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Help with Sphag n' Bag Techniques

This is a discussion on Help with Sphag n' Bag Techniques within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I have a Phalaenopsis I need to encourage new root growth on. It looks OK ...

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  1. #1
    douglas is offline Member
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    Default Help with Sphag n' Bag Techniques

    I have a Phalaenopsis I need to encourage new root growth on. It looks OK from the crown up with 4 healthy looking leaves (a couple of the lowest ones turned yellow and fell off earlier). There is still a network of living roots that are struggling but green in some places, dry and withered in others. I have already cleaned the roots up and am ready to bag. I am looking for a bit of advise, considering I am getting conflicting information from different sources.

    1. One online source said to leave the bag open with the leaves and crown poking out. Other sources seem to advise bagging the whole plant crown leaves and all, and to seal the bag. Does anyone have experience with this one way or another?

    2. Some sources have advised potting the plant in sphag and then placing the potted plant inside the bag, pot and all. Other sources say under no circumstances allow the plant to come in contact with the sphag inside the bag. Which system works best?

    3. How about using a horicultural heating pad under the bagged plants?

    4. Are there any fertilizer solutions or tonics that work well for a damaged plant being bagged for new roots? One source I found advised against using traditional fertilizer on a compromized plant trying to grow new roots. Other sources seem to encourage it.

    Thanks so much for any advice you can offer

  2. #2
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    I'll also wait for people who have experienced it before. I only have tried it to catts and winter tends to be a problem cause the rot.
    when i use for cattleyas, I close completely the bag. leave the roots that seat the sphag soaked with fungicide and a little of growth stimulating. It works very well for catts and dendros.
    oh, also I usually blow inside the bag before closing.

  3. #3
    orcoholic is offline Senior Member
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    OK. Here's how to do it. This has worked several times for me.

    Get a bag that zips closed on the top. Cut one of the corners at the bottom of the bag off. Just about 1/2 inch. This allows for drainage.

    Punch some holes in the bag near the top. This provides some air circulation.

    Wrap the phals roots in moist (not wet) spag moss and put the rootball wrapped in moss and the plant in the bag. Seal the top of the bag. If you have some SuperThrive use a drop or two in the water you use to moisten the moss.

    Stand the bag up in a pretty dark spot, like under your growing table.

    Do not add any water again until the moss is almost dry. Then, just slightly moisten the moss again.

    You want to avoid making the moss too wet because you need to encourage the roots to grow. Providing too much water will prevent this.

    If you see and signs of fungus/bacteria, dip the plant in peroxide.

    Ya know, if you have healthy roots and 4 good leaves, you may not have to sphag and bag at all. I usually only did this with plants I had thoroughly destroyed as a last ditch effort to try and grow some new roots on plants that had no roots at all.

    Good luck.

    Mike

  4. #4
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    Why not post a photo of the plant and roots and maybe we can give you some advice that will help.

  5. #5
    douglas is offline Member
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    Here is a pic of the Phal in question. It is true that the situation is not dire to the point that one would normally bag it, but I am very concerned that the plant is not growing any new roots, and has not since I've had it since May. It is time to repot. Before I do, I'd like some new root growth. This plant looked robust and healthy during it's 5-6 month bloom period, but all the while, I did loose quite a few roots. The original root mass was quite large, and pictured is what I have left.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  6. #6
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    I would remove the root on the right side in the photo that has a broken velum cover. Then I would pot it up in soaked fir bark chunks in a smaller pot than it was in to begin with.

  7. #7
    orcoholic is offline Senior Member
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    I agree with Cindy. It doesn't need to be bagged. fir bark or Sphag Moss will be fine. Just don't overwater or overworry. It will start to grow again this spring.

  8. #8
    douglas is offline Member
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    Thanks for all the advice! Will do.
    Patience is my worst enemy. I have to wait till spring??? I want it to grow some new roots NOW! (:

  9. #9
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    You have several damaged roots remove them and repot in bark in a smaller pot and WAIT. They will grow when the weather gets warmer.

  10. #10
    douglas is offline Member
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    Thanks Ischel
    In the removal of the damaged roots, one question: I have many long roots that are broken up between good areas and then bad and then good again throughout the length of the root. Am I correct in assuming that the plant is benefitting from the living segments toward the end of the root, despite the dead section before it? And should I remove these roots or keep them? Up till present I have kept them, but more importantly, if I remove all those roots, I believe that would surely put this plant into Sphag n' Bag mode. There wouldn't be very many long roots left. At least 3/4 of what is pictured here are inconsistent roots like that, and many unhealthy segments are close to the base of the crown.
    Last edited by douglas; November 17th, 2009 at 12:15 AM.

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