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  • 1 Post By OrchidAddict

Help with Phal Orchid

This is a discussion on Help with Phal Orchid within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; So, literally every time I have a phal that blooms, the blooms last a long ...

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  1. #1
    hautboismusique's Avatar
    hautboismusique is offline Junior Member
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    Exclamation Help with Phal Orchid

    So, literally every time I have a phal that blooms, the blooms last a long time and look wonderful.....BUT (THE HORROR!!!) shortly after they blooms have spent, the poor plant gets all shriveled and sad looking, like it has either been over or under watered, in spite of being in very course bark and placed on a humidity tray, AND getting fresh substrate post-blooming cycle, AND NOT over or under watering... My cym, oncyidiums, and cattleya orchids are all doing fine. This is only a problem with the phals...... And now I have a big, happy, fluffy, and wonderful phalenopsis with a big "wingspan" of plump lime-colored leaves ---- Vendor information removed - see FAQs on Posting ----

    and now I'm scared I'm going to kill it in spite of it looking wonderful now.... Please, help me make sure my wingy wonder lives to bloom again!!!!!

  2. #2
    BigSteve's Avatar
    BigSteve is offline Senior Member
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    What temperatures does the plant have ?
    What light does it have ?
    What fertilizing regime do you use ?

  3. #3
    Katherine's Avatar
    Katherine is offline Senior Member
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    Why are you re=potting after blooming? Where do you live? How much how often do you water?
    Do you have a picture? I live on the coast and have not used water in m humidity trays all summer because the air is at 85%.

  4. #4
    OrchidAddict's Avatar
    OrchidAddict is offline Senior Member
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    You mentioned that you give your plants fresh substrate after blooming. This may be where the problem is starting. Out of curiosity, do your phals usually come potted in moss when you buy them? I ask because the other orchid types you grow typically come already potted in bark, whereas I see phals all the time sitting in the store in tight, soggy moss.

    If your phals are in tightly-packed sphagnum moss when you buy them from the store, and then after blooming you pot them up in coarse bark, the watering schedule is going to have to change for a while as the plant adjusts. I've found some phals have a difficult time going from sphag to bark... many do just fine, but if yours is coming from the store in sphag, it is used to sitting in wet stuff. If you then put it in coarse bark but keep the watering schedule the same as it had been while it was in moss, the plant will dry out. It needs extra water during the transition period from the moss to the bark while the roots adjust to being less confined and damp. I usually water every 3 days or so in the few weeks after a phal goes from moss to bark.

    I've had phals from the local hardware store that were packed so tightly in moss they didn't need watering for up to two weeks... (and really, they never TOTALLY dried out... that situation always leads to rotting roots in my experience). I always repot store-bought phals, and occasionally I'll get plants that just don't like being put in bark right away. They have a difficult time adjusting, and eventually the leaves wrinkle because the plants haven't had adequate time to adapt to the bark. If this happens, I'll often mix a bit of sphag into the bark to help hold in moisture for a little while as the plant adapts, and then eventually I'll end up putting it in all-bark. On a rare occasion, I've had to move a plant BACK into moss because it just hated the bark. But I always make sure I pack very loosely when putting the phals back in sphag, and after a few months of adjusting to a looser mix, these plants will usually tolerate bark just fine.

    Anyway, this whole theory goes out the window if you tell us your phals come potted in bark from the store... LOL

    It sounds like your beautiful big white is still very healthy. The good news is that if this new orchid goes the route of the others, there's enough time in between when the leaves begin to wrinkle and when the plant is totally DEAD to save it. Take a picture of your orchid as it looks right now... make sure you can get a view down into the pot so the potting media is visible. Then, if it starts wrinkling like the others, take a photo of it when you first notice the wrinkling. Then post a "then" and "now" comparison here on the forum. With a little bit of luck and all our combined experience, hopefully we'll be able to stop the damage before your beautiful biggie goes to orchid heaven!

    Good luck!!

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