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  • 1 Post By cakedaddy

Yellowing (and dropping) leaves starting from the stem

This is a discussion on Yellowing (and dropping) leaves starting from the stem within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I have had what I'm fairly sure is a Phal for 6 years. I'm generally ...

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  1. #1
    fiestysushi is offline Junior Member
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    Default Yellowing (and dropping) leaves starting from the stem

    I have had what I'm fairly sure is a Phal for 6 years. I'm generally not the best with plants, so the fact that it is still alive is a testament to its hardiness. It's got a great deal of sentimental value to me, since it was given to me my my boyfriend, and i have tried my best to keep it well. Here's where the trouble began: My boyfriend's father is currently living with us, and a few months ago he got an indoor helicopter. Needless to say, he crashed it into my orchid that was sitting by the window. It chewed up about 6 leaves badly enough that they ended up falling off, and i managed to save a couple more. Only a couple really made it out unscathed, so i put it in my bedroom, which unfortunately doesn't really have very good light. I try to put it in better light for a few hours a week, when i know it wont be kamikaze'ed, but i don't know if that's enough. My trouble is that it has never really bounced back fully. It seemed to, for the first couple weeks after everything stabilized, then my healthy leaves started to yellow at the stem, get a little wrinkled, and fall off, within a couple days, ive lost 3 already and I am running out of leaves to lose! I looked through the forums, and i am sure one of the answers there are what i need but i wasn't sure what my problem was exactly. I water sparingly, usually a solid wetting every month or longer and a lighter watering every week or so. I was getting ready to soak her down when i noticed the problem, so i have been afraid to water in case its part of the problem. I've never attached photos in a forum so here goes! Thanks in advance!
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  2. #2
    cakedaddy's Avatar
    cakedaddy is offline Senior Member
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    It looks like you have a dehydrated dendrobium hybrid. That's not such a bad thing really. Dendrobiums tend to be quite resilient. Unpot to check the roots....if they are bad, trim and repot. Keep in moderate light in a humid area and withhold water and fertilizers. You should see new growth eventually. If they are good, smack the pilot in the face!
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for staring thread “fiestysushi”. I partially agree with “cakedaddy”. I think it will work and it’s an informative reply. Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Have you ever repotted this dendrobium in the past 6 years? Doesn't seem like it, and it's waaaaay overdue. Also, have you been fertilizing it? Doesn't seem like it either. You have a lot of research to do, and then a bit of shopping for supplies. Then it will be time to get your hands dirty. Good luck, there is very good information on dendrobium culture here and on the AOS website.

  5. #5
    fiestysushi is offline Junior Member
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    Default repotting

    It had black spot when i got it, lost all but the last 2 leaves within the first few months, but i was aftaid to repot. I ended up repotting it about 3 years ago. It got knocked over by a friend and the pot broke (along with my first flower stalk since the original bloom 3 years before, ouch.) This was the only pot i had available, so i potted her up! I has put up a new shoot each year like clockwork, and last year i got a bloom stalk, but the flowers only lasted a couple days and the last one whithered and fell right off without opening fully. I dont live where i feel safe leaving a window open to make the temp difference needed for blooming, unfortunately. I only fertilize it a couple times a year, regular name brand orchid food. I don't know where naming the brands of stuff i used fall into forum regs, i have posted on very few of them, but my potting mix was also name brand orchid mix, both the same brand. I was a little worried about how deep this pot is, theres a lot of potting medium between the roots and the bottom of the pot, so i try to water very carefully, and make sure i get good drainage out of the bottom. I've gone months without a good watering, and its been just as perky as ever. Its been at least 5 weeks since the last soak, so i really want to water it, but I'm weary of pulling it out of the mix, it seemed a little more "soil" than i would have thought good for orchids (not as much bark), so it seemes to have compacted around it pretty tight. Suggestions for how to carefully un-pot so i can take a look (and put it back or not) would be appriciated. =) Im going to start researching now, not sure where to begin, seems like a lot of varieties of that type, the blooms look like phal blooms tho, purple and white with the moth shape. Time to start googlin'!

  6. #6
    max's Avatar
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    Its most defiantly dendrobium and if the orchid mix is in the condition you say it is which it looks like it is from the pic then you should repot and follow the above advice, and I wish you the best of luck on your orchid.

    Oh and there are some great repotting videos on the forum that can help you along the way.

  7. #7
    fiestysushi is offline Junior Member
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    I'm looking at a "net pot" that is a clear pot with a slotted plastic insert to keep a layer of ventilated moist air around the roots, but I have no idea what size to get, or whether it is what i need, Lots of the advice i have found has pointed out that dens have air loving roots, and like to be in "clown car" pots, until they overgrow. I know the pot it's in is too large for it, (it started in a 3in, that one's about 8in) so just getting a pot an inch larger than the one i have might not be what I need. Its about 1 1/2ft tall. Any suggestions welcome. =)

  8. #8
    ECC_lectic's Avatar
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    Before you decide on the size of the pot, you need to check the roots. If the den has been overpotted for the past 3 years, it may have lost many of its roots to rot. If that's the case, a 3" pot would be sufficient for it until it grows a new root system. It won't hurt the plant to go bare root for a day, so you should unpot it, and check the roots by gently pressing them with your fingers. If they're firm, regardless of colour, they're still good. If they're soft and mushy, and the outer layer slips away leaving a thin thread behind, they're rotten and useless. Don't be surprised if it has very few viable roots.

    Once you've chosen a pot for it and repotted it, make sure you secure it in the pot. Lots of people like bamboo stakes; personally, I prefer wire clips. I buy 16 gauge galvanized steel wire (any hardware or big box store, costs a couple of $$ for a lifetime supply) and bend it into clips using pliers. Sometimes a simple upside down U shape, going from one side of the pot across to the other, is enough to secure a plant. I have two big cattleyas whose root systems were killed by tightly packed sphagnum held in place with such upside down U's. If you're using a soft plastic pot, however, you may have to use a stake anyways because a clip may damage or at least distort the pot.

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