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Recovery plan for my over-watered phal - look okay?

This is a discussion on Recovery plan for my over-watered phal - look okay? within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hello there! I noticed recently that the roots on boyfriend's phal look much more shriveled ...

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  1. #1
    ChelseaH is offline Junior Member
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    Default Recovery plan for my over-watered phal - look okay?

    Hello there!

    I noticed recently that the roots on boyfriend's phal look much more shriveled than the used to. I decided to get online to see what's up, and so landed here! I've presented the situation and my proposed action plan below. Senior members - please let me know if my diagnosis looks correct and if you have any modifications to my action plan. Thanks in advance!

    SITUATION: My boyfriend bought the phal a few years ago, and it has bloomed many times since then (2-4?) and generally seems to be a very happy plant. He is responsible for watering it, and does so once a week. We recently moved from Colorado to San Francisco, so the plant got bounced around a bit during our move. (Spent a month at his parents 8000 ft mountain house in Colorado, then a few days in the car during our drive to California, then a week at m parents house in the suburbs, and is finally back on a kitchen window ledge in our new apartment in San Francisco).

    As mentioned above, I noticed that the roots were looking very shriveled, and so decided to investigate. When I pulled the inner pot (clear plastic, with drainage holes in bottom) out of the outer pot (ceramic, no drainage holes) I discovered that the outer pot had a lot (a half cup, at least) of water in it. I just talked to my boyfriend about this, and it turns out that he has been filling up the outer pot with water each week, without letting it drain out at all. Yikes!

    Photos are below.

    Orchid is healthy looking overall:


    All of the ariel roots are shriveled:


    Close-up of the surface:


    When I pull the root ball out of the pot, I find some roots that look fairly healthy (the bright green ones in the photo):


    I also find some rotted roots:


    DIAGNOSIS: I'm pretty sure what I have on my hands is a majorly over-water orchid with some pretty bad root rot. The good news is that the plant overall seems to be healthy, the plant still has some good roots, and the plant appears to be free of any sort of fungis.

    PROPOSED ACTION PLAN:
    - Already did: Take inner plastic pot out of ceramic pot. Let orchid dry out.
    - Cut off all shriveled-up ariel roots.
    - Repot plant using new potting mix (will purchase something especially for phal online),
    ---- vendor information removed - see FAQs on posting ----
    - Purchase fertilizer.
    - Present new watering instructions to boyfriend: Take inner pot out of outer pot, place inner pot in sink, douse inner pot with plenty of water, let inner pot drain, and ONLY then place inner pot back into outer pot. Add "weakly weekly" fertilizer dosage to watering.

    Does that sound sufficient? Do I need any off that root hormone stuff? Is there any fungus or other bad stuff that I missed and need to take care of?

    Thanks!
    Chelsea

  2. #2
    Jef09071984's Avatar
    Jef09071984 is offline Senior Member
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    Nice one Chelsea, very well done.

    I suggest that the Keiki must be separated to the mother plant after those jiucy roots grow atleast 2 inches. ;-)

  3. #3
    orchidsal's Avatar
    orchidsal is offline Senior Member
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    Do as you have done and plan to do fairly promptly and your Phalaenopsis should be just fine. AL

  4. #4
    mysbhvn's Avatar
    mysbhvn is offline Senior Member
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    phew...good luck!.....hope you can save it! sounds like you have the right plan of action all laid out.

  5. #5
    otis226's Avatar
    otis226 is offline Senior Member
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    I think you gave b.f. sound advice. It should be fine as it looks really healthy, so must still have enough roots to support it. If all else fails, that healthy little keiki with a bit more growth, will carry on very well.
    Cheers,
    Tony

  6. #6
    zrhanson's Avatar
    zrhanson is offline Senior Member
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    Your advice sounds good! I'm sure that if you stick around here, and he follows that advice you gave him, everything's gonna go great with that! Also, I'm thinking that if you're around here for a bit, you're going to end up buying a few orchids yourself! That's what happened to me! :-)

    Anyway, after you repot it, it should be right as rain! And that keiki is looking nice! I always hope that mine will spout one off one day.. ha ha ha. :-)

  7. #7
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Yes, get it repotted and cleaned-up soon and all should be well. Make sure this orchid doesn't stay to wet again.

    cheers,
    BD

  8. #8
    Jose R. Nieves's Avatar
    Jose R. Nieves is offline Senior Member
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    Why two pots? Plastic doesn't breathe, clay does. I think that is your problem. I would repot in the clay pot ( always use round pots in phal's), skip the plastic, skip the plate, remove the keiki when it has 3 or more roots, use sphagnum moss as a media, fertilize every other week for now. Feel the media with a finger before watering, if too wet skip the watering and recheck in 2 days. Both mother and baby look good so I think you saved it! Love to see some pics of the flowers.
    Jose

  9. #9
    ang709's Avatar
    ang709 is offline Loves 'chids
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    Sounds like you did well. Is the orchid still in a clear pot? If so, I have one suggestion: Since Phal roots like light and can photosyntesize, don't put the plastic pot in the ceramic one. Let the light in to the roots. It seems you are well on your way to saving this Phal already, though.

  10. #10
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    Zainal Abidin Bin Othman
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    Go on will look again the outcome.

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