Welcome to OrchidsForum.com. We are a friendly online community for Orchid Growers all over the world. If you haven't joined yet we invite you to register and join our community. Hope to see you on our forums!

Help! Phal. Jia Ho Summer Love "Little Pixie" fading away

Discussion in 'Orchid Culture' started by judypots, Dec 30, 2019.

  1. judypots

    judypots Member

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    1
    I bought this little one a couple of years ago, and this is her third rebloom. However, her leaves are starting to yellow and I fear she is fading away. This happens to most of my phals. (My catleyas and paphs. tend to last longer for some reason). Practically since I got her, the leaves looked as though they weren't getting enough water. When I repotted, I included a bit of African violet soil to hold onto more moisture and I increased my watering to twice a week, but it hasn't helped. Maybe it hurt? Anyway, as I said my phals don't last as long as my other varieties, which seems strange to me. Photos below - the first two are of her in better days, although even then, the leaves looked to me as if they weren't getting enough water. The last two are of her now. Thanks for any thoughts.

    orchid flowers.JPG orchid leaves.JPG Phal. Jia Ho.jpg Phal Jia Ho 2.jpg
     
  2. DarleneJay

    DarleneJay Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    589
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    I definitely see how you came to the conclusion that she is not getting enough water.

    What condition are the roots in? Often we see wrinkled leaves and think an orchid needs more water. However in many cases it is not the lack of water around the roots causing the problem. It is the lack of roots due to over watering. Without healthy roots to take up the water, your orchid can become dehydrated and display the same symptoms as under watering. It could be that your increased watering has rotted the roots.

    I would recommend checking to see if you have healthy roots in the pots. This will help determine what to do next.
     
  3. judypots

    judypots Member

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks Darlene. I pulled the plant from its pot and cleaned off the roots. I did remove a number of dead roots, but it appears to have some nice healthy roots remaining, photos below. BTW, I only use spring water to water all my plants. Any more advice on saving this one? Thanks againl roots.jpg roots2.jpg
     
  4. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,510
    Likes Received:
    365
    Location:
    Oak Island NC
    Judy,

    Orchids require lots of air around their roots, as they do most of their gas exchange processes through them, rather than through their leaves. If the potting medium is too dense, whether that be from being too fine to start with or due to becoming compact with age, water is held in the void spaces, cutting off the gas exchange and suffocating the roots.

    Heavy, frequent watering is a plus, but only of the potting medium is open enough to allow gas exchange to freely occur.

    Also, spring water may not be the best choice for your plant, depending upon where you live and what your local water supply is like, as spring water is often higher in dissolved solids.

    Tell us about your fertilizing regimen. Formula, amount used per gallon, and frequency.
     
  5. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,391
    Likes Received:
    2,174
    Location:
    Redding, California, USA
    In addition to the excellent advice already provided I will add a little more.

    If you have central / forced air heat keep your plant away from a vent. That air is too warm and very dry.

    I would suggest potting in a medium or coarse bark without the African violet mix and continue watering 2x per week until the new leaves show some recovery. I don't know if the older leaves will show any rehydration.

    Lastly, the thing you didn't want to hear... your plant will recover quicker without the bloom spike. If you are willing to forego the current flower buds, remove the spike so the plant's energy and resources don't all go to the flowers. You could wait on this drastic measure until you see if the other measures help enough to save your plant.

    Good luck with your plant and Happy New Year.
     
  6. judypots

    judypots Member

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks for all the good advice. To answer Ray's questions, I use spring water for all my houseplants (mainly African violets and a few orchids), because I softened tap water and a local orchid grower advised me years ago to only use spring water. Most of my plants do very well with it. I use a 14-12-14 fertilizer (Nitrogen/Phosphoric Acid/Potash), no urea. I use 1/4 teaspoon per gallon, and use that for each watering. And Kelly, I've repotted it and cut off the flower spike. Thanks again.