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  • 2 Post By Kmac
  • 1 Post By espranch

Phalaenopsis dropping leaves - is it the cold?

This is a discussion on Phalaenopsis dropping leaves - is it the cold? within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hi, I got a Phalaenopsis recently, couple of weeks ago. Was in very good condition ...

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  1. #1
    robertinventor is offline Junior Member
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    Default Phalaenopsis dropping leaves - is it the cold?

    Hi,

    I got a Phalaenopsis recently, couple of weeks ago. Was in very good condition when it arrived, in clear pot filled with bark.

    Since then, it's lost a couple of buds and it's leaves have started to go yellow and drop off, has lost two leaves and one of the remaining leaves is very yellow. and another one has started to go yellow along one edge.

    I might have overwatered it to start with didn't realise quite how dry it should be. Also not as much light as recommended here. Also it fell in a bath full of water by accident - was in the water only for a few seconds, dried it out with a towel, and one of the flower stems almost broke (bent over) in the fall - but I straightened it up and fastened it back on again and it's looking fine.

    The main thing is it's quite cold here for a Phalaenopsis. Day time temperature is 10 - 15C most days (50 - 60F), night time 5-10C, (40 -50F) that's outside temperatures but as I don't find it cold at all myself, I never have any heating on until it goes well below 5C and leave windows open also this time of year, so temperature inside the house is similar to the outside.

    Didn't realise when I got it that it's minimum recommended temperature is as high as 10C.

    So anyway is it dropping leaves and buds because of the cold or for some other reason? Also does it look as if it will recover with right treatment?

    It's a new house, just moved in, I will probably eventually get a greenhouse or the like but don't have one yet. Or might get or build some kind of a mini greenhouse and keep it indoors in an indoors greenhouse.

    One idea I had was to get a greenhouse heater, set it to say 10C (50F) and put it in the bathroom, and keep the orchid there whenever the temperature is too low.

    Meanwhile as on most days I get too much hot water for my own use from the solar panels I've taken to half filling the bath with hot water at night and putting the orchid on the window shelf above the bath to give it a bit of extra warmth and moisture.

    Photos of it:

    The whole plant

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    Close up of the yellow leaf:
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    Roots
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    Name:  moth orchid roots 2.jpg
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    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Kmac's Avatar
    Kmac is offline Senior Member
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    So, it has had a lot of stress lately. The move, the overwatering, being a bit colder than optimal. The many dry aerial roots make me wonder if it had gotten too dry at some point before it got to you. It is showing some damage from all that.

    The good news is that the roots in the pot look healthy, and it still has some green leaves that look healthy enough. Keep it a bit warmer and water it appropriately, and I bet it will be just fine.

  3. #3
    espranch is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Robert, and welcome to Orchid Talk. If this orchid were mine, I would make some holes in the sides ( four of them; slits would be better ) so that some air movement can take away some of the moisture that is condensing on the inside of the clear pot. Then, I would only water it when it was dry or almost dry ( more orchids are killed by over watering than anything else! ) I would let it continue it's blooming, then when it's finished, I would re-pot this orchid inro a bark/perlite/charcoal mix. To me yellow leaves = too much water. Just my opinion...Betty

  4. #4
    robertinventor is offline Junior Member
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    Hi Betty,
    Thanks that's really helpful. I've made some slits in the side just now and it's forecast for dry warm weather outside here for a few days so hopefully that will give it a chance to dry out soon, also yes I wondered about whether to repot, will do that after it's flowered.
    Robert

    ---------- Post added at 09:46 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:39 AM ----------

    Hi Kathi,
    Yes the aerial roots were like that when it arrived. I'm going to get a small greenhouse heater for the bathroom at night, easiest way for me to make sure it doesn't get too cold, it's not too bad right now but will surely get many more low temperature nights (for a Phalaenopsis) before the summer.

    It's reassuring to know that it still looks fine and in good health even with the lost leaves. Actually I was surprised that it has only dropped two buds considering what it's gone through, it seems to keep its flowers really well .
    Thanks,

  5. #5
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    Halloamey is offline Senior Member
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    Excellent advice from Kathi and Betty. It definitely is too cold for the Phal. or another sub-tropical orchid, move it to a warmer place, say 18-20 degrees day and 12-18 at night is ok.

  6. #6
    robertinventor is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks, I've put it in the bathroom with a heater on to bring it up to around normal room temperature and will put it a bit colder at night. So that will do for the time being hopefully while I decide what to do next. Also ordered a greenhouse heater to make it easier to maintain a more exact temperature in there.

    BTW the buds are now all drying up I think it will lose them all, though the flowers that are in bloom are still fine. I assume that's to be expected, after losing three leaves.

    That will do for a bit, but it might be expensive to do that long term especially next winter, so I might get a mini greenhouse and use it indoors found some really small and inexpensive ones like about 4 ft high you could put on a table or not take much space if I put it by the patio doors or even in the bathroom window come to think of it (east facing reasonably light conditions), and could get a little heating plate to warm it up. Just an idea I'm thinking over, interested in any thoughts about it.

    Thanks,

    Robert

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