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Paph help

This is a discussion on Paph help within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I have some paphs that are blooming and some about to bloom. I have problems ...

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  1. #1
    edcramer is offline Member
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    Default Paph help

    I have some paphs that are blooming and some about to bloom. I have problems with the foliage going brown and traveling back toward their bases. I think that it is a bacterial problem but I am not sure. Would a fungal spray help? How would I go about preventing this? Ed

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    OrchidTraci is offline Senior Member
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    I think maybe humidity might be the issue for your paphs. Are they one humidity trays/ pebbles?

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    edcramer is offline Member
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    Default Paph help

    Hi Traci, no my plants are really on the dry side. I mist them early in the day. My condo is all electric and its usually rather dry, especially in the winter, but the summer is a little better. I have a tiered set-up on my flora cart shelves. the large bottim tray contains egg crate and I do try to get this filled with water. I have a large floor model circulating fan going. I did notice that the paphs in my Orchidarium do NOT have this problem and the humidity is much higher in there??? Please help if you can. Ed

  4. #4
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    the dreaded bacterial basal rot starts at the base, which is why it is so deadly. brown that starts distally and travels towards the base is less likely to be bacterial, although not impossible. if you have a picture, it would help greatly. other things that can act this way are certain types of fungal infections, "leaf tip die back" associated with overfertilization and/or underwatering, and normal aging.

    one more thing: bacterial rots can be easily diagnosed by taking a whiff of the brown part. if it doesn't smell like anything, then it's not bacteria. if it's bacteria, you will know from the smell. that's a useful way to determine if immediate surgery is necessary.

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    Maybe try some gravel trays or a small humidifier to boost the humidity.

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    i do not think that low humidity will directly cause paph leaves to turn brown...unless the increased transpiration associated with low humidity leads to effective underwatering, which then leads to leaf drop directly as the plant uses the fluids in the lower leaves or, through increased relative salt concentrations in a dry pot, leaf tip die back.

    in any case, if there is no readily apparent cause, the next step is to inspect the roots to make sure that the plant is capable of getting enough water.

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    edcramer is offline Member
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    Default Paph help

    Hi, I noticed that only thin leaved plants seem to have this. Luckily not all plants seem to have this. I don't have a the equipment to send a picture. I am a bit stumped? I do not think that at it is the case of an older leaf. I do mist my plants could this cause a problem? I mist only early in the day and I do have a large floor fan going. Any suggestions are most appreciated! Ed

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    Quote Originally Posted by edcramer
    Hi, I noticed that only thin leaved plants seem to have this. Luckily not all plants seem to have this. I don't have a the equipment to send a picture. I am a bit stumped? I do not think that at it is the case of an older leaf. I do mist my plants could this cause a problem? I mist only early in the day and I do have a large floor fan going. Any suggestions are most appreciated! Ed
    if you have low humidity (40% or less), even heavy misting in combination with a fan will not pose a problem. the leaves will be completely dry in a few minutes, and even if you get water in the leaf axils, that won't be a problem with the air movement (and wouldn't cause leaves to die back--if water in the leaf axils leads to rot, it's the basal rot variety). when my humidity dips below 45%, i mist heavily, morning, day, even evening (not so heavily). the fan prevents any issues. in fact, the vast majority of my basal rots occur during hot, humid days when the fan is inadvertently left off (or during an nyc power outage last year).

    if it's not just an older leaf then i would check the roots immediately. i don't think a drench of any sort is indicated until you are certain the roots are fine. checking the roots will not harm a plant with good roots, and is often diagnostic. if the roots are fine, then maybe it would be time to try a fungicide or something.

    btw, do the affected areas smell unpleasant?

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    Default Paph help

    Jason, I can see the roots through the pots and they look healthy! Ed

  10. #10
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    Sometimes it's tempting to give "just a little bit more" fertilizer when a plant is in bud, to make the blooms show better. If the brown is starting at the leaf tips and travelling back toward the base, the problem is more than likely going to be either fertilizer burn or fungus. If it's only happening on the plants that are in bud or bloom, I'm going to go out on a limb and say you're either giving those too much fertilizer, or are not watering enough between fertilizations, and the salt content is building up in the leaf tissues.

    It won't hurt anything to spray with a fungicide; just don't let any of it touch any blooms or buds. The chemical tends to "burn through" the tissue on flowers and kills them.

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