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Silly Questions from a comlete noob

This is a discussion on Silly Questions from a comlete noob within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hi, I just introduced myself in the "introduce yourself thread". My Orchid (A phal named ...

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  1. #1
    JackoDaGreat is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Silly Questions from a comlete noob

    Hi, I just introduced myself in the "introduce yourself thread". My Orchid (A phal named Charlie) is giving me some mixed messages (well, mixed to a newbie like me). I read online that phals need low light but if their leaves are dark green it means they aren't getting enough. When I first got her, Charlie's leaves were dark green so I put her by the window and opened the blinds just a little. She seemed to be doing well so I left her there, checking on her periodically. About five days later I noticed little burn marks on her leaves that became even bigger burn marks. So I figured that was too much light and moved her away from the window, but where she can still get light. Again she seemed to respond well to the change, one of her buds even opened up into a flower. But then today three buds fell off. I don't know if it's because of the burns or because this morning the temperature in my room jumped from it's normal 76 to 79. Maybe I could get some advice here.

    I read on this very forum that when you have burns on the leaves you should cut them. Ok, how much should I cut them? Just around the bits that are burned, or the whole thing? All of the leaves have a little bit of burn on them, doesn't my phal need leaves to live?

    Someone else suggested cutting the spike so the phal could heal it's leaves. Now I looked all over the internet and I can not figure out what exactly is a spike. Please enlighten me. I'm assuming it's the stem, but I don't know. Also where on this spike should I cut? I'm assuming it means getting rid of the flowers which makes me sad because the flowers are doing fine and look so pretty.

    Please enlighten me, I have no idea what I'm doing.

  2. #2
    Cjcorner's Avatar
    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
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    My Grow Area
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    Mini Vanda, Schombs &Encyclia.
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    West of Tampa, FL
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    Okay, if your phal came with dark green leaves and was in bloom, that's it's normal color. You can have a phal several feet from a window and if they are getting direct sunlight they will burn. Someone on this forum had one in the middle of a large living room but it was facing the wrong way and the plant burned from too much sun. If you feel the leaf and it's hot, move it. They love sunlight, just not direct sunlight, unless its early morning up till about 10 or 11 a.m. A sheer will stop enough of the direct light to keep your phals from burning also.
    Okay, if the burn is can cut the leaf slightly above, maybe three inches, from where it joins to the plant. At some point the little piece left will turn yellow, then dry out and will fall off at the natural leaf joint. That's okay. If you only have a few small holes, no worries, let the plant keep it's leaf. It may not look too pretty, but as it ages your phal will drop the oldest bottom leaf from time to time as it adds new ones up top. It's a natural process.
    The most important thing with your new phal, don't overwater and don't overfeed. Those are the fastest ways to kill your new 'chid. In the future, when you have a sick orchid, if you have a digital, post a picture for us. It will ensure a fast and accurate diagnosis. We have some awfully cool plant docs on here. They have saved many of my plants.
    Good Luck

  3. #3
    Bikerdoc5968 is offline Senior Member
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    Anything That Will Grow
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    Apr 2007
    W. Bloomfield, Michigan
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    Pictures are worth thousands of words.....if you are able to post pics, it would be helpful. Also, your orchid may have been grown in a "lower" light situation and just a small increase can burn has to slowly aclimate a plant to its new home. In the summer when putting things outside, they can't just "go out" into the cruel harsh world.

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