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Help needed! I want to know what happened to my orchid! :(

This is a discussion on Help needed! I want to know what happened to my orchid! :( within the Phalaenopsis ('moth orchid') Information forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; Dear fellow orchid lovers and experts, 12 days ago I bought my very first Moth ...

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  1. #1
    Kay4120 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Help needed! I want to know what happened to my orchid! :(

    Dear fellow orchid lovers and experts,

    12 days ago I bought my very first Moth orchid. The last time I watered it was 6 days ago. I haven't used any fertilizers and i used filtered water to water my plant. Today I noticed a broken aerial root (see first picture), black spots on the roots (second picture), and some red/brown under the new leaf (third picture). I don't know what is happening to the plant and would greatly appreciate your help!

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  2. #2
    ECC_lectic's Avatar
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    The areal root likely broke when you touched it a little harder than you should have - the roots are very fragile. It will still function, even after the break. The brown spots are probably a reactions to the water. Even filtered water has lots of minerals in it, and if the phal has been watered with RO or rainwater up to now, the roots will need to adjust. As long as they're firm, they're doing their job.

    If the red/brown under the leaf just appeared, it may be due to excessive light. In any event, the phal needs to adjust to your environment now, and it may even drop a leaf of two in the process. Not harmful unless it's the newest leaves that are dropping.

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    Thanks for reply “EEC lectic”. It’s an informative post related to areal root.

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    Kay4120 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the reply. I have been watering it with filtered water since day 1. Does it mean that the flower cannot handle filtered water?

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    No, it doesn't mean it can't handle it. It just means that your conditions are different from the ones the plant is used to. Most of the time, the flowers will remain and last a long time. If your conditions are completely inappropriate - such as keeping it on top of a radiator in a dark room, or on a cold drafty windowsill (and I've seen both) - you will see very rapid degradation.

  6. #6
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    I agree with the above posters. I don't see anything terribly alarming going on here. You may end up losing those roots that are looking not quite so healthy. Sometimes I find aerial roots just "give up" if they are not getting misted frequently or if they don't like the environment, or, heck...perhaps I looked a them the wrong way one day. They can be finicky. So don't be too worried if you lose one of the bottom leaves and a couple of aerial roots shrivel. Those aren't necessarily integral to the plant. If those aerial roots shrivel up into sad little wrinkly sticks, you can cut them off without feeling guilty.

    What's much more important is the root system as a whole, which is probably doing just fine. I always take my plants out of their pots when I get them home to inspect the roots under the media, just to make sure nothing nasty is lurking in there (I've been caught unawares by fungus more times than I'd like to admit to), so now I always know what's going on. As long as the roots throughout the bark look good and aren't smooshy and brown...or there's no white goo or fluffy stuff that smells bad, your orchid is just fine.

    Keep doing what you're doing...there's always a bit of an adjustment period when an orchid goes to a new environment. I'm sure it will do well for you.


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrchidAddict View Post
    I agree with the above posters. I don't see anything terribly alarming going on here. You may end up losing those roots that are looking not quite so healthy. Sometimes I find aerial roots just "give up" if they are not getting misted frequently or if they don't like the environment, or, heck...perhaps I looked a them the wrong way one day. They can be finicky. So don't be too worried if you lose one of the bottom leaves and a couple of aerial roots shrivel. Those aren't necessarily integral to the plant. If those aerial roots shrivel up into sad little wrinkly sticks, you can cut them off without feeling guilty.

    What's much more important is the root system as a whole, which is probably doing just fine. I always take my plants out of their pots when I get them home to inspect the roots under the media, just to make sure nothing nasty is lurking in there (I've been caught unawares by fungus more times than I'd like to admit to), so now I always know what's going on. As long as the roots throughout the bark look good and aren't smooshy and brown...or there's no white goo or fluffy stuff that smells bad, your orchid is just fine.

    Keep doing what you're doing...there's always a bit of an adjustment period when an orchid goes to a new environment. I'm sure it will do well for you.
    Thanks “OrchidAdict” for reply. It’s an informative reply related to aerial roots.

  8. #8
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    I agree with the others, the plant looks fine. Old aerial roots can discolor, especially if it's not a humid environment. The root break is nothing to worry about. I don't think the red on the leaf is anything significant either. When you say 'filtered water', what kind of filter are you talking about? A common carbon filter is fine but you don't want to use water that has run through a water softener. Water softeners add salt to the water.

  9. #9
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    Thanks “tucker85”. It’s an instructive reply and thank for suggesting some tips regarding filtered water.

  10. #10
    Bumblebee is offline Senior Member
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    This is very interesting regarding using water from water softeners. I didn't know that. Always learning something new from you guys! Thank you!

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