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Phals with rotting roots - nearly always

This is a discussion on Phals with rotting roots - nearly always within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Abby - Phals are going to want to be kept a lot warmer if possible. ...

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  1. #11
    mayres's Avatar
    mayres is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Keizer, Oregon


    Abby - Phals are going to want to be kept a lot warmer if possible. The first winter I grew phas 3-4 years ago I tried to save energy and left the temps down - my phals were like plastic plants - neither growing nor dying. I now try to keep them in the mid 70's at least during the days and mid 60's at night - they are much happier now and many of my 35 plants have nice spikes now and are still growing leaves. Bringing a plant back to good health with a good root system can take a long time - 1-2 years - and it will take even longer if you don't keep the temps up. Commercial growers actually keep them in the 80's or even low 90's to maximize growth. When you re-potted into bark did you soak the bark really good? I have seen newly planted phals suffer from lack of water due to placing in unsoaked bark and/or bark that is poor quality - which is not absorbing and retaining any water. In this case it might be necessary to soak your plant/pot for numerous watering periods until the bark begins to retain moisture. Many phal growers actually end up growing their plants in more closed medias eventually because it retains moisture longer which actually improves the growth of phals - as long as you learn to not water too early - in damper/cooler conditions you may need to wait 3-4 weeks to water. One thing that many people try until they get the watering routine down is using a bamboo skewer in your pot (the kind you can get at the grocery store for 99 cents a bag of them for shishkabobs) - if you pull out the skewer and it is still damp - don't water. I also repot ALL of my phals immediately after purchasing - blooming or not. Plants I have purchased from what I thought were really good suppliers still had excessive rotten roots. Good luck! mike

  2. #12
    Cjcorner's Avatar
    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
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    Mini Vanda, Schombs &Encyclia.
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    Mar 2007
    West of Tampa, FL
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    I totally agree....repot immediately with Phals especially. That spag. moss is a death sentence to my phals as well. Loose media...and give a few drops of Super Thrive to the water and it will encourage root growth. When you need roots, a few drops with feedings does the trick every time.

  3. #13
    Johnnyg is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default Phal

    Two points: why pot tight? Pot enough to support the plan; no more. 2nd: Water once per week, thoroughly, keep the air moving around the plant, keep the light at about 1500 candles and you should be fine.

  4. #14
    sadie's Avatar
    sadie is offline Senior Member
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    Phal Vanda Aer Angrm Catts
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    May 2005


    Good advice above. Ialso repot phals soon after I get tham. Perhaps a silly question, but your pots have at least one drainge hole in the bottom don't they?

  5. #15
    jkhom is offline Senior Member
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    Under Lights.
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wall, New Jersey


    I am certainly no expert and had wondered why of the orchids I admired or bought Phals were always in sphag. I thought there was a specific reason for the different media, until one of my Phals developed rot. I re-potted into orchid mix and now it's doing fine, with new growth and roots.
    The sphag stays damp too long for me, so I don't use it, I also use clay orchid pots (with the slotted cut-outs on the sides). This method gives me better control over the moisture as it's easier to add than remove water.
    I still don't know why Phals seem to always be grown in sphag. If anybody knows why, I'd appreciate if you tell me.

  6. #16
    articuno75's Avatar
    articuno75 is offline Orchidolic...No need for cure.
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    On a Windowsill.
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    Jan 2008
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    Commercial growers do this for the fact that they can water more in a less amount of time. This stuff is a lot lighter in weight as well when it comes to shipping. Some people have all the luck in the world with Phals and spagh. Now as for me,,,, NO WAY. On the other hand, I have one orchid that is in total spagh and is doing great and wouldn't have it any other way.

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