Phal second yellow leave

boothbay(7)March 5, 2011

My Phal is now showing the most bottom leave yellowing only after i got rid of one earlier about a week ago or so..I water every other day in a bright sunny window, not exposed to the sun directly. Why would this be happening?

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orchid126(z6, NJ)

Watering every other day sounds excessive. Some questions, please. Where are you located? This makes a big difference in culture. What type of medium is the phal planted in? Is the phal indoors or out? Anything you can tell us about it's culture would be a big help.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 4:12PM
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Brooklyn, NY Really don't know the medium cause it was bought in an over rooted pot, in full bloom. indoors over a radiator and a tray full of water. I read somewhere the best way to know if it needs watering is to stick a wooden peg into the soil and after 10 minutes or so, see if its moist. The stick always comes out dry, so i water it every other day.
I have a Phal-Denb in the same location and treat it the same way, and no leaves turning yellow there.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 7:38PM
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It could be normal aging of the leaves, but without a photo, can't be sure. Can you post a photo?

Watering every other day is too much unless the plant was bare rooted.


    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 8:40PM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

Indoors over a radiator doesn't sound good. What sort of daily temperature range is it getting. The tray full of water may not work as well as you think, especially so if the humidity in your home is low.

Posters closer to home will be able to help. Just looking at the current Temp in Brooklyn 10C 82% humidity (heatwave) . So, what sort of temp are you getting over that radiator? and the humidity on air drawn from outside and heated up might give you a reading that you get in a desert.

Agree with Jane watering every other day is too much in winter.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 8:52PM
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I agree with Arthur. Actually, I was thinking about the tray of water over the radiator and thought, maybe this poster is on to something!

But then I wondered if the water gets hot sitting on the hot radiator? The whole idea makes me nervous and you need to give more info.

In theory it sounds like it could be adding humidity, but the reality is it might be too hot.

I'm not comfortable with the set-up.


    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 1:17AM
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I can take a picture, but i removed the leaf. I get confused, another website said to make sure you water your orchids daily and here i am told every other day is too much. Temp in room is 82 degrees, the water in the tray evaporates as it heats up, give decent humidity. I also for brief periods of time add air movement with a small fan..i read that too, that orchids like air movement. The tray with water is 4" high above the top of radiator. My personally observation is that the pot is so small and the roots at the top overflowing it are sad looking. I was wondering if that can be the cause and if i repot it now while its still in bloom (3 remaining )that i may lose the blooms?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 2:27PM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

Orchid growing is not easy. You have to interpret what is written, who wrote it and where the writer lives.

My small collection of Phals are out in a glasshouse. Summer has just finished and it is still warm. I am watering them once every two days and that interval will space out as Autumn comes on and eventually as it cools down outside they will be brought in for "winter" .

When they are inside they will be watered about once a week.

Lots of interpretation needed there because growing in a glasshouse and inside the home are very different. Also when i say winter it means something very different to winter experienced by someone living in New york.

Anyway, you may be fussing without reason, your plant may be fine, losing a lower leaf is OK...but Two???

Now to the humidity tray. There is a 600 litre Humidity Tray sitting right next to me, it is a heated fish tank. I have one of those humidity gadgets and the humidity in the house is much the same wherever you take the reading. That is because the water evaporated rapidly disperses and doesn't remain as a little humid cloud around your orchid.

Different story in a glasshouse where you have a confined space and you can close the doors, vents at night and the humidity rapidly rises to near 100% at night as the air cools. So you get a strong wet dry effect and green stuff growing on the walls.

As for having water above a radiator. not something i would recommend.

So some more questions.
What is the low temp each day?
How much light is the plant getting?
Over to the locals.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 3:53PM
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The night temp is 70-72 degrees, a south window with lots of sun for my Denb and my Phal is out of the sun rays. I still say all the roots look sad that is the ones that are showing. I thought by putting a dry stick into the pot and leave it there for 10 minutes or more should indicate when to water it..after 10 minutes or more, the stick is barely moist if not dry. How about my theory about it needing to be repot now while in bloom?

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 4:30PM
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Here's what I would do. Remember, I'm working blind because you haven't posted a shot.

If the roots look 'sad' they might be drying up because the air is dry. Your room is kept very warm for winter, which means your heating system is running alot.

Put your Phal inside a larger pot. Don't take it out of the pot it is in, just put the plant/pot inside a larger pot.

That will create a bit of humidity around the 'sad' roots. You could spritz those roots (only) each morning. You could also put some sphag, bark or Styrofoam peanuts loosely in between the two pots to hold some moisture.

Your room might be very dry. If you can carry your plant for another month, you will be fine. As the days get warmer, you will have less heat running in the house.

You should not be watering every day, even if the pot is small. Unless the Phal is in large bark, it will hold moisture. My guess is that the aerial roots are drying from the air. Try to get the plant and its roots inside a larger pot.

Please try to post a photo and do the pot-inside-pot.


    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 10:41PM
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This view is to show the setup on top of my radiator.

Top view

Jane, your idea sounds cool...i will do it.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 12:32PM
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