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Thread: Aww, crud... mold...

  1. #1

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    Well, i blew it. I failed to let my Phal. dry out between waterings. it now has a fine grey mold growing on the moss its growing in. Will it damage the plant? How can i get rid of it?
    will it spread to other plants? Does it pose a health hazard to me?

    sorry for the barrage of questions.
    -Tyrel-

    PS: Im going to the naniamo orichid show tomorrow! Im all excited!

  2. #2
    herenorthere's Avatar
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    Is it in sphagnum moss? That can be a tricky way to grow a Phal, especially if you keep it outside where you lose control of the watering schedule. Some people do very well with the stuff, but I decided it isn't a good choice for me.

    Anyway, I see lots of different molds in my orchid mixes if I look hard enough and it's never appeared to do any harm. It is a symptom of too frequent watering or inadequate air flow through the mix and each those can be trouble.

    I don't have any real experience with it for Phals, but I read somewhere once that a Phal in sphagnum should be repotted with fresh sphagnum every six months. If I felt compelled to use sphagnum, I'd do a 50/50 mix with sponge rock, like I do with Neps and Sarrs, and see if that extends the useful life.

    Something I just thought of is that you might actually be seeing mineral buildup, not mold. Sphagnum wicks a lot of water, so a lot of evaporation happens at the surface. The stuff dissolved in the water ends up precipitating at the top of the sphagnum. You can minimize that by watering thoroughly so plenty of water flushes through the pot. Also by using little fertilizer. An orchid doesn't need much fertilizer and one in sphagnum needs less than one in bark.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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    chloroplast's Avatar
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    GET IT OUT OF THERE....QUICK! It's roots are probably already rotting (if they're brown or tan and squishy then they're rotted). Take it out of the pot and remove all of the LFS from it's roots. Cut the rotted one's off and transplant it.

    I've had a phal for 8yrs now. It grows in a hanging wooden basket (the kind made of wooden sticks separated by spaces).

    The basket is filled with 80:20 orchid bark mix:LFS.

    I water it once per week in the summer (no misting in summer; 2x/wk misting in winter).

    It seems to love this and has flowered every year.

    In my opinion, it's difficult to grow phals in LFS because their roots rot easily in it.
    Secretary, New England Carnivorous Plant Society (NECPS) http://www.necps.org/
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  4. #4
    Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England PlantAKiss's Avatar
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    I have a ton of dehydrated Phals because the agents here get them as gifts all the time...packed TIGHT in LFS. The agents keep them as long as they are blooming and pour water on them thinking orchids need lots of water. Before you know it, the roots have rotted, the leaves are drooping and they present the orchid to me like its a wonderful gift! lol "Now that I've near killed it, you can have it." [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_l_32.gif[/img] So I give it a shot. Some I lose, some recover eventually.

    So I don't like LFS as a medium either.
    "Fox terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs." - Jerome K. Jerome

  5. #5
    chloroplast's Avatar
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    Funny! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img] Your coworkers are real devils! >;-D

    I know, rescuing a root-rotted phal is difficult (at least for me) because since it has no roots, it requires daily misting to keep it hydrated. And they seem to take forever to regrow when recovering.

    Fortunately, I've only had to do this once.....for a near-dead phal given to me by a friend! Sound familiar?....
    Secretary, New England Carnivorous Plant Society (NECPS) http://www.necps.org/
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  6. #6

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    sorry i took so long to reply. Any ways, i repotted it in shults orchid mix and cut off dead roots. Its doing much better. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]
    (even though the bottom inch of the pot was submergerd for a few days. my dad mixed up the pepple tray and the drainage try while i was gone [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_o_32.gif[/img]

    -tyrel-

  7. #7
    chloroplast's Avatar
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    that's good to hear. overwatering will be near impossible if you're using just bark mix. just be sure you check it often as a rootless phal can dehydrate quickly. Good luck.
    Secretary, New England Carnivorous Plant Society (NECPS) http://www.necps.org/
    Member, International Carnivorous Plant Society (ICPS)
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  8. #8
    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    Chloroplast you can over water a pahl potted in bark. I've done it. I have been able to grow more dificult Orchids but phals are my downfall. I am getting the hang of now though. The best way to revive a rootles Phal is the sphag and bag method. Place some damp sphag and the plant in a ziplock and place it a shaded spot. open the bag about every 2 days for gas exchange. when roots start to regrow then repot. The biggest thing about sphag and orchids is that the sphag compacks. I have some Chids that are planted in the same sphag for over a year. I just keep loosening the median around the roots. If you want a sure fire way to not over water chids. Used the semihydro method. Chloroplast if you know as much as I think you know about chids you would know that cattleya alliance are not suposed to be planted in Shag. Well I have one planted in a clay pot with straight sphag and been there for over a year and doing great. Go figure nothing is absolute.

    Oh and down here in Ga I can water everything everyday and still be fine because I grow outside and by watering every other day when I water things are BONE dry. In fact my mounted plants need to be watered everday because there is no way for water storage but the plant.
    JB
    Friend me on facebook with JB_orchidguy@yahoo.com.
    Growlist Updated 05/08/13

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