Orchids forum: Starting out with Phals/Supermarket Orchids

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Tennessee
ctaylor1988
Jan 3, 2019 9:26 PM CST
I only leave them in the water for exactly 5 minutes. What do you recommend putting them in instead of that moss??? I do think it is time
To repot. I am just afraid they are already dying
Name: Joshua
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Australis
Jan 3, 2019 9:34 PM CST

Plants Admin

I'd suggest a good-quality orchid bark (although I know other media can be used as well). @BigBill gave advice earlier in this thread that should be applicable in your situation as well:

https://garden.org/thread/view...
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Tennessee
ctaylor1988
Jan 3, 2019 9:38 PM CST
Thank you for the help!!!!
Tennessee
ctaylor1988
Jan 3, 2019 9:45 PM CST
I hope they make it :(
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
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Australis
Jan 3, 2019 9:49 PM CST

Plants Admin

You're welcome. They're certainly not a lost cause and I think that they should do well. It might take a bit of practice to get it right (I have slowly improved my Cymbidium growing over the years), but I'm sure you can do it.
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
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Name: Ursula
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Ursula
Jan 3, 2019 9:49 PM CST

Moderator

Don't worry, the plants look fine, I see sturdy, good leaves. Orchid growing is supposed to be fun! Smiling
Tennessee
ctaylor1988
Jan 3, 2019 9:56 PM CST
Thanks for the advice and encouragement! These are my very first orchids so I am trying my best to keep them alive Smiling
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Jan 4, 2019 5:32 AM CST
Hey Taylor, Phalaenopsis respond very well to being repotted. They will recover fairly quickly.
Phalaenopsis like to be watered well and then never drying out between waterings. Constantly damp is one way to look at it. But as Australis has said, moss is not a good media for beginners to use. They can pack it too tightly, too loosely and it can cause all kinds of problems with the roots. Australis points out that they need air movement. Soggy wet conditions, which is what you have now, isn't good for any orchid!
You can use an orchid bark mix or more moss if you want. Just do not pack it too tight. In whatever media you choose, water it once every 5-7 days depending upon the size of the pot. Water so it pours out of the drainage holes. No sunshine please, just a nice bright windowsill.
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
Tennessee
ctaylor1988
Jan 4, 2019 7:01 AM CST
Thanks to each of you for the great advice. Does anyone know what Is causing these black areas at the end of a few of the roots???
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Jan 4, 2019 7:29 AM CST
Root rot.
As the roots die they may change color. Usually from creamy white (alive), to light brown, to dark brown as they die and eventually to black.
The soft conductive tissue of the root decomposes leaving behind an outer, skin like layer with an inner core which is thin wire like.
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
Tennessee
ctaylor1988
Jan 4, 2019 7:34 AM CST
So if it's root rot is their any point in trying to save lt
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Jan 4, 2019 7:59 AM CST
Remove all effected parts. Dust cuts with cinnamon and repot. It should recover nicely.
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
Name: tarev
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tarev
Jan 4, 2019 10:59 AM CST
ctaylor1988 said:So if it's root rot is their any point in trying to save lt


Looking at your plant, definitely still worth saving nodding . Just keep in mind, although it does react well with re potting, it will be an adjustment period, taking its sweet time. In a few weeks, it will grow new roots and new leaves. Some roots it will grow are aerial, it also does some photosynthesis for the plant.

That is why I often remove all the old sphagnum moss from a newly bought Phal, to help the roots get some more air after being tightly packed during its shipping and vendors selling them. In time, when you are more familiar with the quirks of Phal growing, you can use other forms of media to grow them in. But for now, stick to chunky orchid bark media and if you cannot mount them, use containers with side and bottom holes to add more airflow at the root zone.
Name: Lisa
Iowa (Zone 5a)
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Cluelessmidwestern
Jan 5, 2019 5:30 PM CST
I am a newbie myself but I can give you a small piece of advice.

I repotted a Phal in bark in a clay pot. Great for air circulation to the roots but not so great because of the temperature in my house (100 year old house in the mid-west with a thermostat set at 65 F). Because of the evaporation of the clay pot, the roots were getting a bit chilled. Phals like warmth. Don't get me wrong, it could have tolerate 65 F alright if already established but since it was newly potted it would have really prefer it a bit warmer. To help keep the root zone warmer, I went out and purchased a seedling mat to put under the pot. In my case it seemed to help considerably in helping it cope with its trasplant because it raised the temperature around the roots zone about 10 degrees. It helped especially on a few cold/windy days we had earlier this week.
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Jan 5, 2019 5:59 PM CST
Phalaenopsis are perfectly fine in a temperature range of 60-85 degrees. They are fine with a range of 50-60 degrees, however frequency of watering should be cut back.
Conversely, if the temperature rises over 85 degrees, Phalaenopsis need protection in the form of air movement and more frequent water.

The shorter the time frame of either the higher or lower extremes, the less stress occurs. Prolonged exposure to the extremes can lead to damages caused by the stress.
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
Name: Mike
Easton, PA (Zone 6b)
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immike1
Jan 12, 2019 7:16 AM CST
I've seen a couple mentions of watering every 7 days etc.
Try learning to "judge" when your roots/media are dried and water then. Lift the pot when fully saturated after watering and note the weight, it will be much lighter when dried out. If in doubt wait another day or two, even though Phals do like consistent moisture a drying will promote new root growth which is always a good thing. I totally agree with BigBill DO NOT use a heat mat under your phals, I grow mine in a greenhouse that dips to the low 50's daily and they love it.
One last thing on the browning air roots, this is probably due to low humidity which if growing on a windowsill not much you can do about it. Don't bother misting unless you plan on doing it hourly, and putting on trays of water is most likely not going to do anything significant to help either.
OK, rambling over Angel
Name: Jennifer
Portsmouth, UK
Leaporlepor
Jan 21, 2019 11:25 PM CST

New Member

I've been looking at these orchids in the garden section of my local DIY shop. All of them seem to have roots growing out of the pots. If I got one is there a specific way and time to repot them? Also is it better to cut the old pot off to avoid damaging the roots that are growing through the drainage holes?
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Jan 22, 2019 5:28 AM CST
Orchids are not like houseplants, roots wander and frequently come out of the pot.
When you repot, you try to keep root damage to a minimum but that is hard to do. However, a phalaenopsis responds very well to a repot.
If you live in a cold weather climate, you repot in the spring. If you lived in Florida you could repot at anytime. The exception is in an emergency. If the plant is in trouble, repot it to save it.
I think that the best media for a beginner to use is a mixture of medium grade bark, charcoal and sponge rock.
Welcome to the forums. Welcome!
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
Name: Mike
Easton, PA (Zone 6b)
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immike1
Jan 22, 2019 8:18 AM CST
I've heard it said that any air roots that you bury in media will die, so cutting them off before re-potting would be advisable. Trimming Phal roots will force them to branch as well, they are very forgiving. This applies only to phalenopsis as BigBill said they respond well to re-potting.
If someone has some research on the air root issue that can confirm or refute I'd be interested...don't want to promote any orchid "legends" here.
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchid Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Dahlias Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
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BigBill
Jan 22, 2019 8:42 AM CST
I disagree. I would sooner cut off my right arm before I cut any root, including Phalaenopsis.
Phalaenopsis do not make air roots! In nature they colonize lower tree limbs, sometimes rocks. It is a lower light environment with dappled sunlight at best. These plants growing on a tree limb have been known to send roots out from 1-3 meters from the base of the plant in search of adequate moisture. Not all Phalaenopsis have roots quite that long but this tendency of many species to do this is what leads to many plants sending roots out of the pot so quickly after re-potting.
If you tend to grow your Phalaenopsis too dry, this might be another reason that long roots erupt from the pot. They are seeking moisture.
It is true that Phalaenopsis roots do branch but keep it in mind that every root you cut, can be a potential point of rot. If you soak the roots in slightly warmed water before you repot, they become more pliable and easier to handle.
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
[Last edited by BigBill - Jan 22, 2019 9:02 AM (+)]
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