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Ernesto

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I’ve noticed that the established roots of my paphs have no problem growing. Many of them have been popping off with new root tips. However, the new roots at the base of the plant always seem to abort themselves. So far I’ve tried wrapping a bit of sphagnum moss around the base of the plant and topping it with more bark, but it still seems to dry out after a couple of days. I have fans running constantly on a low setting directly at the my grow space, which I don’t want to change because since pointing fans directly, rather than indirectly, at my plants, leaf rot has disappeared. Still, the surface of the potting mix dries quickly.

Should I top dress with a mound of sphagnum moss? I admit that I’m a bit afraid of the stuff holding too much moisture and causing rot, but my conditions make for fast evaporation and I can’t think of another way to retain moisture near the new roots.
 

Ray

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The likely problem is either desiccation of the root tips by the dry medium, or poisoning due to mineral precipitation at the top surface of the medium. Something moisture-retentive can help both.

Referring to some other discussions here, have you considered rock wool? it won't decompose.
 

Ernesto

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The likely problem is either desiccation of the root tips by the dry medium, or poisoning due to mineral precipitation at the top surface of the medium. Something moisture-retentive can help both.

Referring to some other discussions here, have you considered rock wool? it won't decompose.

I’ve thought about it. There’s a guy local to me looking to let some go for cheap. I’ll hit him up on for his prices and go from there.
 

Ernesto

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I’ve had this stonei seedling top dressed in sphagnum moss for two days now and noticed this browning near the crown last night—cause for concern, or simply cosmetic damage?B97F0F1F-83BC-4597-AA3B-3F2C16AA5992.jpeg
 

TyroneGenade

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The likely problem is either desiccation of the root tips by the dry medium, or poisoning due to mineral precipitation at the top surface of the medium. Something moisture-retentive can help both.

Referring to some other discussions here, have you considered rock wool? it won't decompose.
Since someone was kind enough to resurrect this thread from the dead I may as well ask a question.

Ray, if the issue is mineral precipitation, how do you feel about removing the top layer of medium and replacing it? The plants don't like being repotted but the top layer could be removed without disturbing the roots and then replaced with fresh medium.

Thanks
 

abax

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Tyrone, you might try a small two gallon Vicks vaporizer in the growing area. The Vicks is cheap and will keep
the air moist without piling on the sphag. The higher humidity will be better for you too.
 

Ray

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Since someone was kind enough to resurrect this thread from the dead I may as well ask a question.

Ray, if the issue is mineral precipitation, how do you feel about removing the top layer of medium and replacing it? The plants don't like being repotted but the top layer could be removed without disturbing the roots and then replaced with fresh medium.

Thanks
While that might be a temporary fix, it is fighting the symptom and not the cause.
 

Carmella.carey

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I would think its lack of moisture. Don't be afraid of sphagnum I grow standard cattleyas in the stuff and water thrice a day in the growing season. I have noticed that some green leaf paphs and phrags bruise very easily near the base of the fan.
-Patrick
 

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