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brown spot on paph and cat safe products

This is a discussion on brown spot on paph and cat safe products within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I have a cat, and I haven't quite reached the point in my obsessions where ...

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  1. #1
    LeGray is offline Member
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    Default brown spot on paph and cat safe products

    I have a cat, and I haven't quite reached the point in my obsessions where orchid>cat. One of my rescues is a lime green paph. Somewhere in the process of getting to Alaska, someone had staked the bloom upright, and as the blossom slowly immerged, it jabbed itself right through the jaw, making an unsightly (and unsaleable) blossom. I saved it from the dumpster, because I noticed that the foliage on this one appeared, well, quite lush. It even had a small cluster on the side, forming a new growth, which I understand is where the new blossoms come from. Most paphs, it's one growth, one flower, right?

    I didnt cut the flower off immediately, since I wasn't particularly bothered by the hole, and wanted to enjoy the bloom for a bit.

    After only a day in my compay, I noticed a spot on one of the lower leaves. It seemed small, it was brown. I shrugged it off, since I can't expect all the leaves on everything I own to be perfect, and the spot wasn't mushy at all, which would have sent up my "rot alert" flares. I hadn't even had time to water it, since it arrived. I checked the medium, and deduced it didn't need a watering yet.

    However, when I did sit down to water him proper -- something like four days later -- I noticed the spot was slightly bigger. I thought that possibly the lower leaf was dying, because it wasn't getting adequate light. A few days pass again, and this time the spot looks like a real problem. I dont panic, I figure it's a new plant and needs a little more attention. I cut the leaf off completely, totally removing the spot and actually cutting into healthy flesh, apply cinnamon, and give the plant a real look over. I notice a fair number of the lower leaves have these same spots, which are not circular, brownish, not soggy, and sometimes lined in yellow.

    I put the guy far away from the others and start daily observation. I google and can't find anything particularly useful, since all results always talk about harmful spots being mushy.

    I notice the new leaves on the new growth are getting the spots now, and they were on the other side of the plant. I notice a few of the top leaves have some edges of the same spot, also lined with yellow. There aren't LOTS of these spots, but it's obviously a problem that's starting to move around the plant.

    So I'm wandering around, and I find a thread here that talks about rust on paphs, and it rather sounds like the problem I have.

    See, I hate insecticides, because I rather value my cat's company. So I don't want to cut the rust off and apply potential kitty-killers to the leaves. Does my problem sound like "rust" to you? Is there something cat safe I can do to help this guy?

    I'm having no luck with paphs at all. One is dying because I keep tossing him off the shelf, and the other apparently has the measles.



    P.S.
    I have horrible insomnia, and often don't go to bed before 4am, which means I do a lot of junk online while I'm waiting for eventual sleep, sorry to crowd you guys.

  2. #2
    Jmoney's Avatar
    Jmoney is offline Senior Member
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    if you have a photo, it will help immensely in figuring out what exactly it is. It seems like it could also be sunburn or accumulation of fertilizer salts. But it's hard to say without seeing them.

    A good way to diagnose bacterial rot: take a whiff. If it doesn't smell like anything in particular, it's definitely NOT bacteria. bacteria will usually smell nasty, once in a while it'll smell fruity (which means it's pseudomonas).

  3. #3
    LJA's Avatar
    LJA
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    eidolon, no worries about "crowding:" there's lots of space for messages!

    Do you have (or can you get) any RD-20 or Physan? My understanding is that those are pet-safe once the product has dried. As Jason said, if you could post a pic, that would be a great help. If you have either of those two products, mix them with water at 1 Tbs per gallon, unpot your plant, getting rid of all the old media, and soak the plant in the product solution for 10 minutes. That usually clears up most things. Many fungi (including rust) can lurk in the media, so it's important that you repot the plant in fresh mix after treatment.

  4. #4
    LeGray is offline Member
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    I'm running off to work at the moment (slept in, not good), otherwise I'd post a bad picture of it for you to look at. Can't seem to get the hang of distance with the camera, since it seems to focus better so long as the camera is farther away from the object.... cheap digicam.

    Unfortunately, I have neither of the two products you've mentioned. Alaska gets really weird, really fast with most of the products we carry. Generally speaking, we don't carry specialized things. I'll poke my nose around for either of those two, and work on the pic for you later. Maybe tonight, even if I can't find the chemicals, I'll leech the medium...

  5. #5
    LeGray is offline Member
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    after a bit of struggle, i managed to get one semi-decent picture of one spot. most of the others appear simmilar, except they're in the middle of the leaf.

  6. #6
    LJA's Avatar
    LJA
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    Looks fungal to me, but it doesn't look like rust. If the lesions are on the edges, you can use a single edged blade and cut them out. For the ones in the centers, mix cinnamon with a little water so it makes a paste, and smear that over the affected areas, top and bottom. Before you do any of that, don't forget to repot. And while the plant is out of its pot, it wouldn't hurt anything to rub the whole plant down with listerine or rubbing alcohol. Then, repot in fresh medium, and go ahead and do the cinammon thing. Those would be your most "cat-safe" options.

  7. #7
    LeGray is offline Member
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    thanks, i'll do that. i've also cut off the flower. poor kid's had a tough life before me, and i'm not really sure that it's not leading a tough life *with* me.

  8. #8
    LeGray is offline Member
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    the listerine made the leaves go V shaped, is that normal? it's kind of an odd reaction, very fast, inside 5 minutes. i didn't shower the thing, i just misted it. i don't think i've ever seen a plant move so fast.

  9. #9
    LJA's Avatar
    LJA
    LJA is offline OrchidTalk Tech Admin
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    LOL! Same reaction to the stuff as our mouths have. The leaves will flatten out again slowly the next time you give the plant a drink of water.

  10. #10
    LeGray is offline Member
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    *laugh*

    "My .... plant.... is.... moving."


    It reminded me of a nerve plant.

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