Dear Helen...always check the roots before you buy anything. I know, you may look foolish for about 5 seconds but wouldn't you feel better right about now if you had checked the roots and found out that they were already rotten? Wherever you bought the phals is probably not the grower anyway...just a jobber, retailer, who is moving a bunch of plants. I have become much more savvy a consumer by checking the roots of everything. They are generally 'the indicator' of a plants over all well being. I'm willing to bet that they were potted in moss and simply over watered. If possible, please post a picture of the plants, in and out of the pots so we can get a look and maybe we'll be able to help you resurrect them. Best to you and the phals!