Orchids forum: Phals

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Name: Lisa Olson
Washington DC (Zone 7a)
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5601Lisa
Aug 14, 2016 10:02 AM CST
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Three of my Phals look sickly. Phal 1 has lost all its leaves but its crown is still growing. Phal 2 has a torn crown but otherwise looks healthy. Phal 3 has droopy wrinkled leaves.
Suggestions?
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Aug 14, 2016 10:11 AM CST
Although I have a few orchids, I'm a novice grower myself. The soil and roots of your Orchid (Phalaenopsis) look very, very dry to my eyes so I wonder if perhaps lack of moisture is the issue with your plants? Hopefully some of our knowledgeable orchid growers will be along to offer advice and suggestions on how to save your Phals.

I'll call on a few members who I know grow orchids to see if they can give you any ideas or tips.

@Ursula @dyzzypyxxy @drdawg

~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Aug 14, 2016 10:24 AM CST
Lisa, I agree with Lin that the plants need more frequent watering and perhaps higher humidity. I think it is perhaps time to re-pot too. The media doesn't look so hot to my eyes. I no longer grow 'standard" Phal., only growing compacts or sub-compacts (that are generally mounted). Phal. have always given me trouble, so needless to say, with the problems I have had with them, I am probably not the person you want answers from. Whistling
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Aug 14, 2016 11:01 AM CST
I agree Re potting in fresh media, and more consistent moisture will help a lot. You're first one especially looks very sad, with a lot of dead roots. Trim all of those off when you re pot, and hopefully when you take it out, there will be some roots still in good shape.

Even though these are truly epiphytes, they do prefer a bit more water/moisture. Unlike other orchids that have pseudobulbs, and can with stand less watering, these really don't like to dry out completely.

Good luck with them! Smiling
Name: Lisa Olson
Washington DC (Zone 7a)
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5601Lisa
Aug 14, 2016 12:45 PM CST
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Oops, order of snaps is reversed. Did re-pot them in orchid bark and watered deeply. Will move them out of the cat's bedroom. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Thanks all for your input.
Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
Charter ATP Member Garden Photography Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Foliage Fan Houseplants Frogs and Toads
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kniphofia
Aug 14, 2016 10:43 PM CST
These are so cheap now, you can pick them up at any grocery store. I would toss what you have and buy 3 nice new ones!
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Aug 15, 2016 9:07 AM CST
Ah, but there is always the challenge of bringing plants back from the dead, Sue. Rolling my eyes.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Donna
Mid Shore, Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Shy_gardener
Aug 15, 2016 4:59 PM CST
Lisa,

I don't think they look bad, I've been messing with some store rescues this year.
And they looked a lot worse then yours.

I've not had any before this year, so I'm certainly not familiar with them long term,
but my rescues are growing like crazy, and getting spikes...

But, someone in our area that had experience with them gave me some great advise,
that I'll pass on to you....

Your plants just look like they need some more light exposure, humidity and saturated
water flushes. That alone will perk them up...

If you re-pot them with Phalaenopsis bark mix (they need the charcoal and very little
sphagnum moss) But mainly bury your plants so your roots and crown are secure in the
growing medium. The roots will come out later and that will be OK....By then the plant
will be secure.

Take them outside and run water through them with the hose for a while. They need the
water flushes to give them the oxygenation they need to flourish, plus they need to be
really saturated once in a while. They need that even when they are kept in the house,
at least once a week, more if the air is dry.

If you can, leave them outside til the temps start dropping in the shade, in bright indirect
light... The humidity outside will perk them up quickly. But they must be in the shade.
Because be aware they sun burn very easy. Then you have to cut them up terrible... Sadly,
I tortured these terribly, in an attempt to help them, before I was told how to grow them... D'Oh!

Flush them with water every couple days, and after a few water flushes. Start feeding them
with reduced fertilizer, Better-Gro Orchid Plus does really well (& No Urea) and is easy to get a
hold of, if you don't have fertilizer. Then keep feeding them once a week, when you flush them
with water.

The humidity and indirect light outside will perk them up quickest, The first one will come around
the quickest. The wilted leaf one with come around quickly too. They may lose some bottom leaves
but they'll grow new ones..The one with just the crown. Well..... it's hanging in there...
So, you never know.. I have one that's similar to that, and it just grew a new set of leaves off
the side of the crown... Shrug!

They are tough plants, I've enjoyed messing with them....

Seems as long as the crown is not rotted, roots are fairly healthy, can get plenty of air through
their roots, get regular saturating water flushes, and some fertilizer, they are good to go, and they
love being out in the humidity, we have here....

Obviously, they mean something to you.... They do appear to have been well cared for.



"If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live." ~ Albert Einstein
Name: Lisa Olson
Washington DC (Zone 7a)
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5601Lisa
Aug 15, 2016 7:29 PM CST
Good advice Donna. Many thanks.
Say, are you going to Mid-Atlantic Swap in September?
Name: Donna
Mid Shore, Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Shy_gardener
Aug 16, 2016 4:40 AM CST
Lisa,
I was really thankful for the advice as well...
It's really the same thing Tara said previously,
I just rambled on about it..... *Blush*

It's worked really well for the ones I have.
And you know Rick has some really nice
Phals as well. He'd be a great one to talk to.

I am going to the swap. This will be my first,
Sounds like a lot of fun, can't wait to meet everyone.

T-mail me if I can bring any supplies for your
Phals. I've got tons since, I took on these rescues...
Charcoal, sphagnum moss. perilite, etc. etc.. etc....
"If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live." ~ Albert Einstein
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 16, 2016 9:05 AM CST
Donna gave you lots of good advice, Lisa. The only thing I'd change is instead of running a hose over your plants, just soak them each in a bowl or bucket of room temperature water, not too cold, once a week. Water from the hose can be very cold, and orchids don't like to be shocked. When you do fertilize, it's good to get the fertilizer/water on the leaves as well as the roots. These plants feed and take in moisture a lot through their leaves. Until the plants look pretty healthy again, use the fertilizer at half strength i.e. half of what it says to use on the package.

Lots of people throw away plants when they get that wrinkled-leaf thing. I call it the "diva act" and they usually recover from it, sometimes it takes a while though. On the one with just the crown left, well I would slip it out of the pot and if you can't see any healthy roots, I would give that one a decent burial. Healthy roots are firm and either green or white, not shriveled and brown. The one leaf it has put out looks very sketchy and the plant is probably putting on a last ditch effort, using up all the stored energy in whatever roots and stem tissue is left.

I'm glad to see your plants growing on a slant - they shouldn't be facing straight up, or water will pool in the cup of the leaves and this causes crown rot - a very quick death for the plant. Sideways or even slanting downwards is the way these plants grow in nature, so that rain runs off them. They also really like to put new roots up into the air, and this is normal too. Don't feel that you need to bury all the roots.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Aug 16, 2016 9:17 AM CST
I agree Elaine is right-on. Thumbs up
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 16, 2016 9:25 AM CST
Oh, I completely forgot, we now have a whole thread dedicated to beginner orchid nuts, with Phals. Tons of good info and stories to read here:

The thread "Starting out with Phals/Supermarket Orchids" in Orchids forum

@plantladylin You probably didn't know about this new feature we added as a sticky a month or so ago.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Aug 16, 2016 10:08 AM CST
Elaine, I haven't been following the orchid threads much lately but I do love to gaze at the beautiful bloom photos everyone shares and drool over them so I need to head over to that forum for some orchid envy!

I'm such an awful orchid mama, I'm surprised any of mine survive. *Blush* I've had the one below since 2009 and even with my lack of care, it blooms on occasion. I originally had it in a wood basket that rotted away and in 2014 I put it in this terra cotta pot. I tend to get sidetracked and forget about my plants so it has taken over the container, with roots attached to the outside of the pot. I doubt there's any potting medium left in there and I've thought about breaking the terra cotta pot and transplanting it to something else but I'm afraid I'd kill the poor thing. It's not the prettiest orchid on the block, I like the color of the blooms when they first open but they fade with age. I found a new spike when I went out a few minutes ago to take the second picture.

Blc. 'Sunset Glory' July 29th ............... today:
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~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
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hawkarica
Aug 16, 2016 10:26 AM CST
Nice to hear from you, Lin. That is a nice orchid which is now called Brassocattleya [Bc.] Sunset Glory (Brassocattleya Richard Mueller x Cattleya purpurata). It has been around since the year 2000.

Most Phals recover quickly when given the right conditions. I would sprinkle some cinniman on the little one and the one with the torn leaf and keep them in the shade for a while.

Jim
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Organic Gardener Garden Sages Birds Frogs and Toads Plant Identifier
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terrafirma
Aug 16, 2016 10:26 AM CST
Really like that one, Lin! Thumbs up Even with your "neglect" it's looking great! Big Grin
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 16, 2016 10:35 AM CST
Absolutely, it looks very happy, Lin and those flowers are gorgeous. I wouldn't do a thing more than what you're doing.

Btw, somebody did move this thread to the Orchids forum, so you have joined us whether you meant to or not . . Smiling Always great to see you.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Aug 16, 2016 10:48 AM CST
hawkarica said:That is a nice orchid which is now called Brassocattleya [Bc.] Sunset Glory (Brassocattleya Richard Mueller x Cattleya purpurata). It has been around since the year 2000.Jim

Jim, Thumbs up Thank you ... I had it listed in my folder as Blc. instead of Bc. When I first got that orchid, it was labeled Laelia purpurata x Bl. Richard Mueller but I do remember someone on the orchid forum last year (maybe you) giving me the new name. I need to change the name in my laptop folder!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Mike S
GEORGIA (Zone 7b)
JOHN 3:16
JMS54
Aug 16, 2016 11:57 AM CST
Hi Lisa...I agree with what the others have said about repotting. I have several phals that I grow on my kitchen window sill with no problems. I have mine potted in a mix with cypress chips prelite and a little sphagnum moss for moisture. I do have mine planted in plastic pots. But don't over pot them. I also water mine when the top layer of moss in the mix goes dry. When I water I try and keep the water out of the crown of the plant. If water is left in the crown it can cause major rot. The number one problem. I also only fertilize the plants about every third week, at a very weak strength and they love it. These little boogers can be revived, because I have bought several from Wally World when they are finished blooming and they sit and get no care and they mark them down below half price. I bring them how take them out of that nasty potting media, trim up the roots, apply some fungicide on them and in the mix, repot them and then sit back and wait. Then all of a sudden they are all doing fine and enjoying their new home. I also use a small rotating fan in my kitchen to keep the air moving some. They like fresh air. hope this helps and good luck.
HAVE A GREAT DAY!
Name: Lisa Olson
Washington DC (Zone 7a)
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5601Lisa
Aug 16, 2016 6:03 PM CST
Whoa, love this resource! Great info. Btw, I do lurk on the Orchid forum. Many thanks for sagacious input.

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