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This is a discussion on Phal repot mystery within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I recently repotted 4 of my phals, one that was very special to me a ...
I recently repotted 4 of my phals, one that was very special to me a Phal. equestris var. orange, and I followed normal procedure, the only thing I did differently was to soak the plants for 10 min each in a Physan 20 water mixture before repotting to make sure I wasn't moving any pathogens to the new pot/mix. I followed the label directions to a T and after repotting left the mix and plants without watering for 6 days. I then watered and a few days later I check on the plants and notice a white fuzz on the roots and moss. I touched the roots and noticed that they were just velamen, no green tissue left. I immediately took the plants out of the pot to discover that the white fuzz was all the way through the media and there were little white spots that looked like a fungus on the roots. I was astonished at how quickly it destroyed all of the roots. All but one of the plants were very healthy and had many roots, 10+. The other plant was a keiki and only had a few roots. All four were affected, all but one lost all the roots to this phenom, I am lucky that my Phal. equestris had some roots left. I am baffled and have no idea what caused it or how to prevent it in the future. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks.
I mounted the Phal. equestris and I am hoping it will recover.
Wow, I don't have any advice but I wanted to express sympathy. That's so upsetting, that you did everything right and your plants still had that much root loss. Where are you at in the world? I just repotted a Schomb. thompsoniana that had mold down in the medium, and which didn't have that about a week previous (I know because I, uh, knocked it over). I also found some fuzzy mold growing on top of a big-box Phal's medium the next day, though it doesn't look like it went down into the moss. These have been the first times I've found mold growing visibly like that in my orchids, after 2.5 years of having them now. I wonder if there are some voracious spores in the air.
So basically. . . I want to know, too! And I'm wishing you & your plants healthy growing vibes.
I live in Savannah, GA
I have been keeping an eye on my other plants, and I noticed a similar occurence on one of my catts. It looks like that fungus you see growing on the side of trees that look like steps. What is weird is that my catt is growing in a bark mixture made especially for cattleyas with no moss at all, and my phals were all in moss and medium grade bark.
I am going to spray it with a phyton mixture tomorrow, hopefully that will help.
Thanks for the support.
How about some pics, Jen? You have me curious.
Do you grow inside or outside during this really hot and humid weather? I find that the few plants I leave outside, especially the low-light ones like phals, keel over during the day, even in the shade, and if I bring a bunch from inside out to my deck for the overnight air and humidity, I had better get them back inside before 8 or 9, or the humidity plus heat turns the whole mix into a boiling fungus-happy stew. It's a really tricky balancing act here in the Deep South, but things should get easier for outside growing come mid-September through November or so. Most of mine are just holding on right now.
Just a few thoughts -
It sounds like your potting medium may be contaminated. I think you did everything right when you repotted. Get new medium or soak it in Physan before using it.
I keep my orchids inside in bright but shaded south facing windows over humidity trays.
I don't have any photos of when I found them but I can post what they look like now.
I mounted two of them and left the others to dry out in no media. I have found this works to get new roots by just misting the leaves every day, and once new roots appear putting it in a seedling bark/perlite mixture until it gets a little healthier. I have done it before for phals and I am hoping it will work again.
The brown stuff is cinnamon. The first photo is my prized Phal. equestris var. orange, such a beautiful flower, I even thought the roots were cute, they were so lime green it was unbeliievable! I hope it wont take too long to recover.
What mix are you using? I think potting medium is the culprit. Do you have a picture of the root damage? Sound like a fast acting Pythium root rot.