Question and Answer

From: Donna
Date sent: Thu, 3 Aug 2000
Subject: Dead orchid roots


The roots are dying on my phal. orchid, they look like black pieces of paper, thin and dry.

We have recently moved from TN to OR.

Do you have suggentions on how to handle this problem?

Thank You
Hi Donna

I am sorry to hear of your problems with the Phal.

It certainly seems as if the roots are dead.

It may be a bacterial infection, but is more likely to be the result of watering problems, probably overwatering.

It can be difficult to recover. I would suggest that you obtain some sphagnum moss if possible. Ensure it is just damp, and after
removing the plant from the pot, loosly pack the just damp moss around the roots. Place in a warm shaded position. You can also
put the sphagnum wrapped plant in a closed plastic bag, but ensure the moss is only just moist. With luck the roots will start
growing, and once they reach a reasonable size you can repot again in a normal mix.

You may want also to treat the roots with a fungicide - powdered sulphur can be used or a general garden fungicide can be used.
Your garden centre can recommend a specific product.

Without knowing how you are groiwng, problems such as you have are often caused by overwatering - not providing too mubh water, but watering too often. You can grow over a tray fulled with gravel, with water just below the gravel surface. The humidity evaporating from this can beneif the plant

Good luck

With kind regards


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