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Questions about my new Phal.

This is a discussion on Questions about my new Phal. within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I hope I'm not being too paranoid about this. I've been reading for a few ...

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  1. #1
    Kelcey's Avatar
    Kelcey is offline Junior Member
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    May 2006

    Default Questions about my new Phal.

    I hope I'm not being too paranoid about this. I've been reading for a few hours here trying to find some answers to questions about my orchid. I've discovered that one spot on my orchid is a sunburn. I've provided a photo. Please let me know if I am wrong about the sunburn.

    I'm terribly sorry for the poor picture quality; it was taken with a camera phone. But don't worry, I do have a digi cam, it's just not with me at the moment, so any future pictures will be better quality.

    Another problem is an odd brown spot on one of the leaves. I read a few things about brown/black spots being sun damage, but it wasn't in regards to Phals, so I thought it may be different. You can't tell from the picture, but the spot is indented a little. I don't know if that changes anything.

    Also some dryness is occurring along the edge of a leaf. I think I'm keeping it nice and humid. I usually put it in the shower room with me in the mornings so it gets humidity, and the rest of the time I keep it on a humidity tray. Here's a picture of the dryness:

    That's pretty much it. Except there is an odd spot on the back of one of my flowers, but I saw another question about this and the main response was old-ness, and it is on the first flower so I think that's probably what it is.

    Here's a picture of my whole plant:

    There are five flowers, four were there when I got it, and the last one just opened a couple of days ago. When I got it there were three leaves, one of which turned yellow and fell off. It was the oldest one and from what I've been reading that usually happens. Also, the larger leaf has lost its shininess, while the smaller one maintains it. Here's a few more questions though:

    1)When I got it, I didn't repot it. It seems to be properly potted. It's in sphagnum and in a plastic pot with good drainage, which is then inside of a ceramic pot with a hole in the bottom. The plastic clear pot has holes along the bottom circle, and when I took it out to examine the roots, one bad one was hanging out of one of these holes, and I carelessly broke it off as I was examining. Oops. Should I have cleaned the part where it broke? The good part is still inside the pot and unreachable unless I take it completely out.

    2) Would I need to completely repot it if I did take it completely out? Or is it alright the way it is?

    3) Should I have repotted it immediately upon receipt?

    4) Will the rot spread to the rest of the roots if I don't clean it? Perhaps I should watch it and see if it gets worse, and in that case, cut off the bad parts and clean it and repot?

    5) Should I use the same sphagnum it was in or get some new stuff?

    6) Should I use sphagnum at all or switch to some bark? I'm really only assuming that the medium it is in now is sphagnum because it is definitely not bark and it is sort of mossy looking.

    7) Should I use the same pot or should I use the slightly bigger ceramic pot it is in? There are some aerial roots showing so does that mean it needs a bigger pot?

    8) Am I being over-zealous? I really just want my plant to prosper! Please help!

    Believe it or not, I do have more questions. But I will save them for a later date since this thread is way too long, and they are general questions about phals, not personal, which can probably be found through some more research. Thank you so much for taking the time to read all of this.

  2. #2
    orchid-man's Avatar
    orchid-man is offline Not Normal
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    Hi lets start at the top and work down.

    First that top photo , it apears to be a bit of colapased leave cells ,Its dry so no worries.

    2nd photo , The brown spot looks like it was caused by water.If its dey and hard dont worry but you could get a general purpose fungacide and treat the plant.Its caused by water on the leaf for too ling.You might like to increase the air flow around the plant.

    3rd photo It looks like the edge of the leaf has been damaged.Again so long as its dry and not wet and hushie you will be ok.

    question 1 , Its not normal for plants that are sold like that to need repotting unless its been caused in the shop.The breaking of that root on the underside of the pot shouldn't bother the plant.

    question 2, It you do take the plant completely out of the pot,i would suggest that you repot the plant.

    questio 3 , answered in question 1

    question 4 , The rot could spread but only if the plant is kepy too wet and in tempuratures that are too cold.

    question 5 , In repotting the plant ALWAYS use new growing media unless its something that cane be sterilized.

    question 6 , I personally would use bark when rpotting but some have good success using spag and others use coconut husk and yet others use a mix of all.

    question 7 , Going by the look of the plant the same size pot would be fine.

    question 8 , yes

  3. #3
    Diane's Avatar
    Diane is offline Can't Re-Member
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    orchid-man is giving you great advice. The only thing I would add is that the clay pot should go. They tend to hold moisture, and limit air movements around the roots. Just my 2 cents worth.

  4. #4
    Kelcey's Avatar
    Kelcey is offline Junior Member
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    May 2006


    Thank you so much, both of you. I will forget the clay pot for a while and see how things go. I'm about to go on a trip for 8 days so I'm leaving the plant with my sister..I hope she takes good care of it! When I get back I think I'll repot just to make sure other roots aren't damaged.

  5. #5
    Piper's Avatar
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    Dec 2004



    You may want to hang on to the clay pot while the plant's blooming. Sometimes Phals get too top-heavy in plastic pots, particularly as they start to dry out. You don't want it falling and breaking that lovely flower spike.

    Tell you sister to water it just as the moss on top dries out. I'd let it get completely dry, generally, but flowering 'chids need more moisture to support the blooms, so I water a little more heavily when a plant's blooming.


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