Help! Phal flowers dropping after 3 days

nightstars558June 8, 2014


I'm hoping someone can help me. About 4 weeks ago, I bought a new phalaenopsis in Honolulu, HI.

It started out fine, been fertilizing with my usual fertilizer every 2 weeks. After the first two weeks, one of the flowers started to close/wilt and dropped off after a couple days. Every few days thereafter, this would happen to another flower. I thought I had just bought the phal after it had been open for awhile, so didn't think a lot of it

Then, the third week, three flowers all started wilting at once and I realized there was a mealybug prpblem. I treated the plant with 70% isopropyl alcohol, both spraying and using q tips. After 2 days, I could no longer see any mealybugs and thought it would be fine. But, the few remaining flowers all wilted and dropped. I thought it was just after effects of the mealy bugs.

In the meantime, my orchid has new healthy buds forming. Just a few days ago, a new flower opened up. When it opened, I had to clean off some mysterious black residue on the flower, not sure what that was. I thought everything would be fine, but after being open for 3 days, the flower has wilted and is about to drop

I still have at least 3 more buds and would like to save those!

I have 2 other phals and one miltonia within 30 ft. of my probpem phal and they are all doing fine.. Any help is greatly appreciated.

This post was edited by uranakak on Sun, Jun 8, 14 at 4:41

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If the new buds are opening and falling after only a few days,it can be humidity,phals like to be a little moist.but I am also wondering about the alcohol spray,did you also spray the unopen buds or the roots? Remember the roots acts like a sponge so if the roots were sprayed then it would absorb the alcohol. Not good.i think if you could post a pic so we could see the plant then someone could be of better help.velleta

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 10:28AM
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Here's the flowers/spike

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 6:07PM
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Here's the roots

Leaves are big and green and look healthy.

Also I only water every 10ish days.

If humidity is the problem this must be a sensitive phal! shucks. :( I've never had problems with my other phals (or dendrobiums) with humidity inside the home before.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 6:12PM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

You only water every 10th day! Here, where Phals are regarded as ungrowable by most orchid growers i'm watering my small indoor collection of the beasties twice a week.
Current temperature where they are growing is 18C and humidity is 51%.
Those thick leaves store water, but I think those roots need to wet every couple of days, especially in Hawaii where I would expect your temps to be much higher indoors.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 7:57PM
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Well I water when the top is dry - takes maybe 10ish days. I live in the back half of a valley, where it rains all of the time and is more wet than other places in Hawaii, so it takes awhile for it the top of the medium to be dry. I think it's about 78F(?) during the day where my phal is growing.. Definitely higher than 18C!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 12:36AM
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Your potting mix also looks a little old to me,maybe you could repot it using bark and a bit of spagnum.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 3:19PM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

There is a general rule that as you get closer to the equator the mixes used become more arid for many Genera.
Maybe check with some of the orchid nurseries and local orchid societies to see what they use in the mix.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 4:49PM
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I agree with Arthurm and Philpet. The mix looks bad. I would cut off the spike and repot the plant in some fresh mix. It will grow new leaves and will make a new spike in the Fall.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 11:07PM
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Ok thanks for the suggestions everyone, I appreciate it. I will repot this weekend!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 5:44AM
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