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phal with no more roots

This is a discussion on phal with no more roots within the Genus Specific forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hi all, very sad day today. the phal i said with one root which i ...

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  1. #1
    hohcs is offline Member
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    Unhappy phal with no more roots

    Hi all,

    very sad day today. the phal i said with one root which i potted into s/h now has no roots. now i regret doing one of the two things. one is to cut the broken roots off while i transplant to s/h. the plant in previous potting mix was sufferent from root rot. the roots went mushy at certain places - usually in the middle - and then soft tissue get broken off leaving only the fleshy, healthy looking base and tip joined by a thread of roots. i was uncertain whether to cut these off, but i did. mistake no.1?

    so after trimming off all these unhealthy roots. there is only one root left. about a month later, there still seem to be no new growth. the other day, while i watered all my other plants, i decided to top up the reservior in this seemingly dormant plant and then fw days later when i took the plant out of its pot to check the progress, i noticed the single root has rotted. sigh, it was such a sad thing. i thought the root has grown, it looks longer than the time i repotted it but alas i have killed that too. mistake no.2: i should not have watered it while there is still water in the reservoir?

    i thought with s/h, one can never overwater? it seems not true?

    now, the plant has no more roots, except for a few - still growing - aerial, and some trimmed stumps of old roots (3 of them), less or about an inch long. i cannot even make the plant sit firmly in the mix anymore. so i just lay the plant on the mix and put a plastic bag over the pot.

    this used to be the strongest phal i have and now it is in this sorry state. how heartbreaking to think how i slowly tortured it to such a state.


    maybe there is nothing more i can do? it still has 5 leaves. is it beyond help?

    urgh, this will be the first orchid i kill, actually not the first. the first i killed had a spike and a friend applied some keiki hormone on the the bud and now it seems to be putting up a small plant, i hope that will grow into a full plant some time in future. but this phal seems to be pushed over the point of no return by me.

    ok, no more to say from this orchid killer...

  2. #2
    Cinderella is offline Senior Member
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    I am no expert but if the leaves still look healthy I would think there is certainly a chance of recovery.

    I have both saved and killed orchids (and 2 phals come to mind) trying to save them in s/h. The sphag and bag thing NEVER works for me so I might as well try s/h. One I did save and it has about 4-5 new roots now. Another which was a NOID that I dearly loved died but I tortured it first by trying bark and sphag, neither of which worked.

    It really hurts to lose the ones you love but a great excuse to go buy something new to make yourself feel better.

  3. #3
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    Gin
    Gin is offline Senior Member
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    Not your fault some times things happen , I would put it in a humid area shaded and see what it does . I have tried the Spag and bag too and not had any luck with it , placing it on a bed of Spag. with loose plastic over it might help to keep the humidity up to keep it from dehydrating . If you have access to a willow tree get a piece of it cook it to get juice and use it to spray on the root stump . I use a rooting hormone from Canada but have used this brew with sucess . We have all killed a few , in my case a lot lol .. Gin

  4. #4
    hohcs is offline Member
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    thanks for all your replies.

    i am keeping it lying on top of some moist diatomite mix i have in a s/h setp. and i put a bag over it.

    when you say you saved dying ones, do you mean they had no roots and now they have 4-5? is that possible? how many leaves did you lose in the meantime. sigh. phals grow so slowly, so losing each leaf is such a big deal.

    sigh sigh sigh.

  5. #5
    Cinderella is offline Senior Member
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    If it had any roots left they were not good ones. However, this has been over a number of months. I didn't lose that many leaves. However, the other one I had had about 5 leaves and the whole thing rotted. For me, it can go either way....The rotted one I bought at Target, so say no more.

  6. #6
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    I find that under my conditions, s/h is the quickest way to kill a plant with sub-par roots. It might work to revive plants in a greenhouse, but not on my (dry) windowsill.

    Overwatering is indeed possible with s/h, especially with epiphytes. Even with terrestrials like paphs, I only water at most once a week, and maybe once every 10 days in the winter. The reservoir should dry out near the time of the next watering.

  7. #7
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    Well i,ve got a rootless wonder as well(noid phal) , it is in s/h but it got chilled over christmas & detoriated over a couple of weeks.Sure enough when i unpotted it the roots where a mess so i cut off the worst & put it back in s/h.
    It,s in my growroom so hopefully it should pick up , the leaves are all floppy & show creases(dehydrated) but i haven,t lost any yet
    Funny thing is i have another Phal in the same window , it did drop a few flowers but has now extended the spikes & making new buds.
    The diference between the 2 plants is that the rootless wonder had only been in s/h for a few months so probably had not made many/any new roots.The other Phal has been in s/h since last summer & has roots & aerial roots galore.

  8. #8
    hohcs is offline Member
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    hey all,

    this is strange. i am not sure if i should be happy so soon. i noticed the aerial roots keeps growing. and also the tiny stubs of roots that don't seem to have green tips are extending slowly towards the medium too. are they growing or am i imagining this as i desire it to live to much that my eyes are playing tricks!

    now i try to stick it into the mix and prop it up and hope that the root stubs will continue to grow - if it is not just my imaginations - and grow into the medium.

    the leaves are already creased. do they have a chance of coming back, i mean un-creased?

    also why do some of you say the chances of recovery is higher in a greenhouse? is it the humidity which is hard to recreate with a bag?

  9. #9
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    The creasing is due to dehydration so once the roots have established themselves the creases should go.
    High humidity prevents the plant from loosing moisture through evaporation from it,s leaves.There will be a smaller demand for moisture with high humidity
    so the plant shouldn,t stress as much as a plant with low humidity.

  10. #10
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    rootless orchids especially require high humidity as the plant will not lose nearly as much moisture via transpiration. humidity is easy to provide with the greenhouse or a bag...however, air movement is only easy to provide with the former. high humidity without air movement is like a pizza without the toppings, i.e. no good. (apologies to cheese pizza fanciers).

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