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Sick Phal!

This is a discussion on Sick Phal! within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I recently re-potted this orchid. I've had it for about 6 months and it was ...

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  1. #1
    nermal is offline Junior Member
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    Exclamation Sick Phal!

    I recently re-potted this orchid. I've had it for about 6 months and it was starting to look a little sad so I decided to get it out of the moss it was in and put it into bark. The leaves had started to get soft and wrinkely.
    Now it has gone down hill! I've searched but I really don't know what I'm looking for. There was this white fungus (?) starting to grow on the bark after I potted it, but the phal was already looking sad so I don't think that was what was the origional problem.
    It had an areal root which hung out of the pot and it was white and firm BUT it had started to go a little brown where it touched the leaf.
    I have waited a little (as in a just over a week) and she isn't doing any better. I freeked out yesterday and decided to re-pot with fresh medium to see if I could get rid of the fungus stuff. I also cut the spike. The plant is way more important to me than flowers!
    I can't really think of anything else to say for more information to help.
    The odd thing is that one of my other phals was sitting right next to it and is looking really healthy. It is a diffrent type of phal, could that be why? Would the fungus have spread to this phal (moved now so it is not a problem now)
    Here she is.
    Name:  Sarah's 161a.JPG
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    What should I do????

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    TirSigel's Avatar
    TirSigel is offline Member
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    How did the roots look that were inside the original potting material? Your phal looks dehydrated, perhaps from root loss. The dying arial root could be from low humidity in your growing area. Repotting was a good idea but I think now your 'chid needs a shady, humid spot and some time to regroup. Misting will probably help, just be sure not to get water in the top of the plant which will probably lead to crown rot.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Zainal Abidin Bin Othman
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    I agree with Kevin long standing phal in the sphagnum is not good usually the root rot will follow due to many factors, good idea to cover the plant with thin layer of fresh sphagnum to provide humidity, my plant took about at least 6 weeks to recover.Zain

  4. #4
    nermal is offline Junior Member
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    The roots looked fine when I took them out of the moss. When they came out the 2nd time a lot had died and now there is only 2 small roots left. I'm really stumped!! She is still alive and both roots are growing a little. The pore plant is putting up a hard fight. Since both roots are small they are out of the medium. As I thought she might get EVEN MORE dehydrated because of this, I slightly spray the roots in the morning.
    What else can I do to help?
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  5. #5
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    Well I'm guessing that you've done all you can do. Now it's just a waiting game. It's tough to tell but I'm thinking that the roots may have dying originally which is what led to the condition. The fact that new roots are growing is great. It sounds like it'll probably make it. I would just keep an eye on it and not change it's conditions too much from what they currently are. Sometimes it takes them a while to settle before producing new growth. Misting and high humidity is great. Remember they don't like wet feet or water in the crown. Both can lead to rot and possible death. Good luck.

    Kevin

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    nermal is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks Kevin. That is very encouraging for a new orchid grower. I've been wondering if fertilizing would help at all?
    Posted via Mobile Device

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    It may help if you did a very diluted concentration during misting for foliar feeding to give the guy a little boost. 1/4 strength should be fine...

  8. #8
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    I agree that the orchid looks dehydrated. Is that one of those orchid pots with lots of holes in the sides? A combination of large bark chips and a pot with lots of holes will mean that it dries very fast. That's OK but you'll need to water more often, maybe a couple times a week. When you do water, put it in the sink and soak the medium really well so it holds some residual moisture. If it's in the kind of pot I think it's in, it would be almost impossible to overwater. Good luck.

  9. #9
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    i did this to a phal once. i think they are very touchy about being repotted. the only times i have ever killed phals is when i repot them and they go into shock and start dropping all their leaves. this one probably reacted to a drastic change in moisture. i don't like the sphag moss for potting media all by itself. it's too easy to get root rot if the balance between roots and media and humidity are not just right. also, the moss should not touch the stem or leaves of the plant or you are waiting for rot to set in. i bought a very nice and expensive phal in an 8" pot filled with sphag and one day after watering it real well, i noticed it started to shrivel like this. all the little 3" pots of doriteanopsis do fine, as their pots are smaller and dry more quickly. in a week the whole plant looked like a raisin. i pulled it out of the pot and all of the roots had turned black and slimy. i trimmed it all off including about 2 inches of the plant's stem that had become soft and mushy, and it had no roots left at all. i re-potted it in bark, and very slowly it is coming back. most of the leaves slowly died off, but the 2 newer ones have survived, and it did quickly begin to grow new roots. the leaves still look really funky and have spots and wrinkles, but they are more firm and leathery again. i still am just barely misting the roots every other day, but it's going to survive, i think. i've been keeping it in less than optimal blooming light, and give it weak fertilizer that should help root growth (i forget offhand which number should be higher for root growth). my once beautiful and lush orchid is now a sickly looking thing, but one day it will rebound and bloom again. the roots are growing into the bark so i think it's on the right path. sometimes you just have to not be squeamish and go for orchid surgery! orchids are tough, and they will come back if treated right. but it takes time. i had a smaller plant shrivel like this after repotting out of moss once, and it did make a full recovery, and in fact is putting out a spike, but it took 3 years.

  10. #10
    espranch is offline Senior Member
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    If it's NOT in a humidity tray, put it in one. That will help bring the humidity up...which it needs. Also, if after misting you see ANY water in the middle ( crown ) wick it out immediately with a tissue. This plant is trying to live, and needs ALL the help it can get! Betty

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