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Is this Plant Ok

This is a discussion on Is this Plant Ok within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Originally Posted by celiviel Hi all, I've had my orchid for a few months now ...

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  1. #1
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
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    Default Is this Plant Ok

    Quote Originally Posted by celiviel
    Hi all,

    I've had my orchid for a few months now and it seemed to be doing well until recently. I have it in my north window and have been watering about once a week, at most once every 5 days when it got really hot.

    I re-potted it a couple weeks ago because the medium it came in was looking kind of cruddy and was growing green fuzz. I also cut off both flower spikes (all the flowers had already dropped) in hopes of encouraging the plant to grow more. Right now it's in bark mix with some perlite mixed in. There's also a layer of rock on the bottom of the pot because I read that's supposed to improve drainage. And then I left for two weeks (I had someone water it once while I was gone). It looked healthy when I left, with perky smooth leaves. When I came back, the bottom leaves were wrinkly and droopy. On the other hand, there seems to be new growth.

    I unpotted it today so I could look at the roots. I did find some stringy black roots, but not a lot. This is what it looks like after I removed the obviously dead roots:



    Some of the roots look dried out and dead, but there were new growths branching off, so I left them and repotted the plant in new bark mix, still with the rocks on the bottom.

    And what is that by the red arrow? Is it a root? Or a new flower spike? And is that a keiki near the middle? If so, what should I do with it? It got buried again when I put the plant back in the pot. Should I not have done that?


    Is the plant in decent shape? Will it perk back up after a while?
    This was originally posted by a new member, celiviel, but for some reason, the database would not let anyone respond to it. Anyway, what are your thoughts on Ceiliviel's questions?

    Cheers,
    BD

  2. #2
    Hoa Tony Nguyen's Avatar
    Hoa Tony Nguyen is offline Senior Member
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    The plant probably concentrated all its energy on the 2 spikes so it was drawing its nutrient and energy reserves from the leaves. That tends to make the older leaves shriveled like that. But the plant seems to get back to growing and I see the plant has started to make new roots. So now it is time to keep the plant moist around the roots so it will rehydrate. You might loose one or two leaves but the plant is fine. Copious amount of water, warm temperature, weakly and weekly fertilizer, the plant will love you.
    Cheers. Hoa.

  3. #3
    celiviel is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for re-posting my message, BD!

    And thanks for the assessment, Hoa. I've been so anxious about not overwatering (an old habit of mine; I killed a cactus that way) that I might not have been watering enough, given the temperature. I also didn't realize initially just now much faster bark dries out compared to sphag, which is what it came in.

  4. #4
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    I'm a Phal nut and that one looks fine to me. It is growing new roots and like the above says, that and a loss of a leaf or two is normal with phals. I switched to a very dry bark and charcoal mix because I wanted to avoid rotting roots here in humid Florida, but may have 'outdone' my-newbie-self because now I am watering way too much. lol I remove the sphag from around roots because it tends to come with rot when I find it in my new acquisitions. The older members may say different on that, but if it's not in small amounts here and there I always find rotted roots.
    Anyways...Good luck...post a picture of it for us when it blooms.
    Connie

  5. #5
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    Connie, you might want to mix some finely chopped sphag into bark mix. I do that with my phals, as I find the bark mix dries too quickly for my watering schedule. I too, hate having phals in 100% moss. I will kill them within a month if I leave them that way.

  6. #6
    celiviel is offline Junior Member
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    I tried to post an update on my plant a couple days ago, but it seems like the system ate it.

    Anyways, it kept wilting, so now even the topmost leaf is getting wrinkly and droopy. I've been making sure to give it good drenchings when I water it (~every three days now, as it's pretty hot), and the new leaf is still growing, so I'm mostly just trying to be patient as it regenerates.

    I also bought a thermometer/hygrometer for monitoring the growing area, and bought some other plants to put around it in a big humidity tray. Right now it's 68% humidity in the growing area compared to 33% for the rest of my apartment, so hopefully that will help stave off the water loss.

    Oh, and one of the new plants was another phal. It just jumped into my shopping cart and demanded to be taken home, I swear!

  7. #7
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    Jumped in the cart and demanded to be taken home??? Hey good one, can I use that one on my hubby?? lol Gotta remember that one!
    Connie

  8. #8
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    The others have responded to the plant care in general and I don't have much to add to that.

    I will address your arrow question though. Phaleanopsis is an epiphytic plant and grows on the sides of things rather than in the soil. As you can see it grows in a vertical rather than a branching fashion. As intimated earlier it will lose some of its lower leaves as it grows. What you are seeing by your arrow is another root coming out. They do that so that it can continue to support the top growth. If it did not do this the top would get too heavy and possibly break off. Not a good thing for survival. It is commonly referred to as an aerial root since it normally happens above the pot line where we bury the roots that we water. I normally try to spritz these roots with water when watering so as to get the most watering advantage possible.

  9. #9
    celiviel is offline Junior Member
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    Aerial root! Cool! I spritzed it this morning after I watered. At the rate my phal is drying out, I'm going to give it as much as I can without inducing root rot.

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