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Help...extremely new orchid owner

This is a discussion on Help...extremely new orchid owner within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hello. i just purchased a phal on Sunday. It currently has 3 flowers and a ...

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  1. #1
    rradovitch is offline Junior Member
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    Default Help...extremely new orchid owner

    Hello. i just purchased a phal on Sunday. It currently has 3 flowers and a few buds about to open. It is planted in a tera cotta pot in what seems to be sphagnum moss. When I purchased the plant it was very dry so Monday am I watered it throughly. I poured an entire water bottle through the moss to where it was coming out the drainage holes on the side of the pot.

    So my questions are this...it is still very wet, pot, moss and all. Should it be drying out by now and did I water it too much?

    Also, this evening i noticed the ends of the leaves are curling up a little. What causes this?

    Any info at all will be helpful as i have been trying to learn all i can.

    Thanks in advance.

    Ryan

  2. #2
    Cjcorner's Avatar
    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
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    You did good. One strict rule is that when you water your phal you water thoroughly to rinse away fertilizer salts. The sphagnum your phal is in will only need watering every 7-10 days. Poke your finger into the moss at least and inch or two deep to check how moist the center is. Water when the pot begins to feel light to you. Pick it up to get used to the weight now when it is good and wet. I use wooden skewers you can buy at any grocery store. When a stick, inserted for 10 minutes is placed against your cheek, if it feels wet, wait; damp, water soon; dry, water now. You should buy some orchid food, make sure it doesn't contain Urea (that can burn phals roots). You can use a even 10-10-10 formulation or 20-20-20, when they are potted in bark a fertilizer with a higher nitrogen # (nitrogen is the first number in the formulation). Use at 1/4 strength when you water. Every 4th watering leave out the fertilizer and rinse very thoroughly.
    Good Luck and welcome to the world of Orchids. Let us know when you get more...lol
    Connie

  3. #3
    rradovitch is offline Junior Member
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    Will the plant be ok in Sphagnum or does it need to be repotted in tree bark?

  4. #4
    ischel1's Avatar
    ischel1 is offline Senior Member
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    I use orchid bark on all my phals. Growers have a tendency to market their orchids in sphag, however it is very tricky and phals do not like to be so wet. If I were you and especially since you say the leaves are curling I would unpot it and check the roots. Cut away any rotted or damaged roots with a sterile knife. Make sure you wash away all the sphag from the roots, (usually you'll find a ball of sphag right in the middle of the roots). Repot in orchid bark. Be aware that if you follow this method you may lose any buds/flowers the plant has, however the other option is that you may lose the whole plant if the roots are rotting from the sphag. Good luck
    ischel

  5. #5
    sand_tiger86's Avatar
    sand_tiger86 is offline Senior Member
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    IT'S A DAMNED PHAL, IT'LL DIE ANYWAY!!! Grrr. . . .Sorry. Outburst. Buy a catt.

  6. #6
    Cjcorner's Avatar
    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
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    After a year of killing phals i've found the smaller ones like spag better, the bigger ones fir bark. I am careful of keeping them too dry.

  7. #7
    rradovitch is offline Junior Member
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    So the question is is now the time to repot it? It is in bloom and still looks healthy to me. the only problem I notice is that the tips of the leaves are a bit curled. Two are going up and 2 down. The leaves also have a dark border on them-a bit purple but dark.

  8. #8
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    You should wait till the blooms fade to repot unless you do not mind the possibility of loosing your blooms.

    Cheers,
    BD

  9. #9
    rradovitch is offline Junior Member
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    Is the curling leaves and purple edges "norma?"

  10. #10
    cindiras's Avatar
    cindiras is offline Senior Member
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    Hmmm! Purple edging on the leaves- I tend to think that means the plant is getting lots of light!

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