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A question on a phal

Danielsville, GA(Zone 7b)

I placed some of my (sick looking ) phals out for the summer.All did better, but one, and it has me puzzled. It has a bunch of roots, but the crown appears to be gone. I guess my question is, is there any hope for this old friend? Thank you, Mike

Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

A picture would be helpful, Mike. Did you see what happened to the leaves? Are they still there but dried up and brown?

Danielsville, GA(Zone 7b)

I'll try to get a pic, but the roots are healthy, and growing. I can't remember what the leaves looked like.
One problem I have is the window I had put in for orchids, has been taken over by cats.

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Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

Nice window, pretty orchids, lovely cat. I am a cat person, too. Mine 'migrates' to the sunnier window in the winter.

As for the orchid, I would think all you can do is give it regular care - mist often etc. - and wait. If there's enough of the crown left, it will put up a new leaf eventually. If there isn't, the roots will gradually die and you'll know either way. Phals are so slow growing, I think you may want to ask yourself if you are willing to wait most likely years for it to bloom again, though.

Could be something ate the leaves while it was out at summer camp. I've had slug/snail damage to mine, even inside the pool cage on occasion. Squirrels have taken a liking to a couple that are up in a tree, and they did eat all the leaves on one but it came back. I now spray around it with a peppery spray called 'Critter Ridder' and that seems to have discouraged them.

IF the leaves died from some fungal infection, it's probably toast. Given all the rain we had this summer, and you had more even than we did, that's a possibility.

Check out the nice big one I got at Lowe's for under $5 yesterday - it was on the "death rack" because it's finished blooming but has healthy leaves and lots of new roots so I'm optimistic it will come along nicely. I had to pick out about 2 gallons of moss from around it, remove the inner plastic pot, cut holes in the clay pot and re-pot it in bark mix, but I think it's still a bargain.

Thumbnail by dyzzypyxxy Thumbnail by dyzzypyxxy Thumbnail by dyzzypyxxy
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Mike, usually when the crown rots the Phal is a goner. Occasionally the remaining base of the plant will sprout one or more keikis (babies). The simple answer is start writing a eulogy for your old friend or wait and see if you can revive the dead.

Danielsville, GA(Zone 7b)

Hey Dizz, you shop like me for bargans.Most of mine I got from people I know, who let then die, and I get them to revive. Going to take another pic of the broken crown, this time with new battery, and send it so all can see.
My DW told me what happened to the orchid, Simon the cat knocked it from the top shelf, all 7 leaves, blooms, and all.I did my best to make both parts live, but no buddy, all I have from this one is one is nice green roots.
Glad to hear from you Laurel, UI would have d-mailed you the question, but know you stay busy, or gone, or both. Thanks all, Mike

Danielsville, GA(Zone 7b)

OK, sorry I am so puter ignorant. This is a picture of the orchid, that my cat , Simon, knocked off the shelf, and broke leaves, and blooms off.That hurt !, but I'm hoping to get a kiki, or something.The bloom was pretty. Mike

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Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Bury it, Mike. Sniff.

This message was edited Nov 13, 2012 9:30 PM

Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

I'm with Laurel. Sadly, you may die of old age waiting for that baby to bloom again, even if it does put up a keiki.

Go rescue a new Phal from the local big box store and lavish it with TLC. It will reward you for sure, and even in our lifetimes.

Danielsville, GA(Zone 7b)

Well, Thanks, I think, and I will find another, but what a waste. Laurel, you don't believe in petting the mule, maybe just a little, before you load the wagon, do you ? Oh, you did have a sniff, I guess that counts. Mike

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Mike I've spent a lot of years petting a lot of mules but know a dead duck when I see one. Put the poor thing out of it's misery, won't ya?

Danielsville, GA(Zone 7b)

Laurel, I would believe you, over dosens. Thanks for the heads up. Mike

north coast nsw, Australia

cats...there worse than kids. hehe!

Danielsville, GA(Zone 7b)

So true, mine woke me at 4:30 AM for food, this morning. Mike

Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

My 'cat call' was at 3:49 this a.m. She wanted to curl up on my lap to get warm, and there I was sleeping on my side. So she walked up from my hip to my shoulder and stood there until I turned over. Then she only stayed 15 minutes and took off again. Diva.

north coast nsw, Australia

Thats why i have a outside dog.

Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

Don't feel bad, I've killed at least 7 Phals so far over the years, # 8 may happen in the next 2 weeks. I mounted it today but I don't think it'll make it if she doesn't grow new roots. I may need to grow those mounted to have success with them. I grow all the others fine though. Tricky little devils. Phals are normally said to be the easiest of the orchids. I disagree.

Santa Ana, CA(Zone 10b)

Welcome to the orchid club! LOL! most of us agree with you.

Danielsville, GA(Zone 7b)

Thank you. Your a good group. Mike

north coast nsw, Australia

I cant grow phals ether, yes there said to be the easier orchids as they like lower light than most orchids do and can be grown inside your house. I think they dont handle change well though, like if there moved they seem to go down hill. I have some inside but ive tried to have a few out in my orchid house but no go, they die. I find mounted ones easier than potted. Number one killer like with alot of orchids is from being kept too wet and rotting there roots, they die quickly from this.

Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

I have a few, and haven't killed one yet although several have been close. They are by far the most fussy orchids I have.

One thing I did find out, from sheer laziness - when they do that wilty, wrinkled leaf thing they are not necessarily dying. I ignored one that did that for a couple of months, although it was getting misted regularly, and it has come back fine. So when the next one pulled the wilty act, I just ignored it, put it at the back of the others, and misted it. I think it's too easy to give up on Phals, just set aside and see if it comes back.

All mine are outdoors so they seem to adapt to the seasonal changes here - a few cold nights in winter when I cover them, and long, hot humid summers. I move them just enough to keep them out of the sun, about 5 ft. back and forth as the shade from the house changes.

I went nuts again yesterday and rescued a fairly big plant from Lowe's death rack for $3.75. When I got home and yanked it out of the pot, turns out there were two plants in there "spooned" together in one pot! Another bushel of sphagnum out of those pots, and I might have two nice new Phals going next spring if they survive the rough treatment it took to separate them. I have enough sphag to mulch my whole flower bed for the winter, too . . .

Rewarded with a new tiny spike on one that has not bloomed for me before! Come to think of it, this is a plant that wilted and shriveled up when I brought it home a couple of years ago and it dropped all its flowers then, too.

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Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

I have tried to "rescue" a couple of those crappy looking orchids from HD........no dice, at least not at mine. "We send them back to the grower". They won't even sell me something cheap that is obviously on the way out but might revive in my g'house. Closest Lowe's is in Dubuque, Iowa, about 50 miles. Maybe I need to take a road trip, eh??? Just to see...........

I still kick myself for not buying one of those cool phals that had the green flowers at WM in the spring. Grrrrr..............

My phal I mounted on the cork is doing great, bloom spike and all. LOL

Danielsville, GA(Zone 7b)

So far I have been afraid that the cats will try to climb a mount. Mike

Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

Anna, you should make an excuse to hit Lowe's death racks, for sure. All the stores down here sell off their orchids after they finish blooming for 75% off. Sometimes the pot alone is worth the price, even if the orchid doesn't recover.

Home Depot here doesn't do this either. Why??

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

Apparantly the orchid growers that supply HD are "independent contractors" so what doesn't sell, etc. they come in and take them back. HD cannot discount them and sell them. Jerks. Pfffttt...........and all that. :>)

Monroe, WI(Zone 4b)

I told my Spousal Unit I really "needed" to go to Lowe's..............he said "not today". LOL but I will get there soon. Hope they have something I can come home with. :>)

Danielsville, GA(Zone 7b)

They will be well picked over. Good luck. Mike

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

I stopped watering my "sad" looking Phal about a month ago. Now it has large deep green leaves. maybe there is hope for it.
For my b-day I was gifted an artificial Phal - at least I'll have 1 that blooms!!!!!

Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

OO, Jean I'd be a bit miffed if anyone gave me a fake plant! They are for people who can't grow real ones. That's not you!

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