i bought a new phalaenopsis orchid and through the clear plastic pot i could see condensation and dark green moss or algea stuff also covering the roots. i thought this was rotting or something so i re-potted the whole thing and washed the roots out. i noticed the main clump of roots just dissolved away, like mush with a black thread/stringy thing. any other roots which were dried out or brown, i cut away. what does root rot look like for both types of orchid? what is the term 'spike'? when/how/much do i cut the flower stems back after flowering? on each 1 of my phalaenopsis & miltonia orchids, after flowering, the main flower stem has just dried up, is this normal? what should i do next? also, i'm having difficulty in finding the 'bark' like what the plants originally came with when i bought them. i went to one garden centre and they only had 1 bag of orchid compost which had bark mixed in. when i opened it, it just looks exactly like normal compost with very little bits of bark in it. i'm scared that this stuff is not 'open' enough for the roots to 'breathe' in???