ones. It is like visiting a nursing home...makes you feel good at the time but when you think of it more...just kind of depressing. Poor babies!

    My one and only phal had this problem - was bought from fairly reputable but overpriced greenhouse and had about 22 flowers...however the sphag was too tightly packed so I only watered when it dried out, which was not enough, but too much!!! When I finally cut the spikes and repotted, I put a teeny bit of sphag around the rootball (small btw) and the rest is a bark mix. I have 3 new roots (arial) and two leaves and it seems to be doing well.

    On a related note, at Dtps. I got in April, also in my opinion underpotted in too much moss, is doing well. It is in a clear pot I can monitor, and it is actually putting out more buds on the existing spikes, which is new this week (I recently moved both of these into more western p.m. light. may have something to do with it?) I was getting ready to cut the spikes and see if they would branch. I guess I won't be cutting that spike now!

    These things throw me for a loop for sure!!!

  4. #14
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    uncasteeb is offline Senior Member
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    Most of the plants i,ve seen or bought are in bark mix.Only seen 1 place that used sphag & my Phrags came in Rockwool.The 'chids i,ve repotted for friends & family have gone in a bark/pearlite/charcoal/peat/sphag mix but i only use a little chopped sphag & the mix is 3/4 med bark.I found the concotion but didn,t bookmark the page.Latest 'chid i potted for my mum(Oncidium ) was put in s/h & it looks really happy.I repotted it earlier in the year & the leaves got a slight twist , stress i suppose but not this time.

  5. #15
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    orchidaddict789 is offline Senior Member
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    I find my orchids in boxstore, a local plant store, and sometimes even in grocery stores! I just walk into a store, see those pretty little orchids, get attached, fall in love, and they eagerly follow them home. I just can't imagine the horrible fate that lays ahead of them--the orchids wait, get rotten, shrivel, and die soon. Poor orchids.

    Now I've controlled myself a bit, because I gotta be more careful! The phal that I mentioned looked gorgeous at first. Then it sort of withered and I saw it was potted in tightly, tightly, packed sphag. Maybe I should watch out for sphag orchids???

  6. #16
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    Jmoney is offline Senior Member
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    I've gotten good plants from HD before. It's about picking healthy ones, i.e. the ones that just got there and haven't been lying around a while. Healthy ones have good leaf turgor, clean foliage & spikes, and with phals you'll often see some new roots at the surface. With bark, you can give it the old wobble test, or just pick the plant up by the base or pseudobulbs (if it's in a plastic pot, the entire pot will come up with the plant if the roots are good). It may be harder to tell with sphag, but if you grab the base firmly on a phal and pull up, the entire wad of sphag should come up pretty easily. There should be healthy roots along the outside of the sphag ball. I would repot immediately, though, since the sphag on these plants is usually quite compacted and a disaster waiting to happen.

  7. #17
    Cinderella is offline Senior Member
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    I guess the sphag works for some people, maybe those in warmer climates like Florida, but just not me. Plus my tendency is to overwater anyway. That said, last week Target had a sale and I bought a Degamoara Winter Wonderland which was NOID but I recognized, on sale for $12. Target is the worst of the bunch, I think, and when their orchids fail, I believe that they just throw them out instead of marking them down.

    I don't think the Phals at HD and Lowes are THAT cheap. Sometimes $23 or $25 for 6 inch pots. Wild Oats has better orchids for $17.

  8. #18
    Heather is offline Banned
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    I am a firm believer that you get what you pay for.

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