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So frustrated!!!

This is a discussion on So frustrated!!! within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Boy, it sounds like my stories all over again. Don't loose hope, the same thing ...

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  1. #11
    work2ski's Avatar
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    Boy, it sounds like my stories all over again.

    Don't loose hope, the same thing happened to us all at one time or another. It's because of experience like this that will give you an idea of how to come up with your own custom mix to prevent the problem(s) from re-occuring. I'm convinced for a good phal mix, correct portion of bark, charcoal, perlite, and coco husk is ideal. Adjust the portion of the husk to control the amount of water you want to retain when watering. I posted a DIATOMITE thread to give an idea of other potting options.

    I have a few plant in sphag (bought them that way). The way they are potted is every pot has 1 1/2 in gap between the styrofoam and the moss. After time, the roots will grow down and fill the empty space at the bottom of the pot. Since they all looked healthy, I left them alone.

    Your are just loving your plants too much, that is all. Like me, I would literally loved them to death with my watering fetish. Sometimes, reasonable neglects can go a long way as I found that out with the Dens.

    As for circulation, I keep it going 24 hrs/day. So what if the plants dry out faster. The faster it dries out, the less of a chance the plant will have to get bacterial/fungal infections from the excess moisture. For phals, circulation will help to get them to bloom (see thread Light or Air for more info).

    This is a trial time for most. Get pass this phase and with your passion, you are surely to become an orchid demi-goddess.

    P.S. Sometimes, they look quite dead but not quite so. I had a 2 clones plants with crown rots so bad, the leaves would fall off one by one. There wern't even a crown left, just a single sagging/floppy leaf drooping over the side of the pot. The single leaf was in such bad shape, it was almost transparent. The plants got saved and and one is starting to form a new leaf.

    Clean up all the dead/infected plant parts with the neccessary chem., repot it in a fresh media and let it sit. Mist the plant more and water it very sparingly. It can really surprise you sometimes. If I had known this sooner, I would not have given up so easyly on the many that I let go. It's because of these cloned plants that I put up a DIATOMITE post. The rocks were killing them again after so much efforts put into raising them from the dead.

  2. #12
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    Thanks Trung
    I feel like I have learned a few important lessons this time around. My first few deaths were only frustrating, but now I am appreciating the lack of clutter (ie. LOTS of space for new ones) and the fact that I have really learned a few things!! Newbie things, but things that I wasn't taught. Today was my greatest orchid learning day to date...

  3. #13
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    Boy, it sounds like my story all over again.

    Don't loose hope, it's experience like this that will give you an idea of how to come up with your custom mix to prevent the problem(s) from happening again. I'm truly convinced that a good phal mix consists of correct potions of bark, charcoal, perlite, and coco husk. Adjust the portion of the husk to retain more or less water as needed.

    I know you are moving away from sphag but there is an alternative potting using the same stuff. I have a few plants in sphag. They look healthy so I left them alone. But this is how they were potted. There is an 1 1/2 gap between the sphag and the styrofoam peanuts. Over time, the roots would grow down an occupied the empty space. When I watered these plants, they get soaked real good but never seemed to have any rotting issues

    As for circulation (see post Light or Air), it will give an idea. I keep the fan running 24/hrs. So what if it dries out faster. The faster the plant dries, then the chance for bacterial/fungal infections are also lessen. You cannot loose with good air movement.

    As for the dead plant, sometimes they look really dead but not so. I purchased 2 phal clones. Upon arrival, both were suffering from severe crown rot. On one plant, it was so bad that the leaf would start to fall off one by one until there is single sagging/floopy/transparent leaf that COMPLETELY drooped over ther side of the pot (like a wet cardboard). Didn't even have a crown left. Just one sick leaf attaching itself to what looked like a dead stump. Absolute no roots because I had to hack them all off. Repotted in a fresh media an find a shady spot for it. A few mos later, I saw a new leaf. The sick leaf is now firm and standing upright. It is because of these plants that I posted a DIATOMITE thread. So much efforts were put in reviving them and the rocks were killing them again.

    This is a trial time for everyone of us. Get pass this phase and with your passion, you are surely on your way to become a ORCHID demi-goddess.

  4. #14
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    Tikva,

    Sorry I replied twice. I thought I loss the first post.

    That's what make it fun. You have three factors to play with. Light, air circulation, and water. Find that correct combination for the 3 and magic will fill the air. I think we have a wealth of resources and gurus here. With every question, there is an abundance of informative replies to guide you to the next step of what should or should not be done. Tap into their heads. That's what I am here for.

    I am very embarass to even mention the number of plants that I've killed so you're in good company.

  5. #15
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    Don't Phals in nature grow with their leaves facing sideways or down so that rain water funnels away from the stem by gravity? I read this recently. Anyone know??
    Tikva, stick to it. If you give up, then I have no inspiration.

  6. #16
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    Don't quit now , I kill my share of mini. Catts. this is the first year several of the little %$%^ have bloomed, first to dry then to wet , to much light then not enough ect .
    I keep a roll of paper towels in the greenhouse & use pieces to soak up any water in the crowns of the Phals . a lot of them are in just pellets , can't tip them .
    When I first started with Phals . I was given a piece of good info . if using Spag. layer the pot with pieces of styrofoam non melting kind then Spag. and repete . it provides air to the roots and dries faster .
    If you have them where you can place a fan on low sitting on the floor that might help . I have one wind machine on the floor in the green house and a rotating fan going 24/7 ...
    After seeing all Cin's photos I wanna move Not heard from Wolf hope he has not cooked, over 100 in Vegas . Gimmie my coffee Gin

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    Don't know about in nature but have seen them in baskets and hung sideways so the leaves are down .
    I grew some mounted upside down, the problem was the roots attatched to the wall then when I tried to move them it caused damage . Saw a picture of someone that grew them just hanging upside down no pot or anything , guess it would work if the humidity was high enough , have thought about cutting 2 pieces of mesh wire attatching to a frame with Spag. sandwiched between and mounting them on it . Problem is how could the Spag. be changed when needed . Gin

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    I actually heard from Wolf a couple of weeks ago. He's doing well in Vegas.

    Kirstie, you did have a habit of buying cheap, near-death plants. Could that have been a factor here? The crown rot may not have had anything to do with your care. The plant could have been on a slow march towards death when you got it. That's why I'm always pestering you about buying healthy plants.

    By the way, I have a few more for you to prey upon!

    Julie

  9. #19
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    Another way to prevent crown rot (or at least minimize it) is using Physan 20 or other bactericides. Just mix Physan 20 with water according to instructions (2 tablespoons/gallon) and use this mixture to water your orchids (at least once a week). This is how the large growers control phal crown rot, I believe. Also, don't forget to dry the growing tip of the plants before night fall.
    Cheers. Hoa.

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    I havent bought orchids without your ok, you know, Julie hehe :c)

    So the problem was completely mine this time. I bought, repotted, and watered little. I just didn't know that water inside the stems would kill it. I didn't water there on purpose, but never dried it and didn't use my fan until I started having all this mold problem. ALL my fault. Cause the plants were nice ones from the local home care big stores.

    My new phobia is this - EVEN recommended places have rotten plants. I am a BAD plant magnet. That's all there is to it! Not a pity party - it just seems to be my lot in life. I could pay TOP $$$ from the most recommended grower and STILL get their bad luck LOL!!!!

    Now, I do trust you. You know my luck and know my record, and I think you will give me perfect orchids. IF we ever meet up hehe!!!!

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