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  • 3 Post By tucker85
  • 1 Post By hank3443
  • 1 Post By phraggy

Phal root problem (rot?)

This is a discussion on Phal root problem (rot?) within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hi guys, as you can see I am a newbie. I got my first orchid ...

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  1. #1
    pillarG is offline Junior Member
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    Default Phal root problem (rot?)

    Hi guys,
    as you can see I am a newbie. I got my first orchid a few months ago from a friend but the poor plant has been kind of unlucky. First its beautiful flower stem broke and now its roots. I noticed a white fungus on some of the roots and the base of the plant was black so I decided to unpot, cut the rotten ones and repot. But when I took it out there were some white roots (are these good?) and all the others have black spots or breaks. I cut the ones with the hairy fungus and the ones you see are firm. Can it be saved? (Please say yes!) Any advice? I'll post some pictures to help your diagnosis.
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    Thanks alot!

  2. #2
    tucker85's Avatar
    tucker85 is offline Senior Member
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    Yes it can be saved. Plant it in the smallest pot you can fit the roots in. A small plastic pot with lots of drainage holes is best. Overpotting (too large of a pot) kills a lot of phals. Use a chunky mix that will allow air to get to the roots (bark or coconut husk chips). You can use sphagnum moss but it's kind of tricky to grow in. Some people have luck with it and some don't. Water the plant in a sink where you can thoroughly soak it and then let it get almost completely dry between before watering again. Give it some fertilizer at about 1/4 strength every week or at least every two weeks (more often in the summer, less often in the winter). Give it the strongest light you can without allowing direct sunlight to hit the plant (bright shade). Direct light early in the morning won't burn it. Here's a link to the AOS culture sheet. Good luck.

    http://www.aos.org/Default.aspx?id=204

  3. #3
    pillarG is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks again, your comment gives me great joy! I had it in sphagnum but I think i overwatered it. What about the roots that are black? Do I leave them in or cut them? Should I use fungicide?

  4. #4
    tucker85's Avatar
    tucker85 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by pillarG View Post
    Thanks again, your comment gives me great joy! I had it in sphagnum but I think i overwatered it. What about the roots that are black? Do I leave them in or cut them? Should I use fungicide?
    I wouldn't cut any more roots. If you live in the United States, there's a product called Physan 20 that's a mild fungicide/bacteriacide that can help keep fungus under control. You can use it at 1 teaspoon per gallon of water about once a month or so. Since you only have one orchid you can get a small bottle of Physan and mix 1/4 teaspoon to one quart of water. I use it once every month or two on my phals. Other orchids that grow drier usually don't need it.

  5. #5
    pillarG is offline Junior Member
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    Ok, so I repotted in bark and I have two questions. 1) It seams to dry out in less than a day. Is that normal? The climate isn't that warm. 2) The bases of all the roots are black? Is it rot? And is it dangerous? The leaves look fine, plus there is a young one which continues to grow steadily.

  6. #6
    hank3443 is offline Senior Member
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    Yes the mix should drain and not be soggy, that is the purpose of the open mix. That bein said I grow my phals. in mostly clay pots and water every other day, the plastic pots I wait alittle longer. You will get a good feeling of when to water by the weight and if the pots are clear by looking at roots themselves, Tucker gave you good advice if you follow that you will be fine. Good luck Hank......

  7. #7
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    Phals are very forgiving you just have to remember that large sized roots require more air whereas small roots require more moisture.

    Ed

  8. #8
    Bumblebee is offline Senior Member
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    tucker85, i live in Australia and have been advised to used a rose fungicide (well known here), to dip orchids in when re potting. I hope this is right! You say you used Physan 20 ( not available here), once a month or so. Do you just run it through the pots or what?! Have only just started re potting my own orchids myself armed with the knowledge gleaned from this forum.

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