Help! Phal in Wood Slat Basket...

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Help! Phal in Wood Slat Basket...

Post by Linda » Fri, 06 Dec 2002 21:06:13



Hi everyone.

One of my recent acquisitions was a beautiful phal. It looks like it
has one stalk that was cut back, i can just barely see the tip of the
cut part in the leaves. There is a new stalk that has about 10 blooms
on it. Over the past few days, the blooms have started to die.. the
leaves seem healthy and dont look like they are having any problem,
but several of the blooms (4 i think) have fallen off, and the other
ones are getting very sick looking. I was wondering if it was just the
end of the blooms and that they were supposed to be falling off? Or is
some thing wrong with the plant?

Second...the roots of my phal are completely exposed... there is no
potting mixture or any kind of moss or bark of any kind. the bottom of
the plant is kind of attached to the bottom of the wood slat basket
with a small wire, and the roots are just spilling out all over the
top of the basket. It has long roots, perhaps 3 or 4 feet... The roots
are kind of a very light green or even grayish color, and then when
they get wet they turn a deep green until they dry again. How often
should I be watering this phal? We live in south florida.. the temp on
average is 85 degrees, some times up as high as 92 and occasionally as
low as 70... the phal is*** under a covered patio and does not
get direct sun but gets plenty of light.

Would it be better to put this phal into some kind of potting mixture?
Ive never had an orchid before and it just seems bizarre to me that
the roots are completely exposed, etc... I dont see how its taking in
water... because even though i water it, it seems to dry almost right
away...

Additionally, what kind of fertilizer should I be feeding it and how
often? Do i water the fertilizer over the roots only or over the
entire plant?

Any help would be appreciated... i really dont want this phal to
die...

 
 
 

Help! Phal in Wood Slat Basket...

Post by Linda » Fri, 06 Dec 2002 21:06:13


Hi everyone.

One of my recent acquisitions was a beautiful phal. It looks like it
has one stalk that was cut back, i can just barely see the tip of the
cut part in the leaves. There is a new stalk that has about 10 blooms
on it. Over the past few days, the blooms have started to die.. the
leaves seem healthy and dont look like they are having any problem,
but several of the blooms (4 i think) have fallen off, and the other
ones are getting very sick looking. I was wondering if it was just the
end of the blooms and that they were supposed to be falling off? Or is
some thing wrong with the plant?

Second...the roots of my phal are completely exposed... there is no
potting mixture or any kind of moss or bark of any kind. the bottom of
the plant is kind of attached to the bottom of the wood slat basket
with a small wire, and the roots are just spilling out all over the
top of the basket. It has long roots, perhaps 3 or 4 feet... The roots
are kind of a very light green or even grayish color, and then when
they get wet they turn a deep green until they dry again. How often
should I be watering this phal? We live in south florida.. the temp on
average is 85 degrees, some times up as high as 92 and occasionally as
low as 70... the phal is*** under a covered patio and does not
get direct sun but gets plenty of light.

Would it be better to put this phal into some kind of potting mixture?
Ive never had an orchid before and it just seems bizarre to me that
the roots are completely exposed, etc... I dont see how its taking in
water... because even though i water it, it seems to dry almost right
away...

Additionally, what kind of fertilizer should I be feeding it and how
often? Do i water the fertilizer over the roots only or over the
entire plant?

Any help would be appreciated... i really dont want this phal to
die...

 
 
 

Help! Phal in Wood Slat Basket...

Post by Jonathan Phu » Fri, 06 Dec 2002 22:43:42


Hi,
It's good to put your phal in a wooden basket, I removed mine from a plastic
pot and put it in a basket too. Doig great, lots of new roots, water them
once it's dry, or add some moss on the basket or over the roots, don't
compact it.
I live in Singapore.

jonathan

Quote:
> Hi everyone.

> One of my recent acquisitions was a beautiful phal. It looks like it
> has one stalk that was cut back, i can just barely see the tip of the
> cut part in the leaves. There is a new stalk that has about 10 blooms
> on it. Over the past few days, the blooms have started to die.. the
> leaves seem healthy and dont look like they are having any problem,
> but several of the blooms (4 i think) have fallen off, and the other
> ones are getting very sick looking. I was wondering if it was just the
> end of the blooms and that they were supposed to be falling off? Or is
> some thing wrong with the plant?

> Second...the roots of my phal are completely exposed... there is no
> potting mixture or any kind of moss or bark of any kind. the bottom of
> the plant is kind of attached to the bottom of the wood slat basket
> with a small wire, and the roots are just spilling out all over the
> top of the basket. It has long roots, perhaps 3 or 4 feet... The roots
> are kind of a very light green or even grayish color, and then when
> they get wet they turn a deep green until they dry again. How often
> should I be watering this phal? We live in south florida.. the temp on
> average is 85 degrees, some times up as high as 92 and occasionally as
> low as 70... the phal is*** under a covered patio and does not
> get direct sun but gets plenty of light.

> Would it be better to put this phal into some kind of potting mixture?
> Ive never had an orchid before and it just seems bizarre to me that
> the roots are completely exposed, etc... I dont see how its taking in
> water... because even though i water it, it seems to dry almost right
> away...

> Additionally, what kind of fertilizer should I be feeding it and how
> often? Do i water the fertilizer over the roots only or over the
> entire plant?

> Any help would be appreciated... i really dont want this phal to
> die...

 
 
 

Help! Phal in Wood Slat Basket...

Post by Gene Schur » Sat, 07 Dec 2002 01:45:16


Linda,

Since you don't know how old the flowers were it may just be time for them
to fade.  Sometimes just moving the phal to a new location will cause it to
drop all the flowers.  I hate when this happens but some plants are just
sensitive to change.  The heat of the day you mentioned may be the problem.
90 degrees is a bit warm for a blooming phal unless it was used to those
temps when it bloomed.

In the wilds of the rain forest the Phal grows attached to the side of a
tree high up in the canapy.  In the morning the fog rolls in and bathes the
roots in drops of  water and in the afternoon the warm diffused light drys
the plant before dark.  (Sounds like a wonderful life).   Your plant is
growing in the most natural form in the basket.

You need to add the other part of the fog.   If you can water the plant
everyday with a fine mist it should respond nicely.   If you can't water
daily then you may want to consider putting some long fibre sphagnum moss in
the basket with the roots to increase the amount of water available to the
plant.

Don't put this beautiful plant in a pot.  It sounds like you have a
beautiful gem grown naturally.

Good growing,
Gene


Quote:
> Hi everyone.

> One of my recent acquisitions was a beautiful phal. It looks like it
> has one stalk that was cut back, i can just barely see the tip of the
> cut part in the leaves. There is a new stalk that has about 10 blooms
> on it. Over the past few days, the blooms have started to die.. the
> leaves seem healthy and dont look like they are having any problem,
> but several of the blooms (4 i think) have fallen off, and the other
> ones are getting very sick looking. I was wondering if it was just the
> end of the blooms and that they were supposed to be falling off? Or is
> some thing wrong with the plant?

> Second...the roots of my phal are completely exposed... there is no
> potting mixture or any kind of moss or bark of any kind. the bottom of
> the plant is kind of attached to the bottom of the wood slat basket
> with a small wire, and the roots are just spilling out all over the
> top of the basket. It has long roots, perhaps 3 or 4 feet... The roots
> are kind of a very light green or even grayish color, and then when
> they get wet they turn a deep green until they dry again. How often
> should I be watering this phal? We live in south florida.. the temp on
> average is 85 degrees, some times up as high as 92 and occasionally as
> low as 70... the phal is*** under a covered patio and does not
> get direct sun but gets plenty of light.

> Would it be better to put this phal into some kind of potting mixture?
> Ive never had an orchid before and it just seems bizarre to me that
> the roots are completely exposed, etc... I dont see how its taking in
> water... because even though i water it, it seems to dry almost right
> away...

> Additionally, what kind of fertilizer should I be feeding it and how
> often? Do i water the fertilizer over the roots only or over the
> entire plant?

> Any help would be appreciated... i really dont want this phal to
> die...

 
 
 

Help! Phal in Wood Slat Basket...

Post by Margaret Bake » Mon, 16 Dec 2002 03:50:27


Quote:

> One of my recent acquisitions was a beautiful phal. It looks like it
> has one stalk that was cut back, i can just barely see the tip of the
> cut part in the leaves.

Hi Linda, That just tells you that it's bloomed at least once.

Quote:
> There is a new stalk that has about 10 blooms
> on it. Over the past few days, the blooms have started to die.. the
> leaves seem healthy and dont look like they are having any problem,
> but several of the blooms (4 i think) have fallen off, and the other
> ones are getting very sick looking. I was wondering if it was just the
> end of the blooms and that they were supposed to be falling off? Or is
> some thing wrong with the plant?

Blooms may drop for various reasons, but phals are usually fairly long
lasting. Maybe you used cold water, did humidity drop, an outbreak of cold
air, a draft, hot temperatures, and/or inadequate water, can cause blooms to
drop. After the flowers open, you can move it inside and water it in the
sink or shower if you want. Lower light and slightly cooler temperatures
help the blossoms last.

Quote:
> Second...the roots of my phal are completely exposed...

That's fine if your humidity is relatively high.

Quote:
> The roots are kind of a very light green or even grayish color, and then
> when they get wet they turn a deep green until they dry again.

Your description sounds as though they look exactly the way they should.

Quote:
> How often should I be watering this phal? We live in south florida.. the
> temp on average is 85 degrees, some times up as high as 92 and occasionally
> as low as 70... the phal is*** under a covered patio and does not
> get direct sun but gets plenty of light.

The beauty of using a basket is that it is almost impossible to over-water,
and that's the biggest threat from new orchid growers. Humidity is the
critical element. With high humidity, you probably won't need to water very
often. Orchid roots are extremely efficient at grabbing moisture from the
air. With hot temperatures and low to very low humidity, you might want to
water it more than once a day.

Look at your plant when you water it, be aware of subtle changes in color,
texture, stiffness, etc. If the leaves are a little droopy or limp, it needs
water. If the leaves start to turn pinkish or get red a reddish tone, the
light is too high, and so forth. The plant does it's level best to tell you
if it's unhappy. The only problem then is figuring out why it's unhappy.

You can use the the green growing tip of roots as an indicator. If the roots
are healthy, it's happy. Normally, the longer the green tip, the better,
-unless- it has a rest period when they are not actively growing and when it
might be completely covered with velamen.

Velamen is the white part on the root that soaks up water and nutrients and
attaches the plant to it's mount.

Quote:
> Would it be better to put this phal into some kind of potting mixture?

I wouldn't, not where you live. It is probably quite firmly attached to the
slats in the basket and you could cause a lot of damage trying to stuff it
into a pot.

Quote:
> Ive never had an orchid before and it just seems bizarre to me that
> the roots are completely exposed, etc...

That's how they grow in the wild, the roots just attach to the trunks and
limbs of trees and anchor the plants in place. In nature, roots may hang
down many, many feet below the limbs where they are attached. As long as
your conditions are good, that's all they need.

Quote:
> I dont see how its taking in water... because even though i water it,
> it seems to dry almost right away...

The white covering on the roots is super absorbent; it slurps up water and
nutrients with amazing speed.

Quote:
> Additionally, what kind of fertilizer should I be feeding it and how
> often? Do i water the fertilizer over the roots only or over the
> entire plant?

Do you have anything around the house? Almost anything will work, but if
you're feeding it once a week, you should mix it at about 1/4 the recommend
strength. That's how efficient the velamen is. If the container calls for 1
teaspoon per gallon, use 1/4-1/2 teaspoon per gallon. NEVER fertilize a dry
plant, always soak it down with plain water first.

If you need to go buy something, a bottle of Alaska fish fertilizer will
work. If that sounds like a bad idea, try Miracid. It was originally
developed as an orchid food. You still need to dilute it.

 
 
 

Help! Phal in Wood Slat Basket...

Post by Wend » Mon, 16 Dec 2002 06:51:37


Thanks Margaret for the culture info on phals, I have a hard time with them
also.
I have heard that fermenting fruit nearby could make flowers drop & buds
blast. I don't know if this is true?
Also did not know about the Miracid, I use it most of the time.
Cheers Wendy

Quote:

> > One of my recent acquisitions was a beautiful phal. It looks like it
> > has one stalk that was cut back, i can just barely see the tip of the
> > cut part in the leaves.

> Hi Linda, That just tells you that it's bloomed at least once.

> > There is a new stalk that has about 10 blooms
> > on it. Over the past few days, the blooms have started to die.. the
> > leaves seem healthy and dont look like they are having any problem,
> > but several of the blooms (4 i think) have fallen off, and the other
> > ones are getting very sick looking. I was wondering if it was just the
> > end of the blooms and that they were supposed to be falling off? Or is
> > some thing wrong with the plant?

> Blooms may drop for various reasons, but phals are usually fairly long
> lasting. Maybe you used cold water, did humidity drop, an outbreak of cold
> air, a draft, hot temperatures, and/or inadequate water, can cause blooms
to
> drop. After the flowers open, you can move it inside and water it in the
> sink or shower if you want. Lower light and slightly cooler temperatures
> help the blossoms last.

> > Second...the roots of my phal are completely exposed...

> That's fine if your humidity is relatively high.

> > The roots are kind of a very light green or even grayish color, and then
> > when they get wet they turn a deep green until they dry again.

> Your description sounds as though they look exactly the way they should.

> > How often should I be watering this phal? We live in south florida.. the
> > temp on average is 85 degrees, some times up as high as 92 and
occasionally
> > as low as 70... the phal is*** under a covered patio and does not
> > get direct sun but gets plenty of light.

> The beauty of using a basket is that it is almost impossible to
over-water,
> and that's the biggest threat from new orchid growers. Humidity is the
> critical element. With high humidity, you probably won't need to water
very
> often. Orchid roots are extremely efficient at grabbing moisture from the
> air. With hot temperatures and low to very low humidity, you might want to
> water it more than once a day.

> Look at your plant when you water it, be aware of subtle changes in color,
> texture, stiffness, etc. If the leaves are a little droopy or limp, it
needs
> water. If the leaves start to turn pinkish or get red a reddish tone, the
> light is too high, and so forth. The plant does it's level best to tell
you
> if it's unhappy. The only problem then is figuring out why it's unhappy.

> You can use the the green growing tip of roots as an indicator. If the
roots
> are healthy, it's happy. Normally, the longer the green tip, the better,
> -unless- it has a rest period when they are not actively growing and when
it
> might be completely covered with velamen.

> Velamen is the white part on the root that soaks up water and nutrients
and
> attaches the plant to it's mount.

> > Would it be better to put this phal into some kind of potting mixture?

> I wouldn't, not where you live. It is probably quite firmly attached to
the
> slats in the basket and you could cause a lot of damage trying to stuff it
> into a pot.

> > Ive never had an orchid before and it just seems bizarre to me that
> > the roots are completely exposed, etc...

> That's how they grow in the wild, the roots just attach to the trunks and
> limbs of trees and anchor the plants in place. In nature, roots may hang
> down many, many feet below the limbs where they are attached. As long as
> your conditions are good, that's all they need.

> > I dont see how its taking in water... because even though i water it,
> > it seems to dry almost right away...

> The white covering on the roots is super absorbent; it slurps up water and
> nutrients with amazing speed.

> > Additionally, what kind of fertilizer should I be feeding it and how
> > often? Do i water the fertilizer over the roots only or over the
> > entire plant?

> Do you have anything around the house? Almost anything will work, but if
> you're feeding it once a week, you should mix it at about 1/4 the
recommend
> strength. That's how efficient the velamen is. If the container calls for
1
> teaspoon per gallon, use 1/4-1/2 teaspoon per gallon. NEVER fertilize a
dry
> plant, always soak it down with plain water first.

> If you need to go buy something, a bottle of Alaska fish fertilizer will
> work. If that sounds like a bad idea, try Miracid. It was originally
> developed as an orchid food. You still need to dilute it.

 
 
 

Help! Phal in Wood Slat Basket...

Post by Geir Harris Hedemar » Mon, 16 Dec 2002 07:11:23


Quote:

> I have heard that fermenting fruit nearby could make flowers drop & buds
> blast. I don't know if this is true?

Fermenting isn't really the right term. Ripening fruit would be more
correct. Ripening fruit releases ethylene gas since all the fruit on a
tree should ripen simultaneously. The fruit in the area will ripen
faster because of the gas. Flowers will also "ripen" and then
drop. This goes for orchids as well.

Apples are the worst, in my experience, especially in modern houses
with very little air exchange with the outside world. That goes doubly
for places where the climate doesn't lend itself to opening a window.

Only -7 centigrade here now, which is a bit of a relief. I am going
skiing tomorrow. :)

Geir