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  • 3 Post By grndsqrrl
  • 1 Post By eircsmith
  • 1 Post By Gurj
  • 1 Post By grndsqrrl
  • 1 Post By jai_star
  • 1 Post By eircsmith

How to save my Phal orchid?

This is a discussion on How to save my Phal orchid? within the Phalaenopsis ('moth orchid') Information forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; I bought this orchid about a year ago and it had beautiful blooms and seemed ...

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  1. #1
    grndsqrrl is offline Junior Member
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    Default How to save my Phal orchid?

    I bought this orchid about a year ago and it had beautiful blooms and seemed quite happy for a while. After the blooms finished, the spike dried out and I cut it down to the base. Since then, it hasn't produced any spikes. It has grown a few more leaves and increased in size, but now that I've read a few posts on this forum I'm quite certain the roots are unhealthy. I've posted a picture below. I want to re-pot it and do things right to make the plant healthy again, but I'm not quite sure where to start. Do I need to trim back the roots? Advice for re-potting and general maintenance would be appreciated! Thanks!

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  2. #2
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    Hi “grndsqrrl”, I can’t advice you about re-potting or about general maintenance.
    But here is the link that can help you Orchid Growing: Care of Orchids after Blooming & Flower Gardening

  3. #3
    Gurj's Avatar
    Gurj is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by grndsqrrl View Post
    I bought this orchid about a year ago and it had beautiful blooms and seemed quite happy for a while. After the blooms finished, the spike dried out and I cut it down to the base. Since then, it hasn't produced any spikes. It has grown a few more leaves and increased in size, but now that I've read a few posts on this forum I'm quite certain the roots are unhealthy. I've posted a picture below. I want to re-pot it and do things right to make the plant healthy again, but I'm not quite sure where to start. Do I need to trim back the roots? Advice for re-potting and general maintenance would be appreciated! Thanks!

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    Hi, I don't see any serious concern so far. After flowering, phals, as any other plant, usually puts up some leaves(it's got to make some food for itself to sustain another flower spike, doesn't it?) If you find the roots unhealthy then trim them to a point where they are healthy. Pot it up in Bark and keep it moist. It should come back.

  4. #4
    grndsqrrl is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the help so far! I think I should mention this is my first orchid. I believe when we bought it, it was planted in sphagnum moss and we left it in that medium for several months, possibly a year. My husband decided that the pot was getting too small and attempted to repot it using typical potting soil in addition to the old sphagnum. I suspect that's why the roots started to do poorly.

    Anyway, I have cut back the roots as suggested. I did my best to determine what sections were still healthy. I hope I didn't do too much damage. I replanted it in a bark-based "orchid mix" and moved it to a south-facing windowsill.

    Gurj- you said to "keep it moist", but I was under the impression that the roots don't like to be kept wet. I was planning to soak it weekly. Should I water it more often?

    Also, one of the leaves has a large pale spot on it and another is bent. Is that likely from poor nutrition or should I be concerned about disease?

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  5. #5
    Bumblebee is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks for this info eircsmith.

  6. #6
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    The root mass does look relatively small compare to the leaves it has to support. My advice would be make sure the pot has many drainage hole on the bottom and on the sides to allow passing air this will minimise the risk of waterlogged roots. And also to feed a weak solution of a Nitrogen and Phosphorus this will stimulate root growth and of course plenty of bight light. Check the roots again in 4 -5 months and see whats going on.

  7. #7
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    Moist and wet are two different things. Orchids like moist and not wet(water constantly dripping from the potting material). Bark is the best media because it usually does not hold back excessive water and it's openness/airiness makes it possible for the roots to breathe, just like the epiphytes do. The best way to water is to soak the pot(only the pot in water keeping the leaves dry) in room-temperature water for 5 minutes or so, drenching the potting material and making sure the water doesn't get in between the leaves. Then let all the water drain out before you put the plant in its usual spot. Once a week watering should be sufficient if you keep your orchids indoors. Because I don't know what part of the world you are from, I would have suggested something more specific. Such as the drying time would vary if you keep it indoors/outdoors/heating in the house or whatever.

    Good advice, it's always better to have as much drainage as possible but I wouldn't use any fertilizer. The roots have gone through a tough time, anything other than plain water would be too much to cope for the plant. The bark itself will probe/help initiate the orchid to grow roots. I'd fertilise the plant once there are enough roots.

    You have done a good job so far, now sit back a relax. Let the orchid do its bit and fingers crossed. Don't worry about the yellowing leaves, they do, as they get old. Don't spray water on the leaves. You'd have a good experience with this orchid.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bumblebee View Post
    Thanks for this info eircsmith.
    Thanks, Bumblebee. It’s my pleasure to share an informative link for articles or growing tips with you all.

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