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colored leaves

This is a discussion on colored leaves within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Can anyone tell me whats going on. My wife let the poor thin dry out ...

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  1. #1
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    Default colored leaves

    Can anyone tell me whats going on. My wife let the poor thin dry out so bad that the leaves started to wrinkle and were limp. Is the damage from this or is it from the sun light that it gets. It could be natural die off but I never had so many leaves go at once on a plant befor. Its had this off colored leaves since the fall. The plant is starting to bloom with new leaf growth but the leaves seem to be stunted. I've added some peat to its mix last fall and I was able to get the leaves to plump back up but the color is still off. The plant looks so sick like its in pemanent state of dieing, but never does. This was one of my first orchid so everything tha I've learn't, this poor thing when't through. It sat on the window sill all winter, could it have gotten a touch of frost, the leaves or not mushy. Since the cold winter could it have gone through a dorment stage and losing its leaves and now starting new.

    I have to many questions and not enough answers. Your opinions please.
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    I would be checking my root system and looking at moving it away from the windows. The big round black spot looks like way too much sun and as it is in spagnum perhaps the middle is deteriorating. Often with Phals, they do not clean out the old potting stuff completely and it leaves a little 'time bomb' waiting for you. It's a common trick around here....that way about the time the flowers are done the plant is dying and you come back for a new one. No wonder so many people get frustrated, eh?
    Connie

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    The spagnum is just on top. I have a ceiling fan that was drying out the bark medium that I transplanted it in last year. The moss seams to help slow the air movement over the pot. The big black spots I suspected to be from the sun last year so I moved it to an indirect sun facing window. Thank you.

    I'll move windows again and remove the moss after I repot to check the roots. Please stay posted. Hpoefully I won't loose the spike.

    P.S. the sellers of these orchids do the same thing here, planting them in moss so they die after blooming. So I learnt to repot any new orchid.

  4. #4
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    The foliage of plants that are deficient in magnesium will turn red when stressed, in your case exposed to cold. Check to make sure that your fertilizer has Mg trace elements. If not, you can add Mg to your fertilizer. I use Epsom Salts at a rate of 1 tablespoon per gallon.

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    Thanks Connie: I know its the roots I should check first but since it was spiking I didn't want to disturbe it. With your suggestion I did. I found that I missed some peatmoss at the base of the plant. I don't know if its to late, it looks pretty black. I removed all soft squishy roots and dusted with cinnomon, as I read in this forum. Removed the three dying discolored leaves and repotted into new bark medium less the spagnum moss. I returned it to it window since I think this was a root problem.
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    I'm useing a 25-10-10 fertilizerfor orchids. it has 0.05% Mg. Hopefully that is enough. I'm thinking that I don't fer. enough. I do it monthly, should I be doing it weekly or even every watering?

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    With the stress of forming new leaves and putting out a spike, I would be fertilizing every watering. Just dilute it to half the strength listed on the label of the fertilizer container. Good photos! They show there were some rotted roots, but the plant still has a good root system remaining. What are you doing to increase humidity around the plant? I have my phals sitting about 1 foot away from a south window in a tray of marbles (on top of the marbles) with tap water. The evaporation of water from the tray increases the humidity in the area of the plants. That might help slow down the drying out of the bark mix too rapidly.

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    I have it sitting in a south window in a window box lined with lexan. I water and whatever over flows, drains fills the drip try and runs into the window box. The box is only an inch or so deep.
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    cherublace is offline Senior Member
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    Nice window box. Clever use of that sill.

  10. #10
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    What I do when I see that black stuff...Cut as far up as you can without sacrificing healthy roots...make up a bucket of Physan 20 or equivilant fungicide and for an adult plant leave it to soak for up to 10 minutes. I then hang them upside down off something where there is a ton of air movement to let them dry out for about 24 hours. I also soak all my new potting materials and pot in the fungicide for 10-20 minutes and allow them to air dry as well. I also spray a systemic bug killer on the entire plant while it is drying upside down....making sure to get the crown soaked well as well as the leaf axils. The air movement should dry the plants leaves within about 30-45 minutes... Next day repot using new materials that were soaked. Run it a little more dry than usual, and even when it looks terrible resist the urge to overwater. Instead mist the plant every couple days slightly to help it keep from dehydrating too bad. After about two weeks of light waterings, go back to your regular schedule. The first watering go ahead and add some superthrive into the water (a few drops go a long way) and that will help the plant grow new roots to replace the rotted ones. When you are being mean and doing all this, once the plant has dried well enough, place it in a slightly more shaded area than normal until you go back to normal waterings to help it adjust. I have many phals that have survived this mean treatment, only a few go ahead and croak. Patience is the main factor here and keeping your hands off the water bottle....
    Good Luck
    Connie
    ..hopefully if i missed anything important the senior members will help me out...

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