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Please look at these leaves. Am I overwatering?

This is a discussion on Please look at these leaves. Am I overwatering? within the Phalaenopsis ('moth orchid') Information forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; Bluemoon, excellent sequence of pictures. Thanks for taking the time and effort to put this ...

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  1. #11
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    Bluemoon, excellent sequence of pictures. Thanks for taking the time and effort to put this all together. Joe

  2. #12
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    I do not want to take away from Bluemoon's post, but I would recommend punching a few holes onto the plastic pot and using a medium fir bark mix instead of sphagnum. Phalaenopsis roots do better with more air circulation and light than sphagnum moss allows. Clear pots also appear to be a better choice than the opaque plastic.

  3. #13
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    Wow!

    Thank you for taking the time to examine my phal's problem. I appreciate the depth of your analyses, and your many wonderful suggestions.

    I can't tell you how much I enjoy "meeting" you on this forum. You are very generous people. And I love that we love orchids.

    Thank you,

    Romulus

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    Hi Romulus,

    I'll toss in my two cents...

    Over and under-watering show the same symptoms. That's because if you're over-watering the roots rot and die, and then the plant can't absorb enough water from the potting material.

    When you see the yellowing, flaccid leaf(ves), unpot the plant and check the roots. That's the fastest, surest diagnoses. Crispy dried out roots don't appear anything like slimey rotting roots.

    Another possibility is a fungus. They can sweep through Phals in a matter of days, and will also cause flaccid leaves. Slower, longer term yellowing of leaves ususally means a watering problem.

    Anytime you trim an orchid leaf, sprinkle some cinnamon on the cut. It's a natural fungicide. But don't get any near the roots. It retards root growth. Physan is a reliable fungicide, but take care to use it in the recommended strength and wash your hands after spraying a plant. If you suspect a fungus, you can soak the whole plant in the Physan mixture to treat the roots as well.

    Okay, I'll shut up now!

    McJulie

  5. #15
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    Put a small fan on those phals to help them dry out quicker after watering and use a looser packed medium, they will recover
    Posted via Mobile Device

  6. #16
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    Hi, Everyone,

    Here's the update on my sick little phal. I tried to follow your advice. Went to a big box store, the only local source for supplies I know of, and got tree bark. Unfortunately, it only came in 1 cubic foot bags. I needed just a handful.

    I took the phal out of its old medium and checked its roots. If there's one thing I've learned about phals is that as much as I may love their blossoms and leaves, if you don't have beautiful, healthy roots, you don't have anything.

    After pruning everything that looked obviously dead, I was down to 3 maybes. But even these look close to death-- the roots are white. Even so, I put in some new moss; put ground cinnamon at the center; put the roots into some root hormone powder, and placed them into the pot. I covered the phal loosely with some more moss.

    My fear is that this phal is going where it was headed. If I lose it, I will at least have the knowledge that I got great advice and did everything I could for it. And, ultimately, this is what makes an orchid "amateur." S/he is willing to do what it takes for something s/he loves.

    Thanks to each of you for sharing so generously of your experience.

    Romulus

  7. #17
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    Hey Romulus, White roots are usually good (unless they are crispy dry or soft and mushy). Keep your fingers crossed!

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    I started taking my sickly looking phals to a local orchid shop. The guy will look at it and either repot for me or tell me it's fine. This works out a little better if you only have a few plants and don't want to end up with a huge bag of potting medium. The danger, of course, is that you will enter the shop with 1 or 2 plants and leave with 4 or 5! I am sure that is why the shop offers repotting services!

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