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Ailing phal with root rot?

This is a discussion on Ailing phal with root rot? within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hi I have a problem with a fairly new plant. I must admit I had ...

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  1. #1
    Kerry's Avatar
    Kerry is offline Too much to learn, let alone re-member!
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    Unhappy Ailing phal with root rot?

    Hi

    I have a problem with a fairly new plant. I must admit I had not encountered this forum before buying my plant, and now I know a lot more than I did and would have definitely avoided this particular plant, but he's mine now and I must take care of him.

    Basically, it looks like there is quite a bit of rot on the roots showing above the compost. Although there are a lot of healthy looking green roots within the pot. The compost is looking quite low in the pot, almost like it fell over at some point and got spilled out, and no one filled it back up again.

    In addition the biggest leaf (11") is split down the mid rib, although otherwise it seems healthy. The leaves are slightly flaccid, and I was not particularly surprised that the big leaf is not holding itself up so well, one of the lower small leaves looks particularly floppy. As it only has 4 leaves, I am not sure I want to lose one! I am also confused by the fact that the leaves are very red on the underside, with quite a tinge of red to the crown/ base of the leaves. The bathroom window is south west facing, with no direct sunlight due to another building being directly in the pathof the sun, but it does get a lot of indirect light.

    I have been looking around at the other posts and searching and am in a quandry. The number of healthy roots make me think that I don't need to take drastic action and cut off the 2 flower spikes. But, I am worried that the root rot at the top may endanger the whole plant. I was going to repot it anyway once the flower had started to die back as they are so nice (and the reason I bought it in the first place) but if I wait until then, am I riskingthe whole plant?

    Also, I am so scared of trimming rotted roots! Are there any really good "hold you hand all the way" through tutorials that tell you what to do - i have checked out all your advice about dusting with cinnamon, and sterilising scissors, but where do I make the cut? Could it be that the problem stems from this being a more mature plant as I have read somewhere else that as phals grow up you are meant to trim off the bottom of the plant (which in itself seems extreme).

    Please help. I have attached a couple of photos to show you....

    Sorry for the blurriness on the first one, can't seem to get the focus sorted that close - either that or it focuses on the leaves, and am unable to manage the manual focus.

    The 2nd photo shows the underside of the leaves, with the bottom leaf on the right being the ultra floppy one, which is also looking a bit pale from the top.
    the 3rd photo is what looks like healthy roots in the pot to me.

    I have added the 4th photo to show the plant's situation, although the redness was there when I bought it - I don't think it is all down to where i have put it. The plant on the left with no spike is happily growing a new leaf, and so I think the conditions are suitable.

    Any advice? reassurance? help?

    Thank you in advance.... (and sorry for the long essay)
    Kerry
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  2. #2
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is online now Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Hi Kerry.

    First thing: breathe. Your phal looks fine. It is a mature plant and is just showing a little age. It has grown up out of its pot as these phals do. You should see some of the ones we have here! The dead roots at the top are not going to hurt anything. They have just 'dried out'. The red color on the underside of your leaf is Normal in many phals. Not a sign of too much light. Somtimes when a phal gets to much light the leaves will turn red on the top, but that undershot tells me that all is well in the light department.

    About the split leaf: Again this happens. I always hate when it does, but these big phal leaves sometimes split. We have even had small leaves split right down the center. This could be caused by many things and there is not much to do once it happens. When we split one by moving the plant of dropping it or etc..., we usually dust the split with some anti-fungal podwer (cannot think of the brand name right now). This keeps the leaf from additional problems.

    The roots in the pot look healthy, but the medium (bark mix) look very wet. Maybe you just watered? If that is the case, it will be fine, but the bark should be allowed to dry out a bit before watering again.

    Again, your plants look fine to me. Others may have different opinions. Best of luck.

    Cheers,
    BD

  3. #3
    Aleksa is offline Senior Member
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    Hi people... I'm new one here, and I don't speak English very well buit I hope you will understand me...

    Few months ago, I bought this phal... Since than, he is in bloom, and he created no new leaves... But, it is weird to me because this old leaves are hanging like this... They are not wrinkled, neither soft... Leaves are firm and healthy, but I don't know why are they hanging like this?

    Can you tell me?


    Regards from Montenegro...
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  4. #4
    mtequine's Avatar
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    Welcome Aleksa! I don't think your English will be a problem!

    Looks like to me your phal has happy roots that are growing well (you can see how green they are through the plastic pot). It also looks like your plant had two very nice, long bloom stalks that had lots of flowers on them, and it's now done blooming. Could be that your plant is drained and kind of tired from putting a lot of energy into those flowers.

    I think, if I were you....(others may chime in with better advice!) I'd cut those old bloom stalks back, fertilize your plant with a weak fertilizer and let it recover. Could also be the leaves are just longer and hang that way normally. If they are firm and not floppy, that's a good sign that all is well.

    Again...welcome to the forum, and I'm sure others will give their opinion as well.



    Quote Originally Posted by Aleksa View Post
    Hi people... I'm new one here, and I don't speak English very well buit I hope you will understand me...

    Few months ago, I bought this phal... Since than, he is in bloom, and he created no new leaves... But, it is weird to me because this old leaves are hanging like this... They are not wrinkled, neither soft... Leaves are firm and healthy, but I don't know why are they hanging like this?

    Can you tell me?


    Regards from Montenegro...

  5. #5
    Aleksa is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks.. Yes, he have excellent roots... I have cut one of those stems, and the second one is still flowering...

  6. #6
    Kerry's Avatar
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    Thanks BD

    yes, the plant was watered yesterday morning. Thanks very much for your help and for the reassurance.

    It probably sounds daft, but the more you learn, the more ignorant you feel and it can make you worry even more!

    Aleska -
    Many of the large leaves on my phals hang down around the pot like that, I think Mt Equine is right, if the leaves are firm and not floppy, then your plant is doing well.

    Happy growing
    Kerry

  7. #7
    sake of silence is offline Senior Member
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    I would flush it with some hydrogen peroxide to kill off bacterias and pathogens that might be responsible for the rot. Cinnamon is supposed to stop growth, giving you a head start on the rot spreading. Just use some hydrogen peroxide in substitution for water the next watering. Repotting would be a good idea too if everything is rotted down there.

  8. #8
    Aleksa is offline Senior Member
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    And I must ask you... Is there a way to get keiki plant without keiki paste? There is no such of thing to buy...

  9. #9
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleksa View Post
    And I must ask you... Is there a way to get keiki plant without keiki paste? There is no such of thing to buy...
    Hi Aleksa, welcome to the forum. Keikis grow on some plants better than others. I have heard that if you cut the flower spike off just above the second node, you will get another branch of blooms or sometimes a keiki. I never seem to get a keiki when I want one, and always get them on plants that I really don't need any additional copies of...lol!

    If someone has a good answer to this question, I would like to know too. I have a dend that I would love to get a keiki on and send to a forum McFriend who admired it several times.

    Cheers,
    BD

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