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RE: whats wrong with this masdevallia (pics) (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: q_li on 02.10.2007 at 07:10 am in Orchids Forum

My masds have this black spots when they are in stress, usually caused by heat in my case. I did nothing to these leaves and they will soon fall off. Once I placed them in a cooler place, the black spots seemed stop spreading.


clipped on: 11.21.2007 at 10:36 pm    last updated on: 11.21.2007 at 10:37 pm

RE: Cymbidium spike??? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: haxuan on 01.07.2007 at 12:51 pm in Orchids Forum

It looks quite like a spike to me. But of course I'm not that experienced.
However, I learnt from this forum that if you gently squeeze the tip of this thing, if it's hollow... then it's a spike; and if it's hard... then it's a new growth! I tried it once with mine and it was true... mine is a spike as it now turns out.
Why don't you try it and let's know.
Best luck!



I think I have a spike!!!
clipped on: 10.01.2007 at 10:31 pm    last updated on: 10.01.2007 at 10:32 pm

'Tiz Phal season

posted by: highjack on 08.05.2007 at 03:25 pm in Orchid Gallery Forum

No floof for me, just these gorgeous fragrant blooms.

Free Image Hosting at - Dtps. Kenneth Schubert 'Blue Star' - purchased from Hauserman.

Free Image Hosting at P. Princess Kaiulani - purchased from Oak Hill.

Free Image Hosting at - another Princess Kaiulani - purchased from Big Leaf.

Free Image Hosting at - P. luddemannian - purchased from Carolina Orchids

Free Image Hosting at - Phal. violacea x violacea var. Borneo (Bellina) - purchased from Hauserman

Free Image Hosting at Phal. violacea var. alba - purchased from Big Leaf.

Free Image Hosting at Phal. amabilis 'Spring Bamboo' - purchased from Big Leaf.

Free Image Hosting at Phal. Hilltop's Jewel - purchased from Hilltop Orchids

The phal area smells like heaven right now.

Brooke - thumbnails are clickable


Put on wish list- dtps kenneth schurbert blue star
clipped on: 08.06.2007 at 06:39 pm    last updated on: 08.06.2007 at 06:40 pm

RE: Black Spots on Leaves? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: highjack on 07.20.2007 at 07:38 am in Orchids Forum

When you find black or brown spots on your plants and you are afraid it might some form of rot/fungus/bacterial issue, use a felt tip pin, circle the suspicious area and watch the area. If the marks spread beyond the felt tip pin marks, you have a problem - if the problem area stays within the circle, it is a cultural issue. A rot/fungus/bacterial issue will grow overnight.



good idea to see if its a pathological problem or bad culture.
clipped on: 08.06.2007 at 05:11 pm    last updated on: 08.06.2007 at 05:11 pm

RE: My first Orchid (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: jane__ny on 08.05.2007 at 10:57 pm in Orchids Forum

I've given up on humidity during winter in NY. I'm lucky to get 20%. They all do fine. I use the trays as drip trays. Packing the plants close together raises the humidity better than the trays.


keep plants close together to keep up humidity
clipped on: 08.05.2007 at 11:29 pm    last updated on: 08.05.2007 at 11:29 pm

RE: I need to get plant lamps, and have no clue what I need (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: howard_a on 08.04.2007 at 02:20 pm in Orchids Forum

For 8 plants you will need two bulbs approximately 24" apart. If you use the next size up CFL 42W (150W eq) you can keep the lamps higher off the plants (24" - 36+") which opens up the area underneath for a more natural presentation. The 'daylight' color rating is 5100K. Anything between 4700K and 6500K is fine depending on what you can find in your local box store. An 'angel' just sent me a couple of 5100K 42W and the color and brightness are about near as ideal as I have seen.



note dimensions on lighting
clipped on: 08.04.2007 at 03:45 pm    last updated on: 08.04.2007 at 03:45 pm

RE: Yellow Phal LeavesCan this Orchid be Saved? (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: howard_a on 12.08.2006 at 12:48 am in Orchids Forum

Much good advice in the previous posts. The aerial root that can be seen is uniformly colored out to its tip. A sign of phal dormancy. Probably temps are too low day and night but more likely light is and has been low for some time. We just don't think about light much when dealing with phals and they do react favorably when it is excellent as I suspect it has been in the past for this plant. Absolutely I think it is being kept too wet especially as it is dormant. The line is fine but I would probably be thinking of watering in the every two weeks to even every month! And no fertilizer is neccessary.



uniformly colored aerial roots are a sign of dormancy
clipped on: 08.03.2007 at 01:00 am    last updated on: 08.03.2007 at 01:00 am

RE: Orchid food & feeding??? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: mehitabel on 02.18.2007 at 05:32 pm in Orchids Forum

1. I think 1 teasp of 20-20-20 to a gallon of water is too much for orchids. It should be diluted more-- 1/4 strength -- that is 1/4 teasp to a gallon. The idea is "weakly, weekly".

2. I believe superthrive contains a rooting hormone, so spraying the undersides of the leaves with it may help your phal re-root. If it has roots, watering with superthrive will help roots develop.

3. In your previous thread, I pointed out that fertilizing if the plant is suffering is not a good idea, and that you can only expect a spike after the plant has recovered and started to grow. Usually more than two leaves are required to support a spike.

4. You may need to give your orchid more light. I'm not sure the north exposure you describe gives enough light. Phals benefit from a couple of hours of morning sunshine, especially if you want to produce flowers. It's the hot midday sun that's a problem for them, not early morning sun.

5. The spike starts as a bump on the stem between leaves, then elongates. See the faq for a description of how to tell it's a spike, not a root.


clipped on: 08.02.2007 at 12:22 am    last updated on: 08.02.2007 at 12:22 am

Article on Phals in AOS Magazine

posted by: jane__ny on 02.16.2007 at 09:50 pm in Orchids Forum

They have been running a 3-part study on Phals by A&M. This months issue was about potting media and fertilizer.

Some interesting comments:
Bark is not the best media, does not hold water well, when it begins to hold water it decomposes quickly and ties up some of the nutrients. 'Research has shown there may be no detectable amount of nitrate-nitrogen in a bark medium. Fir bark particles do not have much capillary action and do not readily transfer moisture from bottom to top. It can lead to severe root rot and poor plant performance.'

'Sphagnum Moss is probably the single best material for growing young phalaenopsis in warm conditions. Moss has a low pH and absorbs large quantities of water and mineral nutrients.' Growers have to be careful in more temperate climates where pots lose water less rapidly. 'In addition, inexperienced consumers often overwater plants sold in sphagnum leading to root rot and plant decline.' Early research at Texas A&M showed that plant growth was vastly improved in a medium consisting of 20% course sphag and 80% fir bark.
When planting in bark, you should never tap the pot. It causes smaller particles to settle in the lower portion of the pot which could cause more water to stay where it dries the slowest.

Phalaenopsis roots that are exposed to light have chloroplasts and perform photosynthesis. Clear pots allow light to penetrate, but contribute little to total plant photosynthesis. 'However, because phal roots avoid darkness, roots of plants grown in clear pots generally stay inside the pot better than roots of plants grown in opaque pots. Roots of plants grown in bark-based media tend to grow out of their pots quickly, those in sphag tend to keep their roots in the pot longer. Eventually all phal roots grow out of the container...'

'In general, the medium must be allowed to dry...but should never be allowed to dry out completely.'

'Phals are moderate feeders when grown in more water-absorptive media. Plants suppplied with 200 ppm nitrogen at every watering were superior to plants fertilized with 100ppm of N. at every watering.'They recommend a complete fertilizer delivering 150 to 200 ppm N at every watering with adequate leaching. 'Continuous application of nitrogen ensures flower longevity, but does not increase flower count after the spikes reach 10 inches (25cm).'

Results from a study at A&M suggest that Phals must have adequate phosphorus and potassium in their tissues prior to spiking for best performance. Potassium at 200 to 300ppm ensures high flower count and maximizes flower size. A recently completed study showed that phals which did not receive adequate levels of potassium may appear healthy for several months. As soon as spiking has taken place, the limited pool of potassium in the leaves and roots is remobilized to support the reproductive growth and the lower leaves start to show symptoms of potassium deficiency...they lost their lower leaves. All phalaenopsis planted in a bark mix and lacking P. eventually died.

Attention Howard - next month, part 3 of the series in March, on light and temperature requirements for vegetative growth and flowering, height control and managing diseases and insects.
Some of these findings seem contradictory, but interesting.



clipped on: 08.01.2007 at 11:47 pm    last updated on: 08.01.2007 at 11:47 pm

RE: What are best wood chips for orchids? (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: toyo2960 on 08.01.2007 at 05:26 am in Orchids Forum

I agree with Coymbosa, wood chips use up a lot of nitrogen. I would not use wood chips. The tend to rot fast too. Stick to fir bark. Most orchid fir bark like white fir and douglas fir have been stream treated to remove disease and rid the bark of resigns. Pine bark has a lot of resin and seems detrimental to the plant. That's why some pine bark used for plants are also steam treated. Cedar bark and redwood bark chips are a good additive to fir bark. Adds a bid of acid in the bark. Bark mixes usually require extra nitrogen when fertilizing. 30-10-10.
I don't like coconut chips because they seem to hold on to salts. Causes roots to burn. Chalky buildup. Chopped tree fern is sometimes added to bark mixes. Charcoal is good too. Helps keep the mix fresh.
In the old old days, cymbidiums were planted in a mixture of Oak compost.


notes to use 30-10-10 fert with fur bark
clipped on: 08.01.2007 at 02:34 pm    last updated on: 08.01.2007 at 02:34 pm

RE: What is wrong with this phal leaf? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: highjack on 07.31.2007 at 11:35 am in Orchids Forum

I agree it is either fungal or bacterial - cut it off and put cinnamon on the cut edge. It appears to be the top leaf and you must stop the infection before it hits the crown area. Make sure the cut is at least 1/2" below the mush part. I think I would also water the plant with straight peroxide. After cutting it off, disinfect your shears/knife with a straight bleach soak for 5 min or use a disposable razor blade and pitch it.

Good luck, hope you can save it.



Give a plant with a fungal infection straight H202?? seems like it would kill the plant!
clipped on: 08.01.2007 at 12:46 am    last updated on: 08.01.2007 at 12:46 am

RE: Keiki paste-- has anyone used it? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: jane__ny on 05.18.2007 at 02:20 pm in Orchids Forum

Mehitabel, I don't know if you read the 3-part article in Orchids Magazine. If you subject Phals to a 6 week cool-down and initiate spiking, when the spike is less than 2 inches, increase the temps to 'very warm,' it can cause the plant to produce keikis instead of buds. Apparently, the high temps cause vegetative growth, rather than flowers.

Might be worth a try.



clipped on: 07.29.2007 at 11:54 pm    last updated on: 07.29.2007 at 11:54 pm

RE: Holy Smokes, cut phal spike in water = keiki (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: bob123how on 06.15.2007 at 11:38 pm in Orchids Forum

I prepared a big jug of about 1/2 gallon of distilled water. I added 2 drops of SuperThrive. I had read elsewhere that florists cut spikes under water to prevent an air bubble from forming at the base of the stem so the spike can still take up water. I set the whole pot in the jug of water and cut, underwater, at the base of the spike as close to the plant as I could get it. There was one flower left on the spike that lasted for about a week. This was the first bloom on the spike, not a rebloom, and the spike was fresh. I'd imagine it's been at least 4 weeks, but not more than 6. I change the water about every 1-2 weeks or so.


notes on Growing Kakkis or whatever. This person used distilled water and super thrive. Changed it 1-2 weeks. Also! in another forum someone was talking about a special medium that had more nutrients. Might be good for such a little plant!
clipped on: 07.29.2007 at 11:43 pm    last updated on: 07.29.2007 at 11:45 pm

Phal. bellina (syn. violacea var. borneo)

posted by: sdahl on 09.20.2006 at 06:19 pm in Orchid Gallery Forum

This has been one tough little plant. Got it in a 2.25" pot for $8 from Fantasy Orchids 6 years ago, and it still hasn't croaked!

It never seemed happy in any greenhouse, so I propped it up in a copper tray on the kitchen windowsill. That way I can add water whenever the cork and roots are looking dry, and it seems to get enough sun most of the year. This bloom, however, is looking over its shoulder, so probably wants brighter light than I'm giving it.

It has one main plant and 3 basal keikis, with at least one more looking like it wants to pop through.

Flowers are 2.25" tall with a very sweet scent.



I want this!
clipped on: 07.29.2007 at 03:27 pm    last updated on: 07.29.2007 at 03:27 pm

RE: Phal bellina -- anyone growing this? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: margoinchicago on 07.15.2007 at 08:52 am in Orchids Forum

I grow bellina along with my other phals. No one told me it was difficult, so I never found that out. They are all on an east-facing windowsill, with humidity trays. Otherwise no special treatment. Their spot certainly gets colder than 65 during the winter but they keep putting out their new leaves.
I have all my phals in sphagnum that I have to change at least yearly. That makes for a quicker wet-dry cycle; I sometimes have to water twice a week in winter.
Sounds like you have a great set up for bellina--and every other phal too.


note the type of growth medium they use
clipped on: 07.29.2007 at 03:24 pm    last updated on: 07.29.2007 at 03:24 pm