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Correct planting depth for Phals

This is a discussion on Correct planting depth for Phals within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Today I read that drooping leaves on a Phal can be caused by it being ...

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  1. #1
    sewcrazy64 is offline Member
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    Default Correct planting depth for Phals

    Today I read that drooping leaves on a Phal can be caused by it being planted too high in the pot. It said if the bottom of the last leaf is 1 inch or more above the potting medium, it is planted too high. It said the bottom of the last leaf should be level with the top of the planting medium.

    Two questions:
    1. Is this correct information?
    2. If so, as the plant's lowest leaves age and fall off, do you plant it deeper so it will be at the correct planting depth as stated above?

    I will appreciate your thoughts.

  2. #2
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    I am not sure that drooping leaves are caused by planting too high in the pot. That sounds like a moisture and light issue to me. That said, I would agree that the bottom phal leaf should be just above the potting medium when repotting, but have never repotted to sink a phal down when a leaf falls off. Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

    Cheers,
    BD

  3. #3
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    When I pot a Phal, the lower leaves are about the level of the medium, but I don't worry about repotting to sink the plant just because lower leaves may come off. Drooping may be a sign of not enough moisture or problems with the roots that are preventing the plant from taking up enough moisture. How are the roots on the plant? Pictures would help.

    Susan

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    Quote Originally Posted by orchidlady View Post
    When I pot a Phal, the lower leaves are about the level of the medium, but I don't worry about repotting to sink the plant just because lower leaves may come off. Drooping may be a sign of not enough moisture or problems with the roots that are preventing the plant from taking up enough moisture. How are the roots on the plant? Pictures would help.

    Susan
    Completely agree with Susan.

  5. #5
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    2. If so, as the plant's lowest leaves age and fall off, do you plant it deeper so it will be at the correct planting depth as stated above?
    I think my question was unclear. I will try to clarify. (I don't have a plant in this situation, so please consider it a hypothetical question.) My thought is that as a phal. gets older, it will lose leaves from the bottom and will eventually be tall and leggy. In other words, it will have leaves at the top and a long naked stem below.

    So, what do you do when a plant gets to this point? Do you plant it deeper, burying the naked stem? (I'm guessing not.) Will it sprout aerial roots higher up on the stem so you can cut the top off, pot it and have a fresh new plant? I'm just curious. It's no big deal.

    Dana

  6. #6
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    Hi Dana:

    I agree with Bruce and Susan. I don't re-pot because the stem becomes exposed. If however, for some reason I lose some of the medium, for example if my pot overturns, I will add a little medium to the pot.

    I think, Dana, that by the time the plant is to become "leggy" that might be just about the time that re-potting would have become necessary because the medium might have broken down by then; or the plant might have outgrown that pot.

    I hope I have not further confused the issue.

    Good luck with your plants,
    Dail

  7. #7
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    I think my question was unclear. I will try to clarify. (I don't have a plant in this situation, so please consider it a hypothetical question.) My thought is that as a phal. gets older, it will lose leaves from the bottom and will eventually be tall and leggy. In other words, it will have leaves at the top and a long naked stem below.

    So, what do you do when a plant gets to this point? Do you plant it deeper, burying the naked stem? (I'm guessing not.) Will it sprout aerial roots higher up on the stem so you can cut the top off, pot it and have a fresh new plant?
    In general, Phals need to be repotted an a regular basis-usually every 1-2 years is what I do. They do not put out new leaves and have older leaves fall off at a rate that would make them leggy in that period of time. I have never seen a Phal get a long naked stem as you describe. In general, you will repot a Phal long before that happens. Sometimes when repotting, the center of the plant gets long under the medium. If that's the case I may cut any excessive "stem" off to prevent it from rotting. Note that these are general comments that work for me. Others may do things differently.

    Susan
    Last edited by orchidlady; August 31st, 2009 at 12:38 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewcrazy64 View Post
    I think my question was unclear. I will try to clarify. (I don't have a plant in this situation, so please consider it a hypothetical question.)
    So, what do you do when a plant gets to this point? Do you plant it deeper, burying the naked stem? (I'm guessing not.) Will it sprout aerial roots higher up on the stem so you can cut the top off, pot it and have a fresh new plant? I'm just curious. It's no big deal.

    Dana
    Dana usually the plant will get to this stage in 3 to 4 years of proper culture. You will see a long naked stem with aerial roots, old dry flower stalk butts etc and then a rossette of leaves. Usually at this stage, given proper fertilization and humidity, the plant will produce a keiki or a new growth from the base of the plant. Now you can cut out the top rosette with some aerial roots and plant it as a new plant and the keki will take over the root system and the pot ! I may be able to post some pictures soon.

    regards Amey

  9. #9
    sewcrazy64 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by orchidlady View Post
    Sometimes when repotting, the center of the plant gets long under the medium. If that's the case I may cut any excessive "stem" off to prevent it from rotting.
    Quote Originally Posted by Halloamey View Post
    Dana usually the plant will get to this stage in 3 to 4 years of proper culture. You will see a long naked stem with aerial roots, old dry flower stalk butts etc and then a rossette of leaves. Usually at this stage, given proper fertilization and humidity, the plant will produce a keiki or a new growth from the base of the plant. Now you can cut out the top rosette with some aerial roots and plant it as a new plant and the keki will take over the root system and the pot !
    Susan and Amey, thank you! This is exactly the information I was looking for!

    Thanks, everyone, for your help!

    Take care, Dana

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