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Shriveled buds

Discussion in 'Issues, Disease and Pests' started by RAWRitsmaliss, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. RAWRitsmaliss

    RAWRitsmaliss New Member

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    Tucson, AZ
    The weekend before last I had purchased two phals, and I had started to notice that some of the buds are starting to shrivel up whereas some of the other buds bloomed beautifully. I had read that it could be due to the change in location, but could it also be that it is not getting enough water?

    I had watered both of them using the three ice cubes methods yesterday, but I'm starting to wonder if that is even enough because I live in Arizona where majority of the days consists of nothing but dry heat. Another reason in why I'm questioning about this is because one of my phals' roots are starting to grow out of the media and the tips of the roots are white-ish and dry.
  2. Kermie

    Kermie Tadpole Supporting Member

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    A little corner of Ontario, Canada
    Ah, the ice cube method.
    Generally this isn't recommended as its too cold. Phals can be very sensitive to this.
    Your buds could have shriveled for several reasons -I've found they shrivel most often if they are exposed to cold temperatures or lack of humidity. Given that you're in Arizona humidity is my first suspect, but the ice cube watering could also be to blame.
    To increase humidity you can place the phals on a pebble tray filled with water, or better yet get them a humidifier (may not be practical for you). A minimum of 60% is acceptable -Phal's should bloom well in this.

    Regarding watering -depending on the type of media you'll want to alter watering practices. Moss will hold more water than bark or coconut husk. Check your medium to make sure it looks fresh (not breaking down). I've found the best watering practice is to run water through the medium until it is wet, but not saturated. If you have Phals purchased at a big box store they will most likely tolerate tap water just fine, but as a general rule with orchids the less mineral content the better (to a certain point...which is where fertilization comes in).

    Roots growing out of the pot are normal. These will draw moisture in from the air. You can mist your plant daily with a spray bottle. If you do not have good air movement you'll want to avoid getting water in the middle of the leaves.

    Good luck. Maybe you'll branch out into some of the new and exciting orchids grown by members here! So many options!
    Marni and Brent W like this.
  3. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Redding, California, USA
    Growing orchids is easy but you need to make a mental shift from what you have done with other plants. Remember ... in the wild they grow on trees, not in soil, so the medium they are rooted in is an attempt to simulate growing on mossy trunks and branches. The potted medium makes it easier for US not the plant. In general, the roots want to get saturated then dry slightly. When I grew indoors that meant that, on average, I watered once per week. This is a general rule only since different orchids grow in different conditions in the wild.
    Growing indoors comes with a whole set of issues but they can be overcome. As Kermie said, above, humidity, medium condition, and watering and water quality are a huge factor. The amount of light is a big factor (Phals don't want unfiltered direct light). I have also read (no personal experience) that close proximity to ripening fruit and close proximity to a gas-burning cook stove can create problems with blooming due to gasses produced.
    Once the current blooming is finished you will definitely want to repot into fresh medium, probably a coarse bark mix. Good luck.
    Marni likes this.