leaves cracked

stormy_weather(5)April 13, 2008

Hello, I recently purchased my first phal orchid from Lowe's. I only picked it based on the flowers, not realizing the leafy parts were more important. Two of the leaves are cracked across the middle. Should I leave them alone, trim them, or...? Also, I was wondering if it'd be a good idea to repot it now, since there's no telling how long it has been in there. It's potted in moss, but there's green stuff, looks like algae growing on the lower parts of the moss. I don't think that can be good. I'm completely new to orchids but I read the faq and couldn't find anything about broken leaves. Any help is much appreciated! :)

thanks,

Mary

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toyo2960

Leave the leaves alone. As long as they are attached to the crown of the plant, they are making food for the plant. It may look esthetically unsightly, but unless the leaf is cracked horizontally (cutting the tip from the rest of the plant), then that portion of the leaf will soon die anyway. There's nothing wrong with moss growing on moss. But it might signal that the main medium is breaking down or kept too wet. Repot after the plant has finished blooming. And is starting to make new roots or new growth. OR if the plant looks like its in distress like possible root rot (leaves will become yellow and drop). Never water a phalie and leave water in the crown. It can cause crown rot and that is usually fatal.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 12:45AM
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stormy_weather(5)

Thanks for the information. :) I think the plant is doing ok for now. Some more of its buds have been opening over the last few days.
I think it may have been kept too wet. I'm waiting for it to start to dry before watering but it was already very wet when I got it. I think maybe the moss holds water too long. Is there an alternative potting medium you would suggest for when I repot it?
thanks,
Mary

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 11:29AM
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highjack(z6 KY)

You should be able to Orchid Bark for Phals at the same Lowes store you bought your plant. Or just the regular Orchid Bark, it really doesn't matter.

Brooke

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 5:47PM
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stormy_weather(5)

thank you :)
Mary

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 6:25PM
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toyo2960

I find that straight fir bark is too loose and dry for phalies. Water just runs through it. Good for cattleyas...
There are "orchid mixes" that are better: they are usually a mixture of medium grade fir bark, perlite, fine charcoal and ground peat. Sometimes they are labeled for phaleanopsis and paphiopedilums. You can always make up your own mix. I usually put styrofoam packing peanuts at the bottom of the pot so that the mix drains and the bark doesn't clog the drain holes of the pot.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 1:27AM
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