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  • 1 Post By white
  • 2 Post By Chris in Hamilton
  • 1 Post By ksriramkumar
  • 1 Post By Azizan
  • 1 Post By white

What a phal wants..?

This is a discussion on What a phal wants..? within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Ok this may sounds funny to all but i cant make my phals live.. I ...

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  1. #1
    white is offline Junior Member
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    Default What a phal wants..?

    Ok this may sounds funny to all but i cant make my phals live.. I think i might be a phal killer :( When i buy all good. they are on spike after blooming i repot them to check the media and i use a bark coarse mixture i dont like spagnum moss because it sticks to roots i have holes sides of my plastic pots for extra ventilation too and i use fertilizer and everything light is ok they have their own humidity plates. Sounds ok right so far? Then not right not immediately but within 4 to 5 months they start loosing root by one by... I can see from clear pot they are turning to mushy mushy and it drives me crazy really frustrating one phal is in dumpster i tryed everything to save. cinamon for her and spagnum bag treatment everything. I spent hours and hours on you tub and forums i cant make them live. The one that i bought with healthy roots seemed to me healthy now we have only 2 leaves and the other one my 2nd phal came as a gift on a leaf beginning no spikes. Leaf growed and after that we started to loose roots. I said thats enough and put them both on emergency rescue mission they are in leca hydroton clay. I desperately need help my oncidium and vandas live but not phals. What i am doing wrong with regular potting situation otherwise i am gonna keep them in leca hydroton forever seems like top of roots getting pointier which gives me signal growing?? Anyone who had to use leca hydrotons? Is it really working?





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  2. #2
    Chris in Hamilton's Avatar
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    They do appear to be really wet and I don't think the one in the glass vase is getting any air to the roots or around the base of the plant. How moist were you keeping them when they were in bark?
    Last edited by Chris in Hamilton; September 16th, 2016 at 04:55 AM.

  3. #3
    ksriramkumar is online now Senior Member
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    I like the first setup where you have holes around the plastic cup. Growing roots is a good sign I would say. Roots do photosynthesize and is good to grow them in a media like this.

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    I would make more holes to the plastic pot. Humidity, ventilation and air movement are equally important. Some Phalaenopsis may take time to bounce back to health. When I started growing Phalaenopsis, I killed maybe about 15+ of them, it was like a massacre. But they did not die in vain as I get some knowledge from them. So don't give up.

  5. #5
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    I would not use a glass vase for an orchid. Orchid roots need to breathe and no air can pass thru the glass. So little gas exchange goes on. I would move that one to other potting arrangements.

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    If you use a glass vase with no media the roots have plenty of air. They are much too wet with the clay pellets.

    When I started on my bare root experiment I saw 14 phals on sale for 2 bucks each. Normally I wouldn't give them a second glance but they looked okay, leaves not dehydrated and they were in soft plastic pots inside nice terra cotta pots which I figured were worth that. I wanted to see how they would do with this new method. They were in moss, with a few bad roots.

    I have learned quite a bit about what happens to phals with just a few rotten roots by keeping the roots exposed so I can see them. In the past I would have cleaned them up then potted them in bark and moss. I found many would eventually lose all of their roots and I did not understand why. Now, keeping them bare root I have found that other roots were infected but not showing signs of rotting. Eventually they would rot. About half of the 14 have lost most of their roots. I keep them bare root in one of the small greenhouses were the humidity is about 80% to help them through this root loss. Every few days I spray the roots with rain water, cut off the newly rotted ones and spray with hydrogen peroxide. It's been about a month and it looks like they have stopped losing their roots and a few have started growing new ones.

  7. #7
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    I have to disagree with most of what's been stated above. That plant is more-or-less being grown in semi-hydroponic culture (which I invented about 20-25 years ago). There is plenty of airflow around the pellets for the roots; adding more holes will only cause the LECA to dry out more rapidly, which defeats the wicking of the moisture throughout the medium. Constantly wet is no issue whatsoever, if the roots are used to it. In the wild, these plants can be exposed to months and months of rain and mist, and they're fine!

    I can see a couple of potential issues:

    When roots grow, they "tailor" themselves on a cellular level to be optimal for the environment they're in, and once grown, cannot change. Moving the plant from one potting medium to another is a change in the environment, so the existing roots are no longer optimal for that new environment. They will need to be replaced by new roots that ARE optimal for it, and we expect the old roots to die and decompose. How rapidly that latter action happens is determined primarily by the degree of difference between the old and new environments. In "White's" case, maybe the repotting hasn't been done at the correct time - just as new roots are emerging from the base of the plant - so the old ones are lost before they can be replaced. Then there is the effect of evaporative cooling.

    Phalaenopsis species are, for the most part, "hot" growers, rarely seeing below 75°F in nature, and often basking in triple digits and maxed-out humidity. Fortunately they are somewhat tolerant of the conditions we prefer to live in. Where we run into problems is when we "push" those limits, knowingly or not. It is usually more of a winter issue, but may be an air-condition issue, as well. Here's the scenario:

    In winter, thermostats are kept low to save on energy, and the air is usually naturally a lot drier. In summer, air conditioning lowers the temperature and the humidity. Either one can take the growing conditions near the "bottom" of the plants' preferences. The lower humidity also causes the water from the LECA in the container to evaporate faster, which results in even more cooling - sometimes below the point at which the roots start to fail.

    My suggestion is to 1) treat the plants with a good root-growth stimulant like KelpMax, and 2) put the pots on a seedling heating mat. Both will stimulate the growth of new roots, and the latter will prevent the root zone from being too cold.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by raybark View Post
    ... In the wild, these plants can be exposed to months and months of rain and mist, and they're fine!
    In the wild most orchids do not grow inside of anything. The roots are bare - exposed to the air.

  9. #9
    white is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you all for your help i think i might find another reason i moved from fort lauderdale florida to georgia actually now temperature is the same for both location i moved a month ago one day 8 hrs car trip can occure shock for phals or not? My oncidiums and vandas are fine maybe phals are more sensitive than all other orchids species? I killed my first orchid when i was living in florida but these 2 i brought them with me and i am not ready to give up them. The one in clear plastic one i had to put in another pot because cley peppbles dries very fast but everyday i take it for couple of hours for roots. I saw a lady on videos when i was digging that she put almost all her phals are in different shapd glass vases and also couple of other types of her orchids were also in hydroton and they all have so healthy long roots. I hope mines gonna have healthy roots too and i dont wanna kill any more phals may be i am more like an oncidium girl than im a phal. Thank you all again. I will keep posting process of my phals adaptation..
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