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New roots drying out

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Ernieg96

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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.
 

Ernieg96

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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.
 

Ernieg96

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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
 

Ray

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That’s not the crown anyway. The “crown” it the center of the plant, where new leaves emerge.
 

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