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phal leaf and root questions

This is a discussion on phal leaf and root questions within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hi everyone, I'm sorry that I haven't posted but once since I joined and that ...

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  1. #1
    brit6v's Avatar
    brit6v is offline Senior Member
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    Default phal leaf and root questions

    Hi everyone,
    I'm sorry that I haven't posted but once since I joined and that was awhile back, but since I'm a beginner, I haven't had any experienced-orchid-growing advice that I could contribute, but hopefully someday I will be able to.

    I have 2 questions about one of my phals (I have attached pictures of the plant). This is a phal that I rescued this last Spring from a nursery that apparently wasn't very "orchid-care savvy" because the orchid was sitting under a large plant in a mossy puddle of water getting practically no light in their greenhouse. Anyway, after I brought it home I unpotted it and found a snail in the old medium, so I treated the orchid then repotted it and until recently it seemed to have been growing fine. Actually, it still may be growing as it should, but I wanted to confirm what I have understood and get your advice, as well. I understand that sometimes it is common for a phal to drop a lower leaf.....am I correct about that? My phal has 2 lower yellow leaves, so I just wanted to be sure. My other question is a root question: Growing on top of one of the lower yellow leaves that will soon fall off is a healthy root. When the yellow leaf drops, the root tip will be exposed to the edge of the pot. Now, I know you won't laugh at a totally clueless newbie and think this is a silly question because I have no doubt that all of you are a nice group of people so I would like to know from you if when the root touches something "foreign" (the pot edge) will that kill it? Should I try to place some sphag underneath the root to "cushion the blow" (lol), or just leave the root alone and let it travel as it will?

    I will appreciate any advice that you can offer.
    Thanks in advance,
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  2. #2
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is online now Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Default

    Your phal looks fine. You can remove the lower (yellowed) leaves to clean up the appearance of the plant. And, no, you don't need to worry about the root or cushion it. It will find its way - wherever it likes. No worries.

    Cheers,
    BD

  3. #3
    sadie's Avatar
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    Default

    Don't worry -- no silly questions here. You don't need to cushion the root. My phal roots crawl all over the place--happy orchids have rowdy roots--they don't like to stay in their pots. The only thing to be aware of is that next time you repot--any roots that are touching the clay pot will likely kind of attach. Just soak the pot for a minute to wet down the roots and they'll "let go". You just don't want to pull the plant out and strip the roots off the pot. But for growing purposes--absolutely no harm done. (here's a picture of one of mine that likes to push on the pots).

    As for your other question--the phal looks pretty good. I would double check to make sure that you don't have root rot. Sometimes leaves fall off for that reason--so just check your roots. But otherwise, I'd say it is just normal leaf shedding.

  4. #4
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    Here's one of many of my phals whose roots are reaching over the pot . . .
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  5. #5
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    Becky15349 is offline Senior Member
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    Yes, your orchid looks totally fine - and just like Bruce said, you can remove those bottom yellow leaves and sorta "clean up" the appearance of the plant if you like. Also, if you like, once you remove those lower yellow leaves you'll see that the plant could potentially be repotted a little lower into the pot...depending on the humidity by you, you may not have to do that, but I'm always trying to keep roots in the pots, LOL...

  6. #6
    ischel1's Avatar
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    Since your questions have already been answered, I'll just add that no one will ever make fun of you here, even the most experienced grower is still learning and that there are no silly questions. So question away.

  7. #7
    brit6v's Avatar
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    Thanks for your help, everyone....Bruce, Sadie, Becky and Ischel1! Thanks also for your thoughtful words. Sadie, your phal looks wonderful.....very healthy! This last Spring when I was starting to try my hand at orchid growing for the first time, I was looking forward to the day when one of my orchids would bloom for me, but now I'm looking forward to the day when one of my plants looks as nice and healthy as yours does. When that day comes, I can start looking forward to blooms again. :>)
    Thanks again everybody,
    Vicki

  8. #8
    sadie's Avatar
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    Honestly, we all look forward to the blooms. The plants are pretty, but its the flowers that I look forward to. No shame in that! I'm sure your plant will be giving you a show in a couple of months. And seriously--don't worry about asking questions. That is what is great about the forum--everybody helps out.

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