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Broken stem of my Phalaenopsis orchid

Broken stem of my Phalaenopsis orchid


THE AGRONOMIST ANSWERS ON HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR PLANTS

I broke the flower stem
of my Phalaenopsis

QUESTION OF LUCIA

Good morning Doctor,
I contact her because this morning I inadvertently broke one of the two stems of my orchid.
I attach photos of both the broken part and the plant with the broken stem.
I have had the orchid for about 10 months, I bought it in bloom.
Will the stem continue to grow?
What can I do with the broken one?
Thank you very much for any help and information.
with regard
Lucia

AGRONOM ANSWERS

Hi Lucia,

no need to worry about the broken stem of the Phalaenopsis. It is nothing serious. That stem will now dry out and only when it is dry can it be cut. This will give the orchid time to reabsorb all the nutrients that are contained in that stump of the stem.

When there will be the conditions to bloom again (in this regard, I suggest you read the technical data sheet of the Phalaenopsis where I explain how to do it) the plant will create a new flower stem.

As a general rule for the Phalaenopsis, everything that is green should never be cut, not even the flower stems that have now faded, if they are still green. This is because they can bloom again, saving the plant a large amount of energy to reform a new stem.

I hope I was clear, otherwise, I'm here.

Dr. M. G. Davoli


Yellowed phalaenopsis orchid

I am carefully following every type of treatment, thanks also to your advice, therefore demineralized water once a week and through sprays, not direct sun and no draft of air. So I wonder if the yellowing of the last leaves is normal or due to something I don't understand. Can you give me any other advice?


Prune the branch of my Phalaenopsis

Sa_00

Aspiring Garden Girl

Attachments

Spulky

Moderator Sect. Orchids and Water Gardens

hello, in what sense is the withered stem as if it were rotten
Are those marks mushy or do they just have a cosmetic defect?

they seem to be due to abrasions and where the stem on the brace was stopped from time to time

I would cut the stem just below the lowest flower mark
if they are under the flowering I would cut under the signs that you have just highlighted that knot that you see

the plant is very beautiful and the visible roots are healthy.

Sa_00

Aspiring Garden Girl

hello, in what sense is the withered stem as if it were rotten
Are those marks mushy or do they just have a cosmetic defect?

they seem to be due to abrasions and where the stem on the brace was stopped from time to time

I would cut the stem just below the lowest flower mark
if they are under the flowering I would cut under the signs that you have just highlighted that knot that you see

the plant is very beautiful and the visible roots are healthy.

Sa_00

Aspiring Garden Girl

Attachments

Spulky

Moderator Sect. Orchids and Water Gardens

the spots on the leaves look like sunburn
the little leaf is just old and is going away
do not prune at the base, always leave about ten cm so as not to risk damage to the collar of the plant, from fresh cuts there is always the risk of conveying some pathology, which is why disinfected scissors should be used, and keeping a few more cm of stem gives greater safety
however, I prefer to save part of the stem, to favor any restart of blooms from secondary nodes.

better to water by soaking completely, the plant gets wet more evenly, you can use the water method in the saucer until it absorbs it, for some watering, but then a complete watering is needed to avoid drying up the roots higher, which already tend to dehydrate before those below
and do not leave the water that drips to stagnate, in the case of soaking after putting it away, or that which does not absorb when you bathe from underneath

Sa_00

Aspiring Garden Girl

the spots on the leaves look like sunburn
the little leaf is just old and is going away
do not prune at the base, always leave about ten cm so as not to risk damage to the collar of the plant, from fresh cuts there is always the risk of conveying some pathology, which is why disinfected scissors should be used, and keeping a few more cm of stem gives greater safety
however, I prefer to save part of the stem, to favor any restart of blooms from secondary nodes.

better to water by soaking completely, the plant gets wet more evenly, you can use the water method in the saucer until it absorbs it, for some watering, but then a complete watering is needed to avoid drying up the roots higher, which already tend to dehydrate before those below
and do not leave the water that drips to stagnate, in the case of soaking after putting it away, or that which does not absorb when you bathe from underneath

Spulky

Moderator Sect. Orchids and Water Gardens

yes, the plant needs to be wet, the roots are very dehydrated, a nice soak until they turn green again
and be careful not to wait too long between waterings, otherwise they deteriorate, dry out and when you start wetting again, as soon as you increase the dose, the compromised parts then rot

seeing the roots in the pot, in my opinion what you have interpreted as rotten tips, could have been the growth restarts, which are normally quite dark, like dark purple brown shiny, possibly check that they do not degrade, there are parts of roots rather dry so better be very careful
better short but more frequent watering than long soaking at a long distance of time


PHALAENOPSIS, A GIFT OR THE BEGINNING OF A CHALLENGE?

Anyone who has never received a nice gift, and in particular a beautiful plant, I think no one is so far completely normal, but when that plant is an orchid the amazement and wonder are greater, because the charm that covers them is something special. , either because they come from faraway places, or because they are not usually present in our homes.

Once the amazement has passed, here the first doubts and uncertainties appear: where to put it, how much water and all those roots out of the pot.

Legitimate doubts because we do not know exactly the environment in which orchids live and their needs, ignorance that leads us to treat them as our usual house plants. Despite all our passion and love, especially if the plant was given to us by a loved one, the orchid slowly wastes away.

The orchid I started with is the most common one, most present in florists and in large-scale retail chains ... Phalaenopsis.

Once the splendid flowering is over, you would like to make it bloom again immediately but it takes time and dedication, meanwhile the orchid looks more or less like this: one or more long stems that carried flowering.

Here then is the manifestation of another doubt, what do I do with those stems, I leave them or cut them and if I cut them where I do it. Sometimes the plant helps us and little by little they turn yellow and dry out, in this case they are cut near the base.

Instead, if they remain green we can decide but in any case in the point where the flowers had opened, nothing will be born, while in the lower part where there was the flowering you can see small shields attached to the stem, from there new stems could develop secondary or even a new plant. Usually, starting from the bottom, two / three of these championships are counted and it is cut.

My choice usually falls on the total elimination of the stem that led to flowering, whether it dried or remained green, I let the plant totally reproduce everything, because I noticed that the flowering brought on the primary stem is more numerous and with larger flowers.

That unexpected, yet charming gift, many times features pretty packaging or a colorful pot cover that hides from view the clear plastic pot phalaenopsis are sold in and kept in there for the entire time of flowering, because ... .. "You just can't see that plastic pot, it's so ugly that I can't put it on the table ....", in reality, transparency is very helpful in the cultivation of these plants, it allows us to understand the state of health and when to wet the plant (it gets wet by immersion in warm water ONLY when the roots are silver in color).

But before accepting the elimination of the pot cover and accepting the transparency, we must touch firsthand so here I too have held the plant in a more aesthetic way, without bothering to look at the part contained in the pot (often hidden by a layer of moss, to make the package more attractive) every now and then a little water and the plant perishes, the leaves become wrinkled, they sag ... why, what happens ?? It will want more water, and I increase the water, but the dear plant gets worse, until I decide to understand and observe ALL the plant, off the moss, off the packaging and off the pot cover a disaster:

all the dry and rotten roots, the wrinkled leaves, not so much because the plant was thirsty, but because it could not drink!

There is very little to do, we must not lose the plant, perhaps there are still some living roots. So I decide to take it out of the plastic pot, sure that if I hadn't had the toilet seat I would have noticed it sooner.

Removed the transparent container some roots remain attached to the inner edge breaking. To make this operation less harmful, it is important to keep the plant inside another container full of water (leave it for a long time) so that the soil and everything inside it softens well.

Once the plant was extracted from the pot, I took that mass of soil, dry and dead roots and put it under the tap of running water to clean everything and see what remains of the root system.

I did this cleaning to many withered and abandoned plants, finding various things right in the middle of the roots: from a small white basket containing compressed peat, to the sphagnum ball, (elements, peat and sphagnum with a very high capacity to retain water), to small pieces of kitchen sponge with soil only.

Important: I am not saying that these elements are wrong for growing plants, quite the contrary, but I argue that a person should know what is inside the pot, because if I had known of their presence I would certainly have watered less.

It is useless and harmful to continue to give the plant to drink when, right in the middle of the roots there are elements that retain water and dry much more slowly than the surrounding soil.

The presence of these elements can help those who cannot control their plants on a daily basis, because they keep them moist longer… just know it.

After this digression, on what can be found in the middle of the roots, let's go back to cleaning my plant.

Having washed away everything that was around the roots and attached to them, I can see what was once a beautiful root system and which are now many empty, dry and rotten roots.

Now I can understand how much the plant was in pain.

Now I can't stop, I take the scissors, both large and small and after having passed them over the gas flame, to clean and disinfect them (operation to ALWAYS do when with the same tool more plants are cut => diseases could be transmitted), I begin to eliminate all damaged parts.

During this phase we must not get caught up in sentimentality or pity, I have come close to it several times, "poor plant, there is nothing left, this root is not so bad ", if we do it we would not do the good of the plant, but we would make all our cleaning work in vain and useless, promoting rot again.

So total cleaning without mercy, but when to do it?

In principle, the best time to clean and repot HEALTHY orchids is when they begin to develop new roots, however if we see dead roots in the pot, which is always an indication of something wrong (too much fertilizer, too much watering, wrong soil and ruined etc), it is always good to intervene as soon as possible.

At this point I had the plant clean and free from any dry or rotten part and so why not do a preventive treatment with a good broad-spectrum fungicide (you can never tell which form of fungus there might be or not). Treatment that consists of a nice bath, it is exact the bath to the whole plant,

The speech changes if the plant is affected by some bacterial fungus, now we consider healthy plants but in suffering

Now, let's remember that we have made cuts, breaks, to the plant, therefore before putting it back in the pot (we can also use the old one as long as it is well washed and disinfected with alcohol or bleach and finally dry very well), we must wait for the wounds produced to be well dry…. (they are plants epiphytes plants that do not root in the ground but that cling to the bark of trees, to enjoy as much light as possible, and exploit that of the air as humidity) therefore we can leave them free in the air for a few days (if you cannot wait, use cinnamon in powder on cuts, a veil is enough, it is an excellent cicatrizant).

I was finally ready to put the plants back into the soil and pot.

Here is another doubt, but what kind of soil are they in? (since they are not in the ground it is more correct to use the term "substrate"). As mentioned, they are epiphytic plants, in nature they are attached to trees, they are on the bark here is their ideal substrate…. the cortex.

The most is done, I tell myself, I run to the first garden and buy a nice specific package for orchids, once opened, bitter surprise of bark there is little and crumbled together with other (rectangular container) all my work for nothing can not be done lose the challenge for the bark!

I keep going around the garden, finding the same package until, in one, I find some simple bark (round container).

By continuing to search it is also found in different sizes / sizes.

It is good to say that although the bark is the ideal substrate in nature, perhaps in our environment, the domestic one, and for the time we can devote to orchids it is not the most suitable, as it dries very quickly and forces us to water frequently. , that's why we usually add material that retains water, or something else with different characteristics but I repeat myself, you just need to know it.

I open the package of the bark alone, take a good quantity and soak it in water, I leave it to soak for a long time, even one day, it is new, it does not hold water, it must be wet well.

At this point I can finish the job, I have everything, plant ready and disinfected, clean pot and wet bark. I start by pouring a few pieces of bark into the bottom of the pot, insert the roots and let further pieces of bark fall around them, there is no need to compress them - otherwise I would break other roots and compact the substrate preventing the roots from breathing a few taps. on the outer edge of the pot will ensure that the substrate settles in the best possible way.

Finished, I am happy, but while I go to place the plant on the table what happens, the leaves are too big and heavy the few roots present cannot support the weight and the plant spills over ... the work starts again with a new doubt, I have to make the plant stand still, a stable plant starts better and sooner.

I do it all over again, supporting the plant with skewer sticks, the plant is there, it stops, but I don't like it, I really don't like it.

I start again, what is missing from the plant? The roots, right!

Let's give it new roots. I take those gardening wires, the soft iron wires covered with green plastic, I fold it in a zig zag and hook one end to the plant and everything else in the pot, I have made new roots, the plant holds up but wobbles.

I start again, I take a longer gardening wire I bend it in an arc, passing the arch around the plant (if there was a stump of a previous flowering, now woody it is perfect as an anchor) and the two ends in the pot, until it comes out from the holes on the bottom now towards the bark, I insert the natural roots and pull the ends of the threads (artificial roots) from the bottom, I insert more bark, a few strokes on the edge of the pot and I go to tie iron wires together.

The plant is stable. Now I just have to place it in a dimly lit place and without wetting it for about 5/6 days (remember that the bark was put in the bathroom for one day) once settled, I place it in a brighter position because to flower, these plants they need light, a small difference in temperature between day and night and a good air humidity, all conditions found in domestic environments are certainly the easiest to grow at home.

Certainly the plant will start by redoing the roots, then you will see it motionless, still, then a small leaf will appear and gradually bigger and bigger then a second one, then other roots and if the conditions are good the flower will arrive.

Domestic environmental conditions that we can modify with little, we can bring it closer to the windows if we do not have a bright environment, a light curtain will be sufficient if we have too much light and the leaves should burn, small saucers filled with water to increase the humidity of the air , and if we insert inert material in these (pebbles, expanded clay etc) we can even place the plant on it, as long as the water does not touch the bottom of the vase many small tricks to vary the domestic conditions with which to win our challenge ..

Here are some plants recovered in a state of abandonment and which give me flowering

The first thing these plants teach us is patience, they are slow and calm, if we know how to wait and observe they will lead us to pleasant surprises.

With calm and tenacity challenges are overcome, a greeting.

Author Simone Published on 20 March 2019 28 April 2020 Categories Cultivation experiences Tag Phalaenopsis

General

Where is the area of ​​origin of the Phalaenopsis?

Phalaenopsis, also called butterfly orchid, comes from the tropical rainforests of Asia, New Guinea and Australia.

How long and how often does a Phalaenopsis bloom?

Phalaenopsis owes its popularity to a long flowering. Unlike other varieties of orchids that generally bloom once a year for about 6-10 weeks, Phalaenopsis blooms for 2 to 6 months, and sometimes even 2 or 3 times a year.

Can I put a Phalaenopsis in a plant composition?

An orchid goes well with other plants and therefore adapts well to compositions. in this case we recommend placing the orchid with its entire container in the vase, so that it maintains its solidity.

Is it better if I buy a plant with blooming flowers or one with already open flowers?

This depends on where you want to place the Phalaenopsis. The darker it is, the more the flowers must already be open. But it is always better to choose an orchid in which several flowers are already open even if you want to place the orchid in a bright spot.


Environment

Does growing these orchids harm the tropical rainforest?

For Opti-flor it is very important to have a respectful approach to nature and for this reason we never subtract wild plants from the natural environment. This has two reasons: on the one hand we want to leave nature untouched and on the other we must prevent the importation of any pathogens.

How sustainable is the cultivation of Opti-flor orchids?

We always work with respect for human beings, nature and the environment and do everything we can to minimize our environmental footprint. The following examples are illustrative of how we seek to contribute to a clean and sustainable future.

  • The warm areas of our greenhouses are mostly equipped with energy-saving double glazing, so that less energy can be used.
  • About 50% of our energy consumption comes from geothermal energy. From springs to a depth of 2500 meters we pump water at a temperature of 85 ° C and use it to heat our greenhouses.
  • Rainwater is collected in special silos to be used to water the plants.
  • We use recirculation systems in order to collect and recirculate the water used in the greenhouses, which is thus reused.
  • We use biological pesticides as much as possible. This means that where possible, we use natural systems against diseases and infestations to the maximum and thus we can reduce the products for plant protection to an absolute minimum.