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This phal is not too bad...

This is a discussion on This phal is not too bad... within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I'm really sorry for all my problem orchid plants. I would completely understand if you ...

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  1. #1
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    Default This phal is not too bad...

    I'm really sorry for all my problem orchid plants. I would completely understand if you just start ignoring my threads. Just compiling all these problem orchids in these threads is making me really overwhelmed!

    I have to say, I'm pretty okay with phals. My phals are the only ones that get sphag year-round. All the others get sphag only in winter when the humidity goes down. By the way, the sphag is only on the top. I plant them in special orchid mix, then pile a layer of sphag on top with some pushed on the sides. I went ahead and repotted this one too to check the roots and get rid of the sphag.

    Before photo. This is what is confusing to me. I thought that a dark green leaf is indicative of too low light levels. But then I got a burn on one leaf, which I thought, was indicative of too much light. So, I'm really confused...


    Phal roots. Not as bad as my other chids but not too great either. No shiny roots.


    After photo. I repotted with phal mix which is basically the special orchid mix with coarse peat. By the way, the special orchid mix has orchid bark (fir?), charcoal and styrofoam. Thoroughly soaked with water letting extra water drip into the inside and outside pot tray.


    So, continue watering once a week? I used to water my phals before the sphag dries which is sometimes more than once a week.

  2. #2
    Cjcorner's Avatar
    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
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    You are so like me when I started with these here. First, that pot...throw it away or use it for a cactus. The coating will stop air exchange even with those huge holes. They hold water terrible in the bottom and will rot all your roots off. (ive ruined about ten pairs of white sneakers picking up this type pot and it soaks my feet with itcky brown goo!) Go get some cheap terra cotta pots with big slots in the side or a good hole in the bottom. And throw out your sphag for a couple years. Right now the roots will like drying out more than staying wet. I have killed so many phals with that combo...sorry to keep bringing you such awful news....but it will save you alot of phals. lol You have to look at the phals down here as next to a cactus. We are all programmed to water our plants often and well. Orchids need it on a regular schedule, but they don't need as much as you think. Those big fat roots and those succulent leaves hold water and nutrients until the plant needs it. Unless you notice your phal leaves looking icky and soft, slow down the water. Outside, my phals still only get watered every 4 or 5 days and they are potted with an open mix according to their root size. The bigger and whiter the roots the bigger the bark. (exception; species and phals in small pots get watered every 3-4 days)
    Good Luck

  3. #3
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Regarding your light question: Too little light makes your foliage on your orchids very dark green, too much and you get almost yellow leaves. The light green, almost yellow green is the color to strive for with these. The burn spot indicates direct sunlight, which you will want to avoid with phals since they are generally a lower light plant. The size and shape of the leaves also help you determine the light needs. For instance, the phal orchid usually has a large, wide leaf. This is because it grows in lower light situations. It has more surface to take in more light at lower levels.

    Take a look in the Orchid Article Section of the forum here. There are a few articles on phal orchids; how to grow them and what the leaves should look like in different situations.

    Cheers,
    BD

  4. #4
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    Hi, I use the same pots as you, but to cover the more utilitarian plastic ones that actually contain the orchids.

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    I notice a lot of calcium/lime/salt residue on the pots. This probably indicates that your tap water is not good for your orchids. That stuff builds up on the planting medium and most likely on the roots too, blocking water uptake. I think Connie and Bruce collect rain water. I use RO bottled water that I can get at the BBS for $0.67 a gallon. It doesn't take a lot of water to satisfy a phalaenopsis. Some say to let about 20% of the water flow out the bottom. This helps to clean the medium. Do not let it wick back up into the pot.

    Check out this article:

    https://sharepoint.agriculture.purdu...20Part%202.pdf

    Joe
    (PS: I wish you would put your first name up in your profile. I don't think you deserve to only be known as OK)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeW View Post
    Hi, I use the same pots as you, but to cover the more utilitarian plastic ones that actually contain the orchids.

    Name:  00000009 (Small).JPG
Views: 760
Size:  53.6 KB

    I notice a lot of calcium/lime/salt residue on the pots. This probably indicates that your tap water is not good for your orchids. That stuff builds up on the planting medium and most likely on the roots too, blocking water uptake. I think Connie and Bruce collect rain water. I use RO bottled water that I can get at the BBS for $0.67 a gallon. It doesn't take a lot of water to satisfy a phalaenopsis. Some say to let about 20% of the water flow out the bottom. This helps to clean the medium. Do not let it wick back up into the pot.

    Check out this article:

    https://sharepoint.agriculture.purdu...20Part%202.pdf

    Joe
    (PS: I wish you would put your first name up in your profile. I don't think you deserve to only be known as OK)

    Hi Joe! THANK YOU SO MUCH for that awesome idea with picture! That is definitely something I can do! I'm now researching rainwater collection ideas, in the meantime I'm going to buy bottled water for the chids. They sell bottled water through the water-refill machine at box store which is cheaper than the ones on the shelf - you bring your own bottle.

    My first name is Tess, but I'll keep my orchid_killer name until I "earn" a better one! I have 9 orchids that I'm going to concentrate on this year. If they're still alive by February, 2010, I'll change my name!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by orchid_killer View Post
    Hi Joe! THANK YOU SO MUCH for that awesome idea with picture! That is definitely something I can do! I'm now researching rainwater collection ideas, in the meantime I'm going to buy bottled water for the chids. They sell bottled water through the water-refill machine at boxstore which is cheaper than the ones on the shelf - you bring your own bottle.

    My first name is Tess, but I'll keep my orchid_killer name until I "earn" a better one! I have 9 orchids that I'm going to concentrate on this year. If they're still alive by February, 2010, I'll change my name!
    Tess, have you considered getting a filtered water pitcher? I use one (for me AND the orchids), and it's really much cheaper than buying the store stuff. And sometimes, we don't know what's in the store stuff, if we're to believe some articles I've seen.

    I think you should b4e Tess from now on. If you keep thinking you're an orchid killer, you'll look at yourself that way. It's better to be positive and I'm betting your orchids will believe it too.

  7. #7
    JoeW's Avatar
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  8. #8
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    Tess, I admire your dedication to make yourself something more than a killer. I wish you every success in your quest with your 9 orchids! (And thanks, Joe, for prompting!)

    Cheers,
    Rob

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by eaglssong View Post
    Tess, have you considered getting a filtered water pitcher? I use one (for me AND the orchids), and it's really much cheaper than buying the store stuff. And sometimes, we don't know what's in the store stuff, if we're to believe some articles I've seen.

    I think you should b4e Tess from now on. If you keep thinking you're an orchid killer, you'll look at yourself that way. It's better to be positive and I'm betting your orchids will believe it too.
    I actually have one of those filters that attaches to my sink faucet (for me and the kids because we don't like cold water from the fridge). It even has a flavor button! I wasn't sure if that type of filtration would take too much minerals out of the water that an orchid needs... I could use filtered water for sure!

    I am soooo touched that you prefer to call me by my name. I'm even more touched that y'all remember my name in other threads! It makes me feel part of the community and makes me feel very welcomed. Plus, it makes me very inspired to really do well by these 9 orchids! I wish I could give y'all !

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by orchid_killer View Post
    I actually have one of those filters that attaches to my sink faucet (for me and the kids because we don't like cold water from the fridge). It even has a flavor button! I wasn't sure if that type of filtration would take too much minerals out of the water that an orchid needs... I could use filtered water for sure!
    I've been wondering that myself, so I've been sort of alternating between tap water and the filtered. Maybe someone can tell us which is best. Funny, when I use the filtered, I have to leave it out overnight, because I can only drink cold water. LOL

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