Yellow Orchid Leaves and Buds Dropping

CraziiiCarl(5b)May 10, 2012

Hi All,

I been having a few problems with my phal. orchid and wanted your guys' advice on what I should do. First of all I've had this orchid since January and it's my first orchid. It wasn't happy in the bark it came in I tried to find a new bark mix but couldn't, at least at the stores I tried at first, so I potted it in a bag of moss labeled "Orchid Moss". I assumed that it was sphagnum moss but it wasn't. One of the other members on this site said that it was probably Spanish moss of some sort and that I should keep an eye on it. Well just this last week I saw that the roots weren't doing to good and pulled it out of the pot. It was horrible! All but three of the roots were brown, mushy, and rotten. I spent the day looking for a new mix and I finally found a Shultz Bark mix that looked like what I had bought it in only not all broken down. So I bought the bag, went home, cut off all the rotten roots, and repoted the orchid.

Just today I noticed that two of larger "main" leaves are very thin and very light yellow and it had dropped two of it's flower buds on it's new spike. The little piece of stem that connects the buds to the spike are yellow and not green like the other ones.

My watering/care schedule is to water it once a week by putting the whole pot in a Tupperware contain and filling it up with water and letting the whole medium soak for about an hour before taking it out and letting it drain. I do add a 10-30-20 fertilizer called Jack's Classic bloom booster once ever two weeks, per instructions, with a drop or two of superthrive. I also mist the plants leaves twice a day with a spray bottle filled with water and a drop of superthrive. This is all I do and it had been happy this way for quite some time. I also put it in a east facing window in the morning to get some natural sun and then move it under a couple CFLs with my other plants.

Are the leaves turning yellow because of this loss of roots and are the buds dropping for the same reason? I'll try posting some pictures when I can find my camera if it will help.

--

Thanks,

Carl

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CraziiiCarl(5b)

All,
Here's a picture of the newest leaf to turn yellow. I've also noticed that the leaves are yellowing in order from oldest to newest if that helps.
--
Thanks,
Carl

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 11:20PM
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westoh Z6

Carl,

Yes, the loss of roots can cause leaves to yellow and fall.
This orchid is at the tipping point, might make it but (sorry to say) probably won't.

Anyhow, continue to water weekly, stop misting completely and keep it in under the CFL's for a month. It's been stressed/repotted/moved a lot the last couple of months, it just needs a chance to try and recover now.

Carl, consider this a learning experience and if you do lose this one, you'll have a beter understanding of how to care for the next one. We've all been there and done that. I've personally killed several hundred orchids over the last 10-12 years.

Bob

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 6:49AM
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CraziiiCarl(5b)

Bob,
I've stopped misting it today and haven't been touching it. I will be watering tomorrow though. The spike on it continues to grow. Should I maybe cut it off so the plant tries to put its energy into fixing it or would that just stress it even more? Also should I move it to the corner of my plant table where the light is a little less strong or not? Any advice would be appreciated!
--
Thanks,
Carl

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 6:31PM
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jane__ny(9-10)

My honest opinion is you need to get a few more orchids. Your attention to this plant is to its detriment. You should only water when the media is almost completely dry. You should not be misting it.

The plant has lost most of its roots and is going to suffer until it grows new roots. This is spring time. If this plant has a shot of surviving it would be now.

Do not soak the plant for an hour. It has few roots and doesn't need this. I would stop the fertilizers completely. Stop spraying it. Just put it in a bright spot and try to forget about it. Check the media in a week. Stick you finger down into the bark and see if it feels moist. If it is, do not water!

Orchids do best with benign neglect.

Good luck,
Jane

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 9:15PM
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CraziiiCarl(5b)

Bob and Jane,
Thanks for you advice and help but from what I've been online and on other forums what will probably happen to my orchid is that all the other leaves will turn yellow and fall off one by one. Also, today I examined the three remaining six inch roots and they're starting to rot as well. So... it's probably going to die soon. I'm still going to wait for it to die completely just in case there is a silver of hope left but I'm very doubtful.
--
Thanks,
Carl

P.S. Below is a link to the forum I found that the member on there has a near identical problem as I do. The pictures look exactly like my plant did. Even the roots and leaves.

Here is a link that might be useful: Problems with Phalaenopsis Orchid

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 11:29PM
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jane__ny(9-10)

Its hard to tell from that photo. I didn't read the post. As leaves age, they turn yellow and die. When a plant is making a new leaf, it generally gets rid of the older leaves. Some Phals only keep 3-4 leaves. Others have more.

If you keep your Phal warm and in a bright spot, it might turn around. You must watch your watering. You might lose it, but, again, its Spring, and the plant will have the best shot to make it.

Jane

    Bookmark   May 12, 2012 at 6:37PM
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olympia_gardener(5)

It happens to one of my rescured Home Depot Phal too. It was in a 5-6" tall slander, about 1.5" wide, very decorative shiny ceramic container tightly packed with Sphag. moss. It was packed so tight that I have to use my full strength to pull the plant out of the pot. Imagine the air circulation inside!

The plant was in bad shape, flowers were gone , lower leaves were yellow. When I bought it home, I repotted it in a clay pot with bark. In the following days, the leave continue to yellow and few more. But after a while, I saw new leave,new root start to grow. It takes some time for the plant to recover.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 9:59AM
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CraziiiCarl(5b)

All,
I'm sorry to say mine will not be recovering. On Monday it lost the last of its leaves and when I removed it from its pot all the roots were crumbled up and dried. I poked one and it fell off of the plant. EVERYTHING was dried and dead so I sadly had to throw it away. I'm planning on getting another one and have been eying them at every store I go to. The one I really like is the one that I saw at walmart. I believe it's called Balden's Kaleidoscope. I really like the stripes! Hopefully it will still be there when I get a chance to go there.
--
Thanks,
Carl

    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 5:46PM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

Yes try again with Baldan's Kaleidoscope a famous and beautiful Phalaenopsis.
Keep in mind that more Phalaenopsis are killed by overwatering than any other reason and see how you go.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 2:14AM
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westoh Z6

Carl,

When buying from the big box stores, pay attention the the root systems and try to get the one that has the best looking roots and leaves. Good roots and leaves mean a better chance of survival in the near term and more flowers in the future.

Good luck,

Bob

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 6:48AM
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CraziiiCarl(5b)

Anthurm,
I'll be sure to more thoroughly check the medium each and every time.

Bob,
What should I look for?

--
Thanks,
Carl

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 7:43AM
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