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Phalaenopsis: Dull Leaves and flowers wiliting

This is a discussion on Phalaenopsis: Dull Leaves and flowers wiliting within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hi! I got my phalaenopsis--first orchid ever--as a gift about 3 1/2 weeks ago, and ...

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  1. #1
    clm
    clm is offline Junior Member
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    Default Phalaenopsis: Dull Leaves and flowers wiliting

    Hi!

    I got my phalaenopsis--first orchid ever--as a gift about 3 1/2 weeks ago, and I think I'm killing it already.

    I thought I was following directions... water every 7-10 days and allow to drain well & give bright (but not direct) light... but the leaves are really dull and the 2 flowers have fallen off already, with a third flower pretty wilted.

    I tried to search this problem online, and it was mentioned that dull leaves could be the result of low humidity, but I wasn't sure if this would also affect the flowers. If you think this is the problem, though, any suggestions for increasing the humidity in a dorm room?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    tcatl is offline Member
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    I got a small humidifier at a large chain store for around 6 bucks. Pretty cool, runs on usb, designed for office cubicles, water only lasts for 9 hours. I also got a small humidity meter at same store for 3 dollars to monitor humidity levels in concern areas. The humidifier was able to combat the dry air near our fireplace to keep the orchids moist all winter.

  3. #3
    clm
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    Nice! I'll check those out. Thank you!

  4. #4
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    It would be easier for our forum members to help with a diagnosis if you uploaded a pic of your phal which also includes the container in which it came. Do you know what kind of phal it is? The genera is pretty large with at least 60 or more species which do not include the numerous hybrids. Since its a gift I'll make an assumption that it is just the standard phal which most ppl refer to as a moth orchid. Normally, when we acquire a new orchid, esp phals which do exceptionally well in the well regulated conditions of the nurseries which they came from, the change in conditions tends to shock the orchid a little which will result in some of the leaves turning yellow and dropping off which is nothing to really worry about. Flowers falling off are also not something to unduly worry about its just the normal cycle and as I had mentioned, the change in conditions would most probably have given the plant a little shock.

    Im not sure what media your plant is in, but assuming its spaghum moss, the only thing you need to know re watering is that you dont need to water everyday as the media retains moisture. When to water? Dont stick to a mechanical 7-10 days rule..just test the media by poking a finger in and if its starting to feel dry, water!

    LEaves dull? Are the leaves looking a little wrinkled? If they are its a sign you are underwatering. If they are just a dark green then depending on what phal it is it just means its not getting that much light. If you means its dull as in the sheen, it could also be a sign that its not getting enough fertiliser..a phal which has enough fertilising has shiny green leaves.

    Hope this helps a little...a pic would definitely help!

  5. #5
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    great advice gavin!

  6. #6
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    I agree with aja. You really took the time to explain this to a person who is new to orchids. Nice job Gavin! AL

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    Quote Originally Posted by orchidsal View Post
    I agree with aja. You really took the time to explain this to a person who is new to orchids. Nice job Gavin! AL
    Thanks Al, I was happy to do so, as I had the benefit of good advice when I first started out, so im just passing it on!

  8. #8
    clm
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    Hi everyone, sorry it has taken so long to reply. Thanks gavstang for such a thorough comment! Didn't realize there were so many different species that fall under phalaenopsis.

    Unfortunately, now that I've finally taken pictures, I can't figure out how to upload them to the site, but I actually think you did such a great job explaining everything that I might not even need to.

    The leaves do not look very dark, so light shouldn't be the problem. They're not at all wrinkled or close to falling off, and the roots also look healthy, so I think the watering is fine for now. From your description, it sounds more like the plant is in shock because it is no longer in a nursery, and I haven't fertilized at all since I got it, so that is almost definitely the problem (as mentioned in your comment, the leaves are no longer shiny--almost looks like a very thin coating of wax is sitting on top).

    So I will now be buying fertilizer, and I'll try to check back in when I notice some results.

    Thank you so much!

  9. #9
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    Yay! Glad to be of assistance! Do check back in with your progress..hopefully with pictures!

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