Rootless Phal

Brights(USDA zone 6)February 2, 2012

I bought a few phalaenopsis orchids on clearance that had been left to die. Two seem to be doing ok, but one had wilty leaves. I did a little online reading about it and learned that it apparently had root rot. I removed all the moss and found there were no roots left whatsoever. I had read that putting it in a clear bag with moist moss could encourage it to grow new roots. Has anyone had success with this? I put it into the bag a few weeks ago, and I think it is just getting moldy. of the other phals I "rescued" seems to have a few tiny dark flies. Are these the "fungus flies" I've heard of? I intend to repot this phal, and trim any ugly-looking roots. Will that resolve the bug issue?

Thank you!

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westoh Z6

As far as the one with no roots, considering it was purchase off the clearance rack (no emotional attachment yet?), I'd give up the ghost and go find another one that's a little healthier looking on the same rack.

If they are fungas gnats, repotting into new media will help.

Good luck,


    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 7:20AM
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I can never 'just let it die'. Must be the challenge, or love of the underdog.

It can be done, and sometimes (usually) this works for me:

Make small fresh cuts on the very base of the phal where the roots should be. Coat that area with rooting hormone and set into its new home which will be damp not soggy and undisturbed (no jostling) and in kind (not too bright) light.

Keep it damp, out of drafts, and just wait. This has only failed me once. You have nothing to lose~~

I'm no expert--just experienced--best of luck to you and your phal pal.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 10:44AM
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westoh Z6


How long before blooms, 2+ years?

A new grower can get frustrated pretty quickly, waiting 2 years for a bloom from a questionable plant may well put them over the edge and cause them to give up on orchids. Now once they have successfully grown a few, maybe then do the resusitate routine.

For just a few bucks, I'd try something with a little more chance of surviving.

Life's too short to fight every battle.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 3:37PM
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A few years? Oh, yeah. It'll take what could seem like forever; this will not be an exercise in instant gratification. Me, I would get another IN ADDITION to trying to save the hurting one. Again, nothing to lose, and you can always use an additional orchid, right?


    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 4:50PM
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westoh Z6


After @11 years of growing and Kev'ing 100's of orchids, it doesn't hurt as much anymore to compost or trash the very week/non-performing ones.

That said I have a one/single root Vanda Pearlman(sp?) paph that is soo small and weak that it will probably never recover (been almost 2 years now), but I keep trying. I could buy a new blooming size one for $20 or so, but I want this one to make it...

I do choose to fight a battle every now and then, but generally the plant has to "mean" something to me :-)


    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 7:08AM
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Ah, that's sweet. I understand...that's probably my problem; I get attached too quickly. Gotta learn to let go~~


    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 8:06PM
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I know what you mean Bob! I don't know how many I have Kev'ed as well! But I still have two d#*mn paphs that apparently hate me,1) fairi 2) a fairi cross, I guess fairianums and I just don't play well together.:( ginnibug

    Bookmark   February 8, 2012 at 8:46AM
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