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Phalaenopsis roots rejecting media - why?

This is a discussion on Phalaenopsis roots rejecting media - why? within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Takes care of securing the plant in the pot and prevents wobbling, roots need to ...

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  1. #11
    Nexogen is offline Junior Member
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    Takes care of securing the plant in the pot and prevents wobbling, roots need to dry completely (let the media get dry before watering). Using seaweed or a rooting hormone such as Super Thrive or K-L-N really helps.

  2. #12
    Delila is offline Member
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    I haven't been able to get a pH measure yet, but here are some photos - both of the same plant.

    One root grew all the way down, then died; a second root is half an inch in and the tip is showing signs of ailing:


    This root grew a couple of inches, then partially died back:

  3. #13
    Nexogen is offline Junior Member
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    Change the media, do not use fertilizer slow release, the root is intoxicated.

  4. #14
    Delila is offline Member
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    Problems with this...

    - Phals are always set back by changing their media (- unless transplanting into sphag, which I don't want to do with this plant.)
    - This plant was already re-potted a few months ago, and has been trying to get settled.
    - Winter is about to begin, so the timing could not be worse.

    I do not expect re-potting to add value to this situation right now. The added disruption is likely to make things even worse. I may have no choice but to care for it through Winter as it is.

    (BTW, those slow release pellets are 6 months old.)

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    There are at least two alternatives:
    Change the media and quitting slow release fertilizer or start a new plant. If you leave it in the same media will not survive ...

  6. #16
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    chemist is offline Senior Member
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    I think Nexogen gave you valuable advise to repot it.
    You said phal was repotted few month ago but about slow release pellets you say its 6 months old. So did you repot plant 6 month ago?

    using slow release ferilizer you give your plant more chemicals that plant need. Much more than if you would use one that you mix in water at very low concentrations. You probably burn roots with slow release fert. Even after six months i think there are still chemicals inside pellets, so it will continue to burn roots. In my opinion there are too many pallets in your pot that phal need.
    And i think its common opinion here its not good idea to use slow release fertilizer with any orchid plants.

    By any chance do you see any bugs around your plant? Like fungus gnuts?
    They also can add to your situation by destroying roots and if there are rot present.

    If you want to save this plant please repot it in just plain bark.
    I did repot phal in winter in New York and it was ok (i grow inside on windowsill).

    Good luck!
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    Delila is offline Member
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    Interesting how different local advice is. In Australia slow release pellets are all the rage for orchids, and most of the professional growers use them - usually at far higher rates. The rest of my collection uses the same pellets without a problem, and there are just a few old pellets in there so I really don't think it's about that.

    More likely it's about additional - albeit very dilute - liquid fertilisers and seaweed solution that I used during Summer. And/or there's just something not right about that Orchiata bark.

    Thanks for helping me to think through all the possibilities.

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