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New Grower - phalaenopsis needs feedback from veteran growes

This is a discussion on New Grower - phalaenopsis needs feedback from veteran growes within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hello again, I thought my phal was in good shape lately but I found some ...

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  1. #21
    orcihman11 is offline Junior Member
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    Hello again,

    I thought my phal was in good shape lately but I found some white marks on bottom leafs where they connect to the stem. One of the leaves got really loose like it is melting from the connection point. I have a photo below I scraped the white stuf with a paper towel but you can still see it more or less;

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    Also I have been digging into the bark medium, I saw some roots getting almost peeled or eaten. Ther are still fresh and green some parts which are out of the bark is getting light brownish not dark. Roots on the bottom side are looking great nice green color and pumped with water.

    I get nervous about this plant a lot, I think I am doing something wrong. I saw one really small bug walking in the bark medium one I tried detergane and soap I think they are gone now. What might be the cause of this, should I re-pot the plant and take more pictures to give furture references?

  2. #22
    78Terp's Avatar
    78Terp is offline An Avant Gardner
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    Did the bug fly? There is a fungus gnat that lives in the potting media that come out especially when you water. I understand they pose no problems to the orchids. So I don't bother chasing them anymore myself. I also understand that the life cycle for these gnats is 5 days so if you allow the media to dry for 5 days between waterings, many if not all will be killed.

    Isopropyl Alcohol (70% is fine) and a couple drops of dish washing liquid soap is an excellent way to control soft bodies insects. It also doesn't hurt the orchid foliage. I try to keep it off buds and flowers. Works for mealy bugs too.

  3. #23
    orcihman11 is offline Junior Member
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    Hello again,

    Now I have decided to take the plant out of the bark medium and see whats going on in there. This is whats going on

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    I also found this root attached to the stem deformed I am not entirely sure to cut it off or not any suggestions?
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    Then I give my phal a little shower and repot it. Now it looks like this I tried to keep the bark medium more dense this time. I think most of the roots cannot take enough waterü because its just run passes them cause the medium is too loose and they went white maybe?

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  4. #24
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    The roots look like they've been over watered, not under watered. You said you had been watering every 2 - 3 days before we advised less water, that would be enough to damage the roots that way. Now that it is repotted, keep to the slower watering system, let it dry out before watering and it will grow new roots. The old roots won't be repaired, it has to grow new ones. It should be fine though if you don't mess with it too much. Also, fat roots with a white coating is normal, white roots pulling away from the string in the middle are bad (too wet). They can also really dry out. Your first picture showed aerial roots that were mildly damaged - you can mist those when it grows more of them and they will help to support the plant in the pot, photosynthesize and absorb water. If they aren't ruined, leave them on.

    I think the whitish stuff you mentioned is just mineral deposits from the water and/or fertilizer. No worries there, keep water off the plant itself when you water, even the base of it. Mostly Phals thrive if you can manage to neglect them just a little rather than try too hard. Basically you have a nice healthy plant, take care of it, be patient and let it adapt to how you care for it.

  5. #25
    78Terp's Avatar
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    Ultimately, What Carol is telling you to do is to fool the orchid into thinking it needs to search for water. It searches for water by sending out new roots. So by watering less often, it will 'think' it needs to find new water so, voila, a new root pops out.

  6. #26
    orchidbud is offline Junior Member
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    More orchids are lost to over watering than any other reason. Push your finger into the medium and if it feel moist, do not water. Check again in a day or two, if it is slightly moist, wait a day or two and check again. When it is more dry than moist I would wait one more day then water. And as said above water the medium not the leaves. When you need to repot (in a year or two) look for the medium that has spong rock and charcoal mixed with the bark. Your orchid looks like it will make it. I also like the comment about fooling the plant so it will make more roots. Good luck.

  7. #27
    orcihman11 is offline Junior Member
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    Awesomw tips guys, I will give it a shot and take more pictures in near future.

  8. #28
    orcihman11 is offline Junior Member
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    Hi there,

    Its been a while since I report my phal and am keeping it out of water to make it think he needs more roots as you guys suggested.

    There is now some white weird spots inside the bark medium which I have no idea what they are. Can anyone tell me what they are and if they are dangerous;

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  9. #29
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    chemist is offline Senior Member
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    Looks like mold is growing in your pot. I had similar situation: just repoted in fresh medium and then weather changed so it was very hot and humid for few days and here we go white spot inside the pot. I repoted again but made more holes in pots.
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    About month passed since that and i dont see any mold anymore, i do need to water more often though.

  10. #30
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    Wade's Orchids is offline Senior Member
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    If you want to add humidity, sit it on a plate with gravel and keep a bit of water in the plate that does not reach the top of the gravel. The surface area of the gravel wicks moisture up and helps to evaporate it. With only a couple exceptions no orchid should ever be sitting in water - even a little bit.

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