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Botanic Garden > Question and Answer > Plant Species > Orchids > How to save a Phalaenopsis

How to save a Phalaenopsis

2016/8/3 11:04:11

Question
I have a Phalaenopsis which has great sentimental value and I am trying to save it. I will try and provide as much detail as to the state of my plant. When i received the plant it had 8-10 beautiful blooms on two seperate stalks. I will admit, I over-loved it and gave it too much water. So, I think I had rotted out some of the root system. However, I have since repotted the plant in a small handfull of orchid soil and moss. I have also dramatically cut back the frequency and volume of water that i give it. When i repotted the plant i noticed some dead roots and bad moss which i took out. I'm not sure if I got all of the bad roots. it has been a week since the repotting, at which time the plant had three green leaves but one of the leaves has since fallen off and I don't know what to do. Please help !! Should I look for more bad roots? should i force hibernation? I am willing to do whatever it takes to try and save this plant. Thank you for any advice you can offer.

Answer
Danielle, you did not describe the "poting soil" you have used. I presume you used orchid potting mix that contains fir bark, perlite. charcoal, and, often, other ingredients. This is a fairly coarse mix to provide a lot of air movement at the roots. If that is what you used then that is not the problem. Sounds like you are on the right course to correct the problem. Eliminating the moss was a good step. It sounds like the potting mix is still remaining too wet and it doesn't take long to produce root rot. I recommend that you unpot your plant and recheck the roots. Remove any rotted roots remaining and repot it using standard orchid potting mix. The reason you have leaf fall is likely due to the loss of roots supporting leaf growth. If roots are not providing needed nutrition, leaves cannot survive. Excuse the pun, but the root of the problem is at the roots. Be sure you have the right potting mix and focus on eliminating the rotted roots and growing new roots. It may take a while to get your plant back on the path to recovery. Once you create the proper environment at the root level, the plant will do the rest. With fresh orchid potting mix that allows air movement at the root level you may water it thoroughly once per week, do not let the pot stand in water and do not water with softened water, keep the growing temperature at 60-80 degrees and provide adequate light-- an east facing window is best, but other windows will work and/or a florescent light fixture. Wish you well on recovery of your plant-- it will be a month or more so patience is required. In the interim, if you lose another leaf don't panic, these leaves were supported by a strong root system which has been compromised. Let me know if I can be of further help

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