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To Save or Not To Save this orchid

This is a discussion on To Save or Not To Save this orchid within the Phalaenopsis ('moth orchid') Information forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; Physan is a really good general disinfectant - in greatly diluted amounts you can actually ...

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  1. #11
    mauraec's Avatar
    mauraec is offline Senior Member
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    Physan is a really good general disinfectant - in greatly diluted amounts you can actually water with it (look at the label)and it acts as a fungicide, bacteriocide, and insecticide. And in a couple weeks, you might want to give it some SuperThrive growth hormone.

    By the way, do you really live in Antarctica???

  2. #12
    windoffthefifthocean's Avatar
    windoffthefifthocean is offline Junior Member
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    @ TirSigel: Hahaha, glad to hear that! I brewed up some willow tea today (but man does that stuff smell).

    @ OrchidAddict: Thank you so much for your detailed advice, I will most definitely be switching to a clay pot and the LECA sounds like a great idea too I'd much rather water than worry as well, and I'm enthused to hear that it's possible to do that. Congratulations on your orchids!! Thanks so much for the good wishes.

    @ Magnus: I believe you're right on with the fungus. I think it might have actually transferred over from some other, hardier plants on my sill.

    I am currently doing the sphag and bag method, but finding a proper bag is proving difficult. The leaves on my orchid are stiff and over 25 cm long, resulting in an orchid that's about a half meter wide and about as flexible as a yardstick. I know they're not supposed to touch the sides of the bag, but would it be very bad?

    Once again, thanks to everyone for the replies and encouragement!

    @ mauraec: Thank you for the advice about Physan, and when to start the SuperThrive. Hahaha you caught on! (color me surprised) No, just little old Ontario (although that might seem like Antarctica to some :P). That said, a trip to Alaska is in the works, and who knows? Penguins make for great neighbors, or so I hear.

  3. #13
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    yvonni is offline Senior Member
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    First off welcome to the forum . I have a phal that I was trying to nurse back to health and I placed it in a bark mix and placed it on a wire mesh on top of some water trying to give it the humidity I thought it need by the morning it was growing the white stuff you described on the surface of the media. I think I might have done all this too late in the day or maybe the wet media and then setting it over the water was too much too soon but I took it out of the bark mix and I cleaned it up and then I tried my version of sphag and bag . Which was to place it back into the container with no media over a tall vase with water in the bottom .It took a while but then it started to perk up a bit and was putting out a new root . I moved it then to semi hydro and it's happy as a clam right now . Just my experience , wish you luck in saving yours .

  4. #14
    OrchidAddict's Avatar
    OrchidAddict is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magnus A View Post
    There may be a need for a fungiside or similar product to prevent growth of non wanted things. I think it was fungus and not mold as there are fungus that form this kind of stringy fluffy 3D webs throughout the media. /M
    Hmmm... you know what... I think my problems were probably fungus too, now that I think about it. It was always that pesky white fluffy stuff that would invade my pots. I've never tried fungicide...I've always done the bleach bath thing and just chucked the yucky media. It wouldn't be a bad idea to have some fungicide on hand, though, just in case. I think I'll buy some Physan to keep around...

    Oh, and another trick you can do is to pot your phals "high" in their media so that you can see the topmost roots. I do this with all my plants (I get nervous when everything is buried below the surface and I can't see anything). The phals don't mind having their topmost roots half-exposed, and it gives you another "safety net" if any unwanted creepies invade your pots.

    That way, if you ever do have a problem with fungus or mold, you'll be able to see it before it kills the top-most layer of roots. Even if the fungus eats everything under the surface, you still have those healthy roots to work with, and you can give the plant nourishment by misting the top-most roots with SuperThrive and water while it rebuilds the rest.

    This has worked great for me when I've bought plants at a clearance store and then gotten them home just to find their roots had been decimated by fungus (it's very annoying when you take a plant out of its bag and it flops over because there's no roots left to hold it in the pot!) If there were a few "lucky roots" on top, I found I could repot the plant in a smaller pot and the plant would do surprisingly well with the few roots it had left until it had grown new ones.

    Good luck with nourishing your plant back to health! There's lots of great advice in this thread...I'm sure you'll find something that works for you. I had to chuckle when I saw your initial question of "To Save or Not to Save this Orchid," only because I don't think you'll find anyone here in the forum that would advise you NOT to save a plant. We're all a bunch of orchid nuts who are passionate about these plants, and we'll fight to keep them alive. The answer is pretty much always going to be, "You can save it!! Don't give up!" :-)

    This is a fabulous community...I can't tell you how much I've learned since I joined, and I still have TONS to learn! Everyone here truly cares, and I've met wonderful people and made some great friends, too. Glad you could join us!

    You'll be sooooo happy when your plant is healthy and it finally blooms for you again! You'll have to post pics!

  5. #15
    pavel's Avatar
    pavel is offline change is the only constant
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    Quote Originally Posted by windoffthefifthocean View Post
    I am currently doing the sphag and bag method, but finding a proper bag is proving difficult. The leaves on my orchid are stiff and over 25 cm long, resulting in an orchid that's about a half meter wide and about as flexible as a yardstick. I know they're not supposed to touch the sides of the bag, but would it be very bad?
    It's not ideal but I have had the leaves of such plants touching the sides of a bag with no issues. You may just have to check on the plant a bit more often to make sure any moisture accumulating where the leaves and bag touch is wiped off.

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