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  • 1 Post By Cjcorner
  • 1 Post By Carolla
  • 1 Post By 78Terp

NOID Phal Dropping Leaves Left And Right

This is a discussion on NOID Phal Dropping Leaves Left And Right within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I bought a rescue Phal from the clearance rack. The leaves had obviously seen too ...

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  1. #1
    dlbush is offline Member
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    Default NOID Phal Dropping Leaves Left And Right

    I bought a rescue Phal from the clearance rack. The leaves had obviously seen too much sun, because they were streaked with red, but the plant looked healthy otherwise. Since I brought it home, it's been putting out roots like crazy. The leaves stayed greenish for a while, but then suddenly they turned brought red/yellow and began dropping. I've lost three this week. The top three leaves nearest the crown are still nice and green. Should I be worried at all? It's got a long bare stem now...
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  2. #2
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    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
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    When you water do you get the top of the plant wet? If water remains in the top of the plant it can rot the leaves off. Everything will look completely healthy and they just begin dropping off. In the future, take a piece of paper towel and soak the water up out of the leaves. Otherwise, increase the air movement around them so they will dry faster.

  3. #3
    dlbush is offline Member
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    I took some photos of the plant just now. Could it be dropping leaves because I have root rot and the plant is not capable of sustaining all the leaves? The third photo shows what the plant looked like before it started to commit leaf suicide.

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    ---------- Post Merged at 09:06 AM ----------

    I water the bark only under the sink, not the plant. If I splash water on the crown I dab it off with a paper towel. Occasionally I will mist the aerial roots and some water droplets will remain on the leaves, but there is a ceiling fan going at medium speed in that room at all times so they dry off pretty quickly. As far as I can tell there is no sign of rot, but maybe someone with more experience will spot something I didn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cjcorner View Post
    When you water do you get the top of the plant wet? If water remains in the top of the plant it can rot the leaves off. Everything will look completely healthy and they just begin dropping off. In the future, take a piece of paper towel and soak the water up out of the leaves. Otherwise, increase the air movement around them so they will dry faster.

  4. #4
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    Default

    I would add to Connie's good advice, you want to be sure that you are providing some calcium to your orchids. It is a good preventative for various bacterial infections (plants given Ca are much more disease-resistant).

    You can use a supplement like Cal-Mag, or a less expensive supplement like gypsum. I use the pelleted gypsum for lawns, a teaspoon per gallon, dissolved overnight, then discard the solids, keep the water as "stock"; a few ounces/gallon added to my routine water supply, or when I give fertilizer. I usually also add a teaspoon of Epsom salts to the stock.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Also, since its losing the lower leaves that could indicate a root problem - did you repot it after you brought it home? Many times they are potted in tightly packed sphagnum moss that can kill roots in the home environment. If its not in predominately large bark, the roots may be starting to rot - let us know how it is potted. Also, if you can get a picture of the whole plant and of how it is potted, that would help a lot. I don't have experience with other reasons why Phals drop leaves like that, but I do have experience with one that I had repotted into a bark mix with fines in it, it compacted on the roots and suffocated them. I lost the plant because I didn't know to take action and remove it from the wrong potting media (it was labelled for Phals too!). So, be sure the roots can breathe. The bottom leaves turned yellow (not red and yellow) and started to drop.

    However, before you yank it out of its pot, give us more information as to how it is potted to see if that might be the problem. BTW, yes, you should be worried. Also check it over for insects very closely. Be sure its not sitting in full sun. Good luck.

  6. #6
    dlbush is offline Member
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    Catt Mandu: I will try to add some calcium to my fertilization routine.

    Carol: I repotted the plant immediately after it came home. It was densely packed in sphagnum moss and I put it into bark media. It took a few weeks to become acclimated to the new media and start to put out new root growth. Then all of a sudden the five lower leaves dropped within a week. I hesitate to pull it out of the pot because it's got new root growth everywhere and I don't want to hurt the growing tips. The bark is your average store bought stuff indicated for Catts, Phals, and Paphs. My other rescues seem pretty happy in it.

  7. #7
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    Well, it looks nicely potted and I see some roots going on that look healthy. You say it had rotted roots when you repotted it? It could be stressed from a lack of roots. However, what I see in the "before" picture looks like you had leaf damage when you started and the leaves you have now were the only healthy ones on the plant. I think (just guessing, of course) that it was sun damage to those leaves that did them in, you may be ok with it. I wouldn't repot it again at this point, it needs to have some time to grow new roots and recover. From what I see and what you say, I don't think you are currently contributing to further rot in the roots. Do keep it shaded for a while so its not stressed and keep a close eye on it. If you see any changes, even small ones, take more pictures and let us know. I'm a lot more hopeful, as the top that is left looks really good and the leaves you lost looked pretty bad even before they turned and fell off.

  8. #8
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    IMO, since they are dropping from the bottom, I think the phal had just decided it was time to shed them as the plant looks good otherwise to me. I would definitely not repot at this.

    ---------- Post Merged at 06:16 AM ----------

    I think of the long, bare stem as the perfect breeding ground for new roots and spikes to emerge from!

  9. #9
    dlbush is offline Member
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    Thanks for your help everyone and for the words of encouragement!
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