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 Post subject: Is there any hope for these Phals??
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2007 11:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 11:19 pm
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Location: Ridgewood, New York
I have pretty much the same problem with these two Phals. The first is Be Tris x Star of Dixie, which I really don't want to lose because the flowers are amazing. I had neglected this plant, and I was cleaning it up tonite, cutting off all the dead roots and stuff when the stem snapped off. :cry: Here is the result. First the bottom portion:

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And now the top portion:

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Now I'm pretty sure the bottom with the roots and crown can be salvaged (although I haven't had much luck saving Phals in this regard), but is there any hope for the top portion with the leaves? I ask this specifically because I have the same situation with what's left of my Malibu Heir 'Blue Ridge':

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I've had this "potted" in sphag for the past 4 months or so probably, and it hasn't changed in appearance one bit. Is there any hope?


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 12:29 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 6:06 pm
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Location: Kanab, Utah
It is extremely unlikely that the crown will survive. I would have treated the broken end with something. I believe that it was broken off too high to have meristematic tissue. The base may put up a new growing point if you can prevent it from rotting. This will require treating the open tissue with something. We have discussed this before. Try not to keep the roots and base too moist until new growth can get started because you have no leaf surface to transpire and use the moisture.
The base probably broke because you were a bit too vigerous with moving it around. You appear to keep your plants quite moist. This makes the base tissue very turgid and prone to snapping off if moved too much.
Dean

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 1:21 am 
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Location: Ridgewood, New York
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Try not to keep the roots and base too moist until new growth can get started because you have no leaf surface to transpire and use the moisture.


But if I keep the roots dry, they will lose their green color, and then photosynthesis won't be able to take place. The roots now are the only way for the plant to make food, like a Chiloschista.


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 7:19 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:28 pm
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Location: Santa Cruz CA USA
Jas, this is your opportunity to learn more about rescuing your plants ...

I had a rat break off a very valuable pulcherrima, right at the growing point. I figured as Dean said the top part is a goner ... I expected the bottom to make it, even if it meant a basal keiki ...

A year later, both parts are still alive and growing, and from what appears to be the same apical meristem. It must have broken cleanly right through the meristem. The top took a while to make roots and the new leaves are of course smaller, but both halves lived. I just stuck the top piece back into the same pot (with NZS) that it was growing in. If I have time today, I will try to get a photo for you. It's an off chance, but you could end up with two plants.

I think what Dean means about the roots is, they will need less water with no leaves to support, and if you water the same as before you will probably rot them. You do want to cut back on the water slightly. You are right, you want the roots to stay healthy and plump, but they won't if you over water them.

Most Phals, even hybrids, are capable of coming back from a "deciduous" (leafless) state, very quickly if they have a good strong root system.

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"If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly our whole life would change." -- Buddha


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 8:11 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 11:19 pm
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Location: Ridgewood, New York
I'm really glad to hear that your pulcherrima made it. That's encouraging news for my two plants. I can show you later today how I have been "growing" my Malibu Heir. As far as the bottom portion of the Be Tris x Star od Dixie, I put it last night in a clear plastic sandwich bag with some sphag in it, of which some of the roots were touching. I let the crown stick out the top, and I didn't seal it. I can take a pic of it later today and post it, and maybe you guys can tell me if this is a good way to deal with this. I've never used this method before.

I really want these guys to make it. They're very rare and special plants.


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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 8:08 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 6:06 pm
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Location: Kanab, Utah
The plant usually breaks at the growing point that is why you can occasionally have enough meristematic tissue to grow new roots and salvage the plant. In my experience though this seldom works out well. I wish you luck. P. pulcherrima, being terrestrial is much easier to root this way than other phals. I think that a rooting stimulant, such as superthrive, is indicated here.
Dean

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Albert Dean Stock, Ph.D.


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