Paph SOS!!!

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What did I do??? I've had my paph for a little over a month and it was doing great!!! I just noticed yesterday that the leaves are starting to get droopy and the flower is wilting. :(
Any advice will be GREATLY appreciated!
I water around once or twice a week, I stick a unsharpened pencil with the lacquer shaven off into the media to check for moisture where I can't see it. I made some kind of makeshift humidity tray by using a plastic saucer and filling it with some pond stones and then put water in the saucer but not so that the plant is sitting in the water, just on top of the stones.
Heather is right, sounds like a good idea to check on the roots. If the roots have rotted, they won't be able to get enough water to the plant, and it will suffer. There are ways to keep the plant alive, even if it has no roots, if you want to work at it a bit... but you should at least see if that's the problem.

- Matthew
What should I be looking for when I check the roots? (I'm only familiar with problems with phal roots!) I'm checking the roots right now and they are all stiff and "woody" with little hairs all over them. Pretty cool looking!

BTW... thanks guys for your help/advice!!!
Well, there should be roots :)
And it sounds like there are!

They should, like Phal roots, be firm and not soft and mushy, brownish, but not black. If they are mushy and hollow, they've rotted. It is nice if there are live greenish white tips growing.

As a new Paph/Phrag grower, I found that growing in clear pots was The way to help determine a) what was going on with my roots and b) how frequently to water. Being able to see what's happening, and if there is condensation and moisture in the pot is, in my opinion, invaluable. I strongly encourage new growers to try clear pots for peace of mind. [/soapbox]

Heather is right, if the roots are bad they will be MUSH. If they're firm, they're good.
The roots are not mush! Yay! What else could be wrong? Maybe I've just been so worried about overwatering that I underwatered? I'm such a newbie. :p
How about water quality? What kind of water have you been using for the paph?

My mom refuses to stop using treated well water with her lone paph, despite my insistance, and the new leaves are constantly flopping over. We have great well-water, but we add sodium hydroxide to bring the pH up to save the pipes. It is insanely bad for paphs in such high concentrations. Perhaps something similar is going on here?

Hey Stephen! Thanks for your reply! I use filtered water! My phals have been doing fine with it. How could I find out if this is a problem for my paph? I currently have two paphs and have been watering them with the same water, but the other one is doing fine!
maybe it's getting ready to bud so it's putting it's energy into that instead of keeping the leaves turgid?
Although you are using a humidity tray, I would get a hygrometer and check the humidity next to the plant. It should be at least 60%. I've been disappointed with pasive humidity devices in the past.
I have learned that underwatering and overwatering can make a plant look sick-it you have living roots-that's great, if you don't (like many of mine) repot, and hit with a bit of KLN-it is wierd because my top growth looked luxuriant but I rarely have any roots- I changed mediums and and increasing the air water cycle per the very helpful suggestions on this forum-they are sending out roots now. Also do not get water of your paph crowns-beware of overhead drippage from other plants-they really bumm out and get rotty diseases and then die
overwatering will kill a plant much faster than overwatering. symptoms are similar , though.
ElixirIce said:
I use filtered water! My phals have been doing fine with it.
What do you mean by "filtered water"? There are different filters for different purposes. If your filter doesn't filter out sodium, that could be the cause.

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