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Having troubles growing phals

This is a discussion on Having troubles growing phals within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hi Everyone!! I am happy I found this forum ! I am not a newbie ...

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  1. #1
    Ushko is offline Junior Member
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    Unhappy Having troubles growing phals

    Hi Everyone!!

    I am happy I found this forum! I am not a newbie to orchids and have been growing a wide variety of genera. I have cattleyas, angraecums, masdevallias, phrags and paphs, some oncidiums. These orchids have been growing and blooming well and I had little to no issues with them. However, I can't seem to get along with phalaenopsis type orchids. This may sound ridiculous, but I have killed several of them, and most often they will just loose all their roots first, then the crown starts getting black, leaves become lifeless and shivered like it hasn't been watered forever, then they become yellow and simply fall off. I have tried growing them in different media, from large coarse bark to only sphagnum, and combinations in between, and nothing seems to work. This is the most common orchid, and there is plenty of info available online, but I just can't figure it out Wondering, if anyone else had this problem? Not a believer is mischievous stuff, but starting to think that this is just not my type of plant or something..

  2. #2
    angela's Avatar
    angela is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome to OT.
    Sorry to hear of your Phal. problems. For me to offer meaningful suggestions it would help to know your location, and where you are growing your orchids (indoors, outdoors, shade house etc)
    Let us have this info and I am sure you will get others to respond.
    Best wishes, and again welcome.

  3. #3
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    cakedaddy is offline Senior Member
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    Hi and welcome! As Angela said, a bit of info about your growing conditions would be helpful. I used to do well with phals. Every phal I bought grew on to bloom again. Then I moved across the country and found that every phal I bought was just miserable with me...except one. It's going crazy. Hope you enjoy the forum!
    Posted via Mobile Device

  4. #4
    David Boyle's Avatar
    David Boyle is offline Member
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    My main success is with Phals but I need to know your conditions. I lost many until I figured out that I like to water. You can kill an orchid with too much water but too little water can be recovered from. Then I went to expanded clay and they are even happier. However, I live north of Calgary Ab and I can give them a cool window in the fall. I have a huge east window which works for the winter (burns them in the late spring and summer). Also, species and f1 crosses can be more finicky. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Ushko is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for your replies! I have a mini green house indoors and growing all my orchids under artificial lights (fluorescents). Humidity level is about 50-60% and the temperature varies 10-12 degrees between day and night (75-77 at day and 65-68 at night). I keep phals under moderate light. I think the biggest problem for me is to keep the roots heathy. The either dry up or rot. I can't seem to guess the right media

  6. #6
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    cakedaddy is offline Senior Member
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    Have you tried them outside of the indoor greenhouse? Maybe they want to dry faster. I always opt for water often and dry quickly. I like to water obviously!
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  7. #7
    Ushko is offline Junior Member
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    No, unfortunately, I can't grow them outdoors. It's either too hot, or too cold there, I would have to be moving them in and out. I need to figure out the watering schedule. I have one dying right now, maybe I will post some photos tomorrow to see if you guys think there is any chance to save it yet :/

  8. #8
    shirleycox is offline Junior Member
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    There are few things you must monitor to maintain proper phalaenopsis. They are right temperature, enough water and light and the right kind and amount of fertilzier, occasionally repotting and keeping pests away. Phalaenopsis orchids are warm growing and require temperatures not lower than 64 degrees F and not higher than 90 degrees F. Never let a phalaenopsis orchid dry completely out. Water your orchid as often as needed. Water when the media in the middle of the pot is almost dry but still has moisture. When you water completely soak the media for several minutes. Fertilize phalaenopsis orchids weekly. Use at one quarter strength. Use a fertilizer of equal proportions such as 10-10-10. Check you are doing everything properly.

  9. #9
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    tucker85 is offline Senior Member
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    In my opinion phalaenopsis are high maintenance orchids. They are not very forgiving if conditions aren't right. It took me many years to learn how to grow them. I believe that the one thing that will increase a growers success with phals is to use the very smallest pot that the roots will comfortably fit in. That often means that the pot looks too small for the orchid and too small for many new roots, but it works. I have been most successful with clear plastic pots that have lots of drainage holes. For pots over 4" I like clear plastic pots with slits in the side. I use either medium coconut husk chips or medium orchiata bark with a little charcoal and sponge rock added and I repot once a year. Phals don't seem to like old growing medium. I let the medium dry out completely, using the pot weight and color of the roots as indicators of moisture level. If I'm not sure if the medium is dry I wait another day. If the medium is almost dry I'll mist any aerial roots to give the plant a little moisture while the medium dries. Soak the medium really well when you do water. I think another secret is to give phals a little more light than most people do. I try to give mine a couple of hours of direct sun in the morning or evening but, of course, protect them from mid day sun. When you see phals actively growing in the spring and summer, they need to be fertilized regularly. I like the fertilizers with nitrogen derived from nitrate, low phosphorus levels and all the micronutrients. Extra calcium and magnesium, either in the fertilizer or given separately will help also. Liquid seaweed extract during the spring and summer is also beneficial. Good luck.

    Here's an interesting article that you might enjoy.

    https://sharepoint.agriculture.purdu...20Part%202.pdf

  10. #10
    PetSlayer is offline Senior Member
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    Hello and welcome to the forum!

    If it's too dry, there is always a chance! I think the others already gave you a lot of good tips, but here I come, from a cooooooooold area of our planet.

    I do think that you are growing them too cold and that keeps the wet in. Masdevallias, yes, they probably thrive, but phals do like to be conversationpieces on the table. I find that as soon as autumn arrives they are at their best on the furniture around the house with a daily shower of the leaves with a regular water spray flask and some watering when needed.

    I like experimenting A LOT, so I have my own way of growing them, in green transparent "unholy" pots 1/3 filled with LECA and the rest orchidcompost. I water at the level of the leca and then just spray the leaves daily. Green has been the best filter for the roots so far, I tried purple and completely transparent glass vases. The best in transparent is one that is planted in a hourglass shaped vase with about 3 cm of mixed leca at the bottom, roots dangling from the upper side that in the past 2 years took a dive and are now water roots and a bit of compost in the upper side to keep the plant steady. I rarely water them as the whole shabang works according to simple physics rules and it is rather self-contained. The leca sweats accordind to the needs of the plant and the plant develops water roots. I actually took pics today, thinking to start a thread and share my lil lazy/busy person solution to watering. Will try to post soon

    And my phals are...well on the furniture. They bloom like hell, and most of them are literally saved from the bin with root rot and what not.

    Good luck! Hope this also helps

    Laura

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