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soft wilty type leaves on orchid

This is a discussion on soft wilty type leaves on orchid within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I can say I am not an avid orchid person/grower. I read through these posts ...

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  1. #1
    razorbackgrl's Avatar
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    Default soft wilty type leaves on orchid

    I can say I am not an avid orchid person/grower. I read through these posts and everyone seems to know MUCH more than I do. I am having a problem with my orchid (I don't even know the type of orchid that I have). Some of the leaves are very flacid and limp. They have almost a leathery appearance. I don't know what I am doing wrong. Can someone please help me?

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  2. #2
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    Welcome - we'll try to help you - and your lovely flowers!

    How wet is the bark mixture? It looks like it might be overwatered.

  3. #3
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    Your leaves are dehydrated. Problem is that we don't know why...most common reason is that it has been overwatered (or left in wet media too long) and the roots have rotted away, or whether it has been underwatered. Most of the time, it is the former. I'd start with unpotting it and looking at the roots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by panam View Post
    Welcome - we'll try to help you - and your lovely flowers!

    How wet is the bark mixture? It looks like it might be overwatered.
    Actually I had JUST watered it before I took that picture. It usually gets dry. I water it once a week.
    Posted via Mobile Device

    Kathi.. I know it needs to be repotted but it has been blooming beautifully as you can see in the picture. I had read that you can't repot when it is blooming. Is this true?
    When I first received the plant as a gift (almost 3 year ago) I honestly didn't know how to take care of it at all. I was letting it sit in water and then I noticed that the roots started turning brown and squishy (technical term..lol) so I started watering it just once a week and letting the water drain out of medium totally before putting it back into the decorative pot. So I know there are roots that are rotted inside the pot.

  5. #5
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    Hey, brown and squishy IS a technical term around here ;-). 3 years means the medium may be breaking down.

    I too hate to repot while it is in bloom, but many phals will take it in stride, or so I am told...and better not to lose the plant. Still, if you have only been watering once a week...how are the newer leaves--do they look OK??? If so, you can probably wait. You can also gently slide it out of the pot and peek at the roots and slide back...that won't really disturb things.

    Mine that had wrinkly tired looking leaves last year, I did wait until after the bloom finished... mostly because newer leaves looked OK. It did have mostly rotted roots, but a couple that were OK, and it made it.

  6. #6
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    Ok.. Here is what the root structure looked like before I repotted it today. I did cut off the brown and squishy roots. It looks like it has good root structure tho. I guess we have to wait and see now??

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  7. #7
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    Very good root structure! give it a week to 10 days to settle in to it's new "bed", then water it thouroughly, drain and return to it's usuall window ledge.

  8. #8
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    Ummmm.... I watered it to wet the medium but I let it drain really well. Is this going to be an issue? Sorry, I am such a novice.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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    Saw this on my Mom's Phal. The owner of the orchid farm had her wet the leaves avoiding the center. He said they absorb the water through the leaf, too and the will plump right up. Worked like a charm. Just do not get the water in the center cup.

    Good luck with your baby.

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    Quote Originally Posted by razorbackgrl View Post
    Ummmm.... I watered it to wet the medium but I let it drain really well. Is this going to be an issue? Sorry, I am such a novice.
    Posted via Mobile Device

    No, no problem at all. Glad to know you repotted this phal. It should be fine if in a free draining mix. Since you have bloomed it before, it gets enough light. I suspect that the medium was just breaking down and staying too wet. The roots were rotting and not able to get enough water and made the plant look like it needed more water. This caused you to water even more and continue the root rot issue. (this happens often). I bet it will be great now though!

    Cheers,
    BD

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