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Phal blooms drooping

This is a discussion on Phal blooms drooping within the Phalaenopsis ('moth orchid') Information forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; Hello to everyone! As you might have guessed, I am a brand new orchid owner! ...

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  1. #1
    Elfmaiden77's Avatar
    Elfmaiden77 is offline Junior Member
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    Question Phal blooms drooping

    Hello to everyone!

    As you might have guessed, I am a brand new orchid owner! I went to DC about a month ago and brought back my very first orchid. I watered it when I got back and let it drain properly. It was doing great, watering it once a week, the buds were blooming-about 5 bloomed since then and looking healthy. The problem started about a week ago. I noticed that the newest bud starting to wilt and droop to the point of not being open anymore. The older blooms are still looking good. Now so far there was one more that bloomed and after a day started drooping, and now one more closing up. I tried a mild soap/water/rubbing alcohol spray once over because of the little black flying gnats around it. One more thing, I haven't fed it yet so I thought maybe that is why they are wilting I'm hoping? I just don't want to mess it up so I thought I would try this first Thanks for any help that can be provided! I have enclosed some pictures for reference.
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  2. #2
    valb561's Avatar
    valb561 is offline Senior Member
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    Hi
    I'm still a newbie at orchids (1 year) & someone wiser will probably give you good advice, but I've had this happen when bringing a new Phal home.
    It happens because of condition change.
    When I buy a phal at a big box store & it's in bloom, I keep it in the house so I can keep an eye on it. If it's doing ok, I leave it as is, if it's shriveled, I repot & cut off spike, so it can re-energize.
    I have a phal.(year old) that was starting to form buds (outside on patio) & once our weather warmed up, I turned on a box fan in the window over phal shelf... buds grew & dropped off...
    Anyway, don't feel bad about failures, we all have them... just read the posts ... find what does best for you

  3. #3
    Elfmaiden77's Avatar
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    Default Thanks for reply!

    Thanks for replying so soon Yeah I have been reading around and was thinking it might be condition shock. There are all pretty much drooping and wilting now. I have put a humidity tray out, ordered 3 orchid books, trying to make it warmer days and cooler nights. The roots btw are green and white. I plan on feeding it when it gets a little dryer, it's still a bit wet. I bought Schultz Orchid Food and it has Urea in it 19-31-17...does this sound ok? Also, I could use some tips on step by step repotting procedures and what is the best media to use? After reading around I thought it might be best because of the wilting and the critters. Thanks again!

  4. #4
    valb561's Avatar
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    Sorry I haven't replied sooner, I thought maybe someone wiser than I would show up & answer your questions As far as fertilizers go, I use Bloom Buster for blooming plants & don't fertilize nearly as often as I should...LOL Repotting is another mystery to me, I have most of my phals in a bark, charcoal, perlite mixture (already mixed & bagged from smiley face store), plus have them on humidity trays. Most do ok in that, but have been thinking about adding spagnum moss to the mix for the summer since it's so darned hot here. Try searching for "repotting", I'm sure there's a thread about it somewhere on here.
    Good luck & good growing

  5. #5
    Piper's Avatar
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    Hi Elf,

    Val's given you good advice. Phals will often 'blast' their buds and recent blooms if their growing conditions are shocked. Usually older blooms survive fine, but not always.

    You plant looks healthy, so it's no cause for alarm. The patient's long term survival is more important. If you wanted to try and reiniate blooms, you can cut the flower spike between the highest non-blooming bract, and the first blooming bract. The bracts are the little joints on the flower spike. There are usually several that produce no buds, leading up to the bud-producing bracts. If you cut your spike there, it may (no promises) put out a side spike in the next couple of weeks that will bud and bloom normally for you.

    The leaves look healthy enough to give it a try, if you'd like. Plan B is to cut the spike and let the plant rest and grow new leaves and roots, making it stronger for next years blooming. I'd be tempted to get it to rebloom, since your leaves look so healthy.

    You could repot it now and check the roots. They'll give you the full story on your plant's health. Then decide whether or not to attempt reblooming. It's not a scary thing to do. I know we have threads on repotting Phals. I'm hoping someone can locate one that we can make sticky!

    Good luck!

    Julie

  6. #6
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    The very friendly helpful expert orchid grower at the meeting tonight said he shocks people when he shows his repotting methods. He is known to swing them against his white birch tree to get the potting medium off HAHAHAHA!!!!
    I do not suggest this is a good idea LOL! But I have come to realize that in potting and cleaning roots, orchids are not as fragile as I feared.

    *In transportation, they are the most fragile of all God's creation*

  7. #7
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    Hmm...except for some varieties of Paphs, most 'chids are tougher than you'd think.

    But I believe a healthy dose of caution is in order whenever repotting. Roots can be tempermental. The most important question is, how do they look?

    Roughly your choices are: fat and healthy (this varies based on type of orchid); dry and cripy (too little water); or dark and mushy (ie, rotted).

    Cut off any roots that are cripsy or rotted. Keep the pot close to the size of the root mass (ie, don't over-pot.)

    Note that some orchids, particularly some species, get cranky when repotted and may be stubborn bloomers. Learn your plants habits, and don't be so quick to repot, if it isn't what your plant likes!

    Julie

  8. #8
    Mehera's Avatar
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    Question More specifics about phal repotting

    When people say to cut off rotted roots upon repotting (I'm thinking of phals here) does that mean to just cut back to a healthy section of the same root, or to take it all the way off back to the "junction"? (I have been doing the former, but wondering if the root will still function and grow without its growing tip.)

    Along the same lines: when you repot a phal, how do you secure it in its pot? On other orchids you can use the rhizome clips, but what do you attach to with a phal? I have been resorting to staking to an old spike to steady the plant, but surely there is a better way!

  9. #9
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    I use the very high-tech string method. Get some garden twine. Loop it around pot (top to bottom) on one side of the phal, then loop around on the other side of the phal, making sure it holds it upright but ins't crushing. it. Then do the same for the front and back... Not pretty, but works and should be a temporary measure..

  10. #10
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    Oh, Diane, you are genius. I am going to use this method on my next repot. Mehera, I read about trimming some of the roots to encourage new root grow when repot. They said new roots take nutrients better than the old ones, so if you have a lot of roots, you should trim off some. But I am always afraid to trim them off, only when the root ball is too big to fit the pot.

    Qing

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