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Can you identify the problem here?

This is a discussion on Can you identify the problem here? within the Phalaenopsis ('moth orchid') Information forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; I have an adorable little phal that was a rescue from a big box store. ...

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  1. #1
    RissaRenwick is offline Junior Member
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    Default Can you identify the problem here?

    I have an adorable little phal that was a rescue from a big box store. Now, most of the orchids that I have come across are nestled in clear plastic pots that are then housed in an outer decorative pot. This little guy (and 3 more like it) are not in plastic pots but they are in more of a plastic sleeve that is stuffed with moss. I want to re-pot them, but I was trying to wait because they still have pretty blooms and I don't want them to drop. However, upon investigation, one of them has black tips on the roots. I don't know what this is. The plant otherwise looks healthy. Is it rot? Is it a fungus? Is it because of the pot? I'm worried.
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    raybark is offline Senior Member
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    From your description, it seems likely that they current mode of potting is not compatible with your watering regimen, and it does sound like the root tips have died.

    Personally, I'd risk the blooms and repot the thing. Chances are that you'd lose the blossoms anyway, if the roots are quitting.

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    I would tend to agree with Ray. I would repot right away and take the chance of flower loss, you might be saving the plant for the future. I would suggest that you soak the roots in super thrive or other root hormone product before repotting it is no guarantee that you will save the roots but it might if it has not gotten too bad.

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    RissaRenwick is offline Junior Member
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    should I trim the black tips off the roots or just leave them?

    Also, one of the orchids that my mom brought to me has a bent flower stem. Should I cut that off or leave it be? The flowers have not wilted off so I tied it up to a steak for now. Wasnt sure if I should remove it or not and I dont want to go cutting things off if I dont have to.

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    Personally, I leave the tips as they are. I have had them sprout new tips off to the side. And what you did with the bent spike is just fine. The better it is supported where it is bent is helpful to the spike. Enjoy the flowers as long as possible.

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    I would agree with Harvey

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    I was going to say something, but it was basically what Harvey said anyway... Can you show us pictures of the black tips? Sometimes the growing tips are a very dark green and that is perfectly healthy and normal. If they did quit on you, chances are good KelpMax or SuperThrive or any kelp based root stimulant would be very helpful. Do make sure your product is fresh, as they can lose potency.

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    RissaRenwick is offline Junior Member
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    Name:  10384600_10153019680541572_5022923531277310169_n (2).jpg
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    ---------- Post Merged at 01:24 AM ----------

    The picture I posted is right out of the little plastic sleeve that it came in. The sleeve had only a single drain hole at the bottom, so I used some scisors to cut slits in it for more air movement. I think you guys are right. The moss was just really wet, and I had not watered the plant since I got it so it has been that way for some time. My hope is that the slits will allow more air to the roots. I dont have a plastic pot small enough to house this little guy. (its so little)

  9. #9
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    Ok, I wouldn't even put it back in that pot at all. Gently pick the moss out of the roots and let it air out and get dry for a day or two (if longer, then dip it in water every couple of days until you can pot it up). Soak it in a kelp based root stimulant, then re-pot it into bark (and maybe some moss depending on your climate) and water it with the root stimulant added to your water for a while. Let it dry out between waterings so that it is nearly dry down inside. It's going to lose some roots, even healthy plants do when they are re-potted in a new media. Keep it somewhere it won't be badly stressed - on the lower side of the light, medium temperature, decent humidity, and let it rest until it starts to grow new roots.

    Hopefully someone can recommend a good treatment for the roots before it is prepped for re-potting. Those roots are way too wet, they aren't gone yet, but many of them are marginal. Good luck!

  10. #10
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    I agree with with Carol. I think phals in this type of potting are the hardest to save. The poor roots are struggling to exist between the hard packing of moss and the side of the plastic. Normal roots should not be flat like that. They should be round.

    Get all of the moss out. More than likely there are no roots or live roots in the moss. Since most beginners probably do not have kelp extract I would at least use hydrogen peroxide, which is easier to obtain, to kill any bacteria and fungus on the roots. Then like Carol said just sit it in some type of container, loosely, keep it hydrated but not wet until you can get some supplies like better pots - clay would be good and some orchid bark mix. It will be tricky to keep it alive. I stopped buying any phal that is potted like this. If they are not in bark I do not buy them.

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