Shop Orchid Care OrchidTalk Orchid Forum Weather Station Links Nursery

Welcome to OrchidTalk Orchid Forums


The Friendliest Orchid Community on the Internet!


  •  » Learn to Repot your Orchids
  •  » Learn Orchid Care Tips and Secrets
  •  » Find the perfect Orchid for your Growing Environment
  •  » Chat with Orchid Growing Professionals

OrchidTalk - "Bringing People Together to Grow Orchids Better!"


Let us help you grow your Orchids better; Join our community today.


YES! I want to register an account for free right now!


Register or Login now to remove this advertisement.

Results 1 to 7 of 7

Phal Issues: bugs, repotting and spike ?'s

This is a discussion on Phal Issues: bugs, repotting and spike ?'s within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hey guys, Been awhile since my last post. Thanks again for all of the good ...

Click here to increase the font size Click here to reduce the font size
  1. #1
    dps62a is offline Junior Member
    Real Name
    Dave Schiek
    My Grow Area
    On a Windowsill.
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    San Fran, CA
    Posts
    7

    Unhappy Phal Issues: bugs, repotting and spike ?'s

    Hey guys,

    Been awhile since my last post. Thanks again for all of the good advice. I have since seen the yellow leaf go by the wayside (no new leaf, yet) and took both sets of advice on trimming the two spikes that were done flowering. I trimmed one just above the base and the other just above a node near the bend at the top.

    About a month ago, I watered my phal (about once every 7-10 days, when the bark looks rather dry) and later that night found some small bugs crawling around on the surface of the bark. They are whitish and ridiculously small. Upon further inspection, I also found some white, centipede-looking things crawling up, presumably for air. Most were 1/2 cm to 1cm, with the largest being half an inch or so. They are always on/in the bark as I cannot claim to have ever seen one on the roots. In place of my next watering, I dunked the plant in a mild solution of water and dish soap. I did this again two waterings later. I have picked off as many of the centipede-looking guys as possible and have noticed fewer, but still spot a couple every time I water. I have also noticed the top roots do not look as good as they did in the pics I attached last time (if you're really feeling dedicated, you can see those pics on my April 5 post!). No changes have taken place in the lighting or watering situation. Some roots seem to lose the sheath around them as it deteriorates away in the bark. All that's left behind is the stringy-looking inside (seen just to the left of the support rod in the pic below). I am wondering if any of these insects are detrimental to the plant's root system (as I have never seen any on the leafs, which look rather healthy) or are symptomatic of any other problems the plant may be going through.

    So, to end this novel, I think I would like to repot the plant as I have yet to do so. I received it in January of 07, it's flowering ended in late March / early April and I cut the spikes at that point. What other care should be done during this repot process? Any sort of spray or insecticide? Should I be looking for anything in particular in regards to what the bugs have been up to down there? Is this bark-looking material satisfactory media for my phal (I read some stuff on here about charcoal, etc.)? While I'm at it, should I go ahead and cut the other spike closer to the base as it has shown no interest in throwing another spike/more flowers my way? Could I ask any more questions?!

    Anyway, sorry again for the lengthy post. Hopefully, this guy's just spending too much time staring down at his plant. I can't help it; I live in a 700 sq.ft. apt. and have to walk by it 100 times a day! Can't it just flower again, already?! Thanks in advance for any help.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  2. #2
    smartie2000's Avatar
    smartie2000 is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Fren
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Phrags, Paphs, Catts
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Edmonton, Canada
    Posts
    2,202
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    I the white coloured bug that I can think of that is detrimental are mealy bugs. Maybe to a image search and see if they look like what you have? I hope you don't have them because they seem impossible to get rid of permanentely.
    ....not all bugs are harmful, so don't panic too much. Centipedes only eat other bugs, and millipedes only potentially will eat roots but I think they prefer decaying mix. I really doubt a small millipede will eat roots (maybe just a root hair on a paph), maybe those huge ones found in the tropics

  3. #3
    dps62a is offline Junior Member
    Real Name
    Dave Schiek
    My Grow Area
    On a Windowsill.
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    San Fran, CA
    Posts
    7

    Unhappy Phal Issues: bugs, repotting and spike ?'s

    Hey guys & gals,

    I posted this recently in the "New Growers: Ask the Editors" section but would like to open it up to a broader forum. Anyway, here's my story...

    It's been awhile since my last post. Thanks again for all of the good advice. I have since seen the yellow leaf go by the wayside (no new leaf, yet) and took both sets of advice on trimming the two spikes that were done flowering. I trimmed one just above the base and the other just above a node near the bend at the top.

    About a month ago, I watered my phal (about once every 7-10 days, when the bark looks rather dry) and later that night found some small bugs crawling around on the surface of the bark. They are whitish, ridiculously small and do not appear to be mealy bugs. Upon further inspection, I also found some white, centipede-looking things crawling up, presumably for air. Most were 1/4" - 1/2" long. They are always on/in the bark and I cannot claim to have ever seen one on the roots / leaves. In place of my next watering, I dunked the pot in a mild solution of water and dish soap. I did this again two waterings later. I have picked off as many of the centipede-looking guys as possible and have noticed fewer, but still spot one or two every time I water. I have also noticed the top roots do not look as good as they did in the pics I attached last time (if you're really feeling dedicated, you can see those pics on my April 5 post!). No changes have taken place in the lighting or watering situation. Some roots seem to lose the sheath around them as it deteriorates away in the bark. All that's left behind is the stringy-looking inside (seen just to the left of the support rod in the pic below). I am wondering if any of these insects are detrimental to the plant's root system (as I have never seen any on the leafs, which look rather healthy) or are symptomatic of any other problems the plant may be going through.

    So, to end this novel, I think I might repot the plant as I have yet to do so. I received it in January, its flowering ended in late March / early April and I cut the spikes at that point. What other care should be done during this process? Any sort of spray or insecticide? Should I be looking for anything in particular in regards to what the bugs have been up to down there? Is this bark-looking material satisfactory media for my phal (I read some stuff on here about charcoal, etc.)? While I'm at it, should I go ahead and cut the other spike closer to the base as it has shown no interest in throwing another spike/more flowers my way? Could I ask any more questions?!

    Anyway, sorry again for the lengthy post. Hopefully, this guy's just spending too much time staring down at his plant. I can't help it; I live in a 700 sq.ft. apt. and have to walk by it 100 times a day! Can't it just flower again, already?! Thanks in advance for any help.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  4. #4
    Diane's Avatar
    Diane is offline Can't Re-Member
    My Grow Area
    Windowsill
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Catts and Paphs
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Surprise, AZ
    Posts
    6,250
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    I would definitely repot. Be vary careful to rinse the roots carefully to get rid of any Hitchiking critters. Fresh bark mix and perhaps a little sphag in it if you are only watering every 10 days... Remember that phals don't like to get completely dry. As for the spike, it still looks viable, but I would cut it to let the plant settle into it's new pot more easily and put all it's energy into roots and growth.

    Feel free to ask all the questions you want!

  5. #5
    murgdan's Avatar
    murgdan is offline Senior Member
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Phal, Paph, Phrag
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    440

    Default

    Could be fungus gnat larvae...I find them when my medium is moist and rotting. Of course, you would have noticed the mature fungus gnats flying around as well....Just be sure to rinse the roots well and then repot into fresh medium. I wouldn't do anything special other than that.

  6. #6
    hcubed's Avatar
    hcubed is offline Senior Member
    My Grow Area
    Windowsill
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Oncidium alliance
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Hamburg, Germany
    Posts
    625

    Default

    I would carefully evaluate your humidity situation before deciding on a potting mix. That first pic looks awfully wet, but I assume that was taken right after watering. And for MY conditions once every 7 days in an absolute maximum or everything rots, even for phals. Remember that the center is never as dry as the top. So just decide whether you are in an already humid or dry climate and pot accordingly.

    I know my personal biggest mistake in the past was to spend too much effort worrying about "remember, they don't like to dry out" when in the center nothing was drying. If you aren't sure you could try weighing - write down the weight after fully watering and then watch the numbers go down - some of mine are up to 100g heavier wet.

    Anyway, I think I know the bugs you mean, I have some on most of my regular potted plants. So far no detrimental effects, just annoying. I try to keep them down on the orchids though, just because. In my experience they show up when things stay wet, so if they are what I think they are it would mean to me that things are rotting in that pot. Those strings are dead roots.

    But like I said, that's all just based on MY experience and climate can change everything!

  7. #7
    Shaydra is offline Senior Member
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    All of them!
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    654
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by murgdan View Post
    Could be fungus gnat larvae...I find them when my medium is moist and rotting. Of course, you would have noticed the mature fungus gnats flying around as well....Just be sure to rinse the roots well and then repot into fresh medium. I wouldn't do anything special other than that.

    Aha... I wonder if that's what I keep seeing now and then.. I thought those were just the gnats that could slip through the holes in the screen at night... And I bet I know which plant is the likely culprit....

Similar Threads

  1. Phal with identity issues
    By nabakov5 in forum General Orchid Culture
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: August 8th, 2014, 07:03 PM
  2. My Phal has BUGS.. Help please
    By eaglssong in forum Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: May 19th, 2009, 04:15 AM
  3. Removing spike & repotting
    By SunnyNuzz in forum General Orchid Culture
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: April 14th, 2009, 08:02 PM
  4. Phal Spike-repotting question
    By salvador1970 in forum New Growers: Ask the Senior Members
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: February 24th, 2008, 09:55 AM
  5. I'm having Phal Issues
    By Diane in forum General Orchid Culture
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: July 3rd, 2005, 11:58 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
OrchidTalk --An Orchid Growers Discussion Forum brought to you by River Valley Orchidworks. A World Community where orchid beginners and experts talk about orchids and share tips on their care, cultivation, and propagation.