Very small thread like worms in my Phalaenopsis?

drea1974(7)July 11, 2013

First let me say I am sorry. I am unable to post a picture of this thing. I will start at the beginning.
I bought this plant about a month and a half ago. It was a super market purchase. She was and is planted in coconut shell/bark medium. I have never replanted her. Her pot has some dirt but not a whole lot. I'd say very little dirt. I am using a 5.5.5 fish emulsion fertilizer on her every week until I can afford to get her an orchid fertilizer. It seems to be working though, because she is sprouting new buds from the spike.
Yesterday was fertilizer day. I fertilized her and sat her in the sink for about 6 minutes for the fertilizer to soak the bark, then I gave her a quick rinse with rain water like I always do on fertilizer day. I sat her in the sink again to drain out the excess water. I picked her up to put her back in her decorative pot when I noticed what looked like very tiny white roots on the inside plastic of the main pot. I looked closer and saw that these roots were moving! When one stopped moving it looked like very very thin white thread. They didn't seem to like the water I guess because they were wriggling to the top of the pot, but not out of the pot.
My Phal is healthy. Some of the top roots are dying but a phal expert told me not to worry about them, as they often will die when new roots are replacing them. Her bottom roots are all green and firm as they should be. Her leaves are a beautiful olive green as is the norm with a healthy Phal. She gets watered every Saturday and fertilized either on Tuesday or Wednesday. Like I said above, she is getting ready to drop her 6 flowers, as she is budding new buds from fresh green spikes.
I must say, I have seen these worms before. I saw them in my tomato plant I had last year. They were in the over flow tray of a pot I have and there were a lot of them. I saw them right after I had watered my tomato plant. I removed the tray and washed them down the drain, sterilized the tray and returned it to the pot. No more worms after that. I did go on Google to find out what they are but I can't seem to get the right identification for it. They aren't horse hair worms, and not planariums, definitely aren't milipede or centipede larvae either. I don't know what they are. In fact I haven't seen a picture of them yet. And they are SO TINY. I wouldn't have gave a second thought about them if I hadn't seen them moving.
Any help would be appreciated. I don't think I can re-pot my Phal as she is still in bloom and budding, and doing so while she is in this stage is ill advised.
Thank you in advance for any and all help.

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

We need pictures.

So, consider who might be able to help you with that. Perhaps a friend, neighbor, relative, local high school kid?

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 11:47PM
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Hi forum! The line just in front of my finger nail is the small thread like worm that I was asking about, this pic is not very clear as my daughter's cell phone camera lens is scratched but it is the only way I could try to show you what I am talking about.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 8:55PM
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I have the same problem! I am making a youtube video right now about this.

I sprayed it with hydrogen peroxide on top. I'm going to repot it in my film. Disgusting isn't it?

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 12:39AM
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Glad I am not the only one. They are still around. I tried drowning them by soaking the plant at watering and they are still hanging out. I will check out your YouTube video on how to deal with these things.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 1:51AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

that is more fertilizer than i have used in all my houseplants in the last decade ...

its a plant.. not a child???

and the ONLY reason to feed a plant that much.. is due to water leaching it out the bottom of a pot.. such as in the trade.. yet you soak it .. doing the opposite ... hoping to maintain even more...

sooner or later.. you will raise the salt levels in your media.. as ferts are salts .... to potentially toxic levels.. IMHO .... [or you wont.. and i am leaning toward chicken little]

try not to love your plant to death ....

regardless... see link ... i dont know offhand ...


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 4:17PM
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Ken, if you knew anything about the phalaenopsis orchid you would know that it DOES need fertilizer that often. Mine (at the time of this post) was re-blooming. I let it drop all of the original blooms and I began the normal regimen to rebloom the plant. When you go through this regimen the phal gets fertilized once a week weakly. Once the blooms come in the plant the gets fertilized every two to three weeks after. The reason for this is to keep the nitrogen an phosphate levels up so the plant doesn't die.
I am aware that it is a PLANT Ken. But all plants need fertilizer. And your post has nothing to do with the thread like worm that I found in the pot. BTW, phal orchids don't like sitting in water. That is why you drain out the excess water. And FYI I treat my phals like I treat my children, and that is with lots of love and respect. And that is why my plant is so healthy now. As my pic shows. Next time leave info that helps.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 9:25PM
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