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*sigh* So frustrated.

This is a discussion on *sigh* So frustrated. within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Whoever said Phals are the easiest orchids to grow must have been on crack. I'm ...

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  1. #1
    sand_tiger86's Avatar
    sand_tiger86 is offline Senior Member
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    Default *sigh* So frustrated.

    Whoever said Phals are the easiest orchids to grow must have been on crack. I'm on my fourth phal, with completely healthy roots, and AGAIN the leaves are losing turgidity, wilting, and begining to wrinkle. I'm giving it plenty of light. I water it before it gets bone dry. Fertilize it. Give it good air circulation. The only thing lacking, I suppose, is high humidity...but this doesn't bother any of my catts or dends or my other orchids. Maybe that's the problem, though? Perhaps it's time to just throw in the phal towel and call it a day lol

  2. #2
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    the dragonn is offline Senior Member
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    I hear ya! I'm also on my fourth and fifth, they are alive but I wouldn't say they are thriving. Sometimes I think I should stick to what I do best, paphs and oncids. But I see a beautiful bloom in a window or on a stand and think.. well maybe this one will live.

  3. #3
    Hoa Tony Nguyen's Avatar
    Hoa Tony Nguyen is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sand_tiger86 View Post
    Whoever said Phals are the easiest orchids to grow must have been on crack. I'm on my fourth phal, with completely healthy roots, and AGAIN the leaves are losing turgidity, wilting, and begining to wrinkle. I'm giving it plenty of light. I water it before it gets bone dry. Fertilize it. Give it good air circulation. The only thing lacking, I suppose, is high humidity...but this doesn't bother any of my catts or dends or my other orchids. Maybe that's the problem, though? Perhaps it's time to just throw in the phal towel and call it a day lol
    It does look like your phal's roots are dying so the plant is getting dehydrated. The roots especially of phals that people buy from stores suffer from this problem a lot. Check the potting medium to see whether your phal is in bark or in moss. If the potting medium is moss and/or coconut fiber, it is most likely that the moss has turned sour or too much salt has accumulated in the moss, that will kill the root. You need to repot immediately. If the potting medium is in bark, you might want to water the plant more often (like twice a week). If the barks have broken down into mush, you also need to repot the plant. I am not a fan of moss as potting medium for phals any more. Moss only works well if you have access to water with very low soluble salts, and most of us don't. So I am in favor of bark mix these days.
    The other thing to check is to make sure that the temps are not too hot or too cold and the temps do not swing too much between daytime and nighttime. Phals do not like temperatures too hot (>90 F) or too cold (<65 F) or highly fluctuating temperatures (they like reasonably stable temps). That is why phals are good house plants. If you are comfortable, they are comfortable.

  4. #4
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    Hoa is right. For some people, these are the easiest (I only have a few species plants right now because I got bored of them.) For others, they are a CURSE!

    The most important part is healthy roots! You can let Phals dry out that have lots of healthy roots, but drying out a plant with a questionable root system is not recommended. Anytime that a Phal goes all limp on you..it's time to check out the roots.

    *HUG KELLY*

    C

  5. #5
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    I hear you, steve. I have about 30 phals and am lucky if I have 6 rebloom for me. I think that night fall temp down to about 55 is necessary for them, But I still hang on to them because they grow and are healthy.....Who knows what may happen some day

  6. #6
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    Is there a possibility they are getting too much light? Maybe expireing more water than they can take in?

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    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    Quote Originally Posted by cindiras View Post
    Is there a possibility they are getting too much light? Maybe expireing more water than they can take in?
    That is a possibility but usually too high light will burn the leaves. I have some Phals that are a foot back from a west slider door and they bloom every year with high light. I let them go dry all too often.

    What medium are you using with your Phals? Do you repot them after bringing them home?

  8. #8
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    depends on where you buy them, the mix may need to be replaced immediately. 95% of the plants I get, even those from good orchid nurseries, get repotted immediately. It's just too hard figuring out when to water in a mix that you're not familiar with, and the risk of root rot is too much for me (I do tend to overwater). phals, paphs, phrags rarely skip a beat with a gentle repotting, even those in bud/bloom. (I no longer repot CATTS unless they're in active root growth, however, since an inactive catt seems to greatly resent any disturbance.)

    If the roots are totally healthy but dry, I might suggest potting *loosely* in sphagnum moss in clay pots. you will need to water them up to twice a week but, properly-watered, phals go nuts for me in that setup.

  9. #9
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    For me phals in moss stay wet too long and bark alone dries out too fast. I have been mixing equal amounts of moss and course bark plus a little of sponge rock and charcoal which works well for my phals. I only water them once a week. I think the trick with growing different types of orchids it figuring out what combination of growing medium for each type will allow you to water them all on the same schedule. For example, my mini catts, phals and oncidiums are watered every week, bud the dendrobiums and standard (big potted) catts every other week. Another thing I would recommend is using clear pots, which let you actually see what is going on with the roots. And last think that comes to my mind, is setting up a small humidifier next to the phals. Last winter I did it with mine and within a couple of weeks a noticed a lot of roots growing on all or them. They really like it. Your oncidiums will probably like it too.
    Don't give up yet! You can figure it out.
    Ania

  10. #10
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    I repotted mine the day I got it. The roots were fine. I put in a clay pot with bark and moss, because as Ania said and from personal experience, bark dries too quickly while moss remains too soaked. The light was strong enough to begin a concentrated sunspot on a leaf, but I moved it back and slow aclimated it to the light. I just have no idea.

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