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Thread: Urgently need help saving phal orchid with rotted roots, questionable aerial roots

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019

    Unhappy Urgently need help saving phal orchid with rotted roots, questionable aerial roots

    Hey everyone,

    I've had this orchid for a couple years and it was reliably growing new leaves and roots. Recently I noticed it's leaves were becoming limp, and a few turned yellow and fell off. I chalked this up to a recent move but its been two months now and upon further investigation, it appears it's actually because the roots were all rotted and it hasn't been taking up moisture.

    Naturally I turned to the internet to help, but there are so many differing methods out there and I'm scared to try any as I feel this poor orchid is on the brink of death as it is! I am hoping y'all can give me some sound advice for how best to proceed.

    I took it out of it's growing medium and pot (I probably should have repotted it a long time ago...). Attached are photos of what I'm working with. I used sterile shears to cut off a few of the extremely rotted roots, but I just sort of peeled what vellum I could off some of the other ones because I wasn't sure if keeping these 'strings' around was necessary - they're verrrrrry dry and brittle feeling, so assuming not but I left them for now. Some of the aerial roots seem sketchy at the base too, but they're still quite firm for the most part. I have not sprayed with any kind of peroxide/similar. Is she salvageable?

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    ***Sorry, I also should have mentioned most of the aerial roots seem flimsy at their base and the most 'firm' one has a kink in it - a soft-ish but not mushy 'folded' bit, you can see it in pics 2, 3 and 4 where the vellum looks sort of frayed.

    Thank you in advance for any help you may be able to offer me and this poor orchid!

  2. #2
    Real Name
    My Grow Area
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Ang, Species Phal
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    SW Florida
    Member's Country Flag


    Hi, Where are you, and what are your growing conditions and media? Northern and sphag? Under lights? Bark and outdoors? Water and fertilizer routine?

    Your phal is definitely salvageable, and semingly not in bad shape, although I'm not sure that peeling off the velum was the best idea.

    If your conditions are such that the media will dry within a few days, I would pot it in sphag, and water only when it was nearly dry/almost hard. In fact, I would start this way, and just don't water until the sphag is dry. New roots should grow.

    If you are a frequent waterer, or are in such humid conditions that the sphag won't dry, then you might prefer a medium sized bark for potting.

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