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  • 1 Post By phalspital
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  • 1 Post By Susie11
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Crown rot! Can this phal be saved?

This is a discussion on Crown rot! Can this phal be saved? within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hey all! Many of you have already heard about my discount source for "rescue" phals...hehee...I ...

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  1. #1
    OrchidAddict's Avatar
    OrchidAddict is offline Senior Member
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    Exclamation Crown rot! Can this phal be saved?

    Hey all! Many of you have already heard about my discount source for "rescue" phals...hehee...I just can't resist the temptation to buy a $6 NOID that's super pretty! I've been pretty good about not buying too many recently, as I'm running out of room for NOIDs and am broadening my horizons into more exotic species, but this little beauty caught my eye, and I had to buy it.

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    There's something about the white edging on the flower and the subtle purple spots on the bottom sepals that made me go gaga for this plant. Anyway, this is actually the third one of these I've bought. The first one slumped over after some insidious fungus that had been lurking in the leaf folds in the crown turned the base of the plant to mush and killed it.

    The second one I had actually bought for a friend, who sadly reported after a couple of weeks that she had killed it by overwatering. Upon inspection, I realized she had not overwatered...the whole crown had rotted from the inside from the same nasty fungus that had attacked mine.

    One would think I'd learn my lesson and not buy another (the whole batch of these was apparently infected), but I really love the flowers and decided to give it one more try. This time I gave the plant a good dunk in Physan and scrubbed all over the crown area and in all the little nooks and crannies where bad stuff was hiding (at first glance the crown looked just fine...the fungus was hiding in between the leaf folds toward the base of the crown).

    My Physan treatment got rid of all the mush, but unfortunately a couple of leaves fell off in the process, and I'm now left with this sad-looking crown:

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    The rest of the plant seems to be hanging in there... here's what it looks like currently:

    Name:  overall shot.jpg
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    I'm just not sure if I'm going to be able to get any new growth out of that crown, or if all essential parts are dead. If this plant is on a slow trip to orchid heaven, I'd rather just dispose of it now, as it seriously depresses me to watch a plant die a slow death. But if there's anything left of that crown that might actually grow some new, viable leaves, I will try to save it.

    What do you all think? I'm not quite sure what I'm looking at when I look at the crown of the plant....there appear to be a couple of tiny bits of green stuff, but I'm not sure if that's actually just meristem tissue and not viable leaf material.

    I'm not too familiar with orchid innards...I seem to have missed that section in high school biology...instead I was stuck dissecting pigs and trying not to yack into my backpack.

    Thoughts? Ideas? Recommendations? I'd love some help here! Thanks friends!

  2. #2
    phalspital's Avatar
    phalspital is offline Senior Member
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    Jenn,

    This orchid doesn't look bad at all-- It is simply pining for the fjords!

    Seriously, I've had much worse damage to crowns and seen wonders happen, even when I was a newbie. I had a Phal whose crown was black mush, with 2 leaves left. I kept it dry and let the roots do their work. It continued to grow new roots (but obviously no new leaves). Then it suddenly put out 3 (!!) basal keikis about 6-9 months later. I left them on the mother plant, and they quickly took over until she was just a lump of dried-up crown. I now have 2 of the keikis planted together, and they each have 2 flower spikes. the first basal keiki to emerge is now a strapping plant as large as the original mother. It is in an 8" pot and has 2 new flower spikes. Yes, it's taken about 2 years, but I now have 3 strong plants. Next year I'll repot them all together into an 8" pot so they are cozy. I will then have a specimen plant.

    Now it's true that some phals keiki more easily than others, but with any luck you have a survivor. Please don't give up.

    Keep Calm and Carry On!

  3. #3
    phalspital's Avatar
    phalspital is offline Senior Member
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    looks like the server had a hiccup and my post went poof...

  4. #4
    phalspital's Avatar
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    Keep it...I have 3 basal keikis, now mature plants, from just such a mess! Each plant has 2 flower spikes now. If I can ever figure out how to size my photos, I'll post. Good luck!

  5. #5
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    Don't give up on it. I have had a phal with no leaves in bloom for about five / six months. I am hoping that after it's nasty case of crown rot -which forced me to removed most of the crown and all of the leaves - that it will form a basal. You'll have to patient, good luck

  6. #6
    Carolla's Avatar
    Carolla is offline Senior Member
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    I was given Phal that had been underwatered and was all dehydrated and stressed. I repotted it and gave it TLC, it lost most of its leaves over a couple of months, but the flower spike put out a Keiki from the stress which is doing great with my kids. The mother plant did revive and should bloom again. I wouldn't give up, but then I don't give up on anything with a bit of hope in it! If you didn't live on the other side of the country, I'd come take it off your hands... hehe Seriously though, hope for Keikis if nothing else, its very pretty.

  7. #7
    OrchidAddict's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody!! I will give it some TLC and hope for some new growth of some sort soon. I think my discouragement came mostly from seeing the two other plants I got from the same batch turn to complete rotten mush. But this time I stayed on top of the situation and "Physaned" the blazes out of this one before the fungus could do too much damage. I'm glad to hear I may have caught it in time! I'll keep you all posted on how the little guy makes out.

    At any rate, I definitely will not be chucking it after hearing all of your encouraging words! I'm quite fond of the color and form of this flower, so I'd be willing to wait for a keiki if need be!

    I will keep sending the plant happy thoughts and healing energy...

    Hopefully something great will happen soon! Thanks everybody!! I'll keep you updated!

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