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Problem with Leaves

This is a discussion on Problem with Leaves within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I've been experiencing a lot of problems lately with the leaves on my orchids. I ...

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  1. #1
    orchid_fan's Avatar
    orchid_fan is offline Senior Member
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    Default Problem with Leaves

    I've been experiencing a lot of problems lately with the leaves on my orchids. I have posted 5 pictures at http://personal.anderson.ucla.edu/nancy.hsieh/orchids/ and am hoping someone can help diagnose the problem here. I grow all my orchids indoors, near the window, in about 75 degree daytime temperature. I water my plants about every 4-5 days in the springtime. The problems are as follows:
    1) "Cracked oncidium" - several of my oncidiums and odontoglossums have had their leaves crack along the length of their leaves. The leaves appear dry and brown right along the middle crease.

    2) "Dried Dendrobium" - the edges of the leaves dried out on two dendrobiums and one oncidium. Are they getting too much sun or not enough water? Or both?

    3) "Spot_Mtad" - My Miltonioda has developed little black spots on the tips (both top and underside) of its leaves. The spots are only on the tips of the leaves, but I fear they may spread further down. The miltonioda sits on a windowsill facing east. Is this ok?

    4) "spotty oncidium" - This Oncidium Sharry Baby has developed brown spots all over. I hear it may be due to watering with very cold water. Is this true? Could it be a virus instead? Will the spots go away once I treat it?

    5) "Yellow dendrobium" - One leaf on my dendrobium has turned completely yellow within 5 days. What caused this? The rest of the plant is healty.

    Thank you for any help any of you may offer. I really appreciate your advice!

  2. #2
    Paphraguy is offline Former User
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    Default

    I grow mainly Paphs and Phrags but I do have a huge Oncidium Sharry Baby and I have been told that it is normal to find spots on the leaves. Mine has a few spots and they don't really bother me or the plant that much.

  3. #3
    pretty_bug01 is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Dendrobiums are supposed to drop their leaves. It's no big deal.

    The mtad. that one looks like it is from sun. Again no big deal, but it in a spot with just a little less direct sun.

    And with the oncidiums, sometimes they just do that. Orchids aren't grown for thier foliage.

    I'm not sure about the other one (spotty), but it might be something serious. Take it away from your other plants in case of contamination. If the spots get bigger than it is either fungus, bacterial, or viral. I couldn't tell you.

    Oh! Welcome to the orchid forum.

  4. #4
    LJA's Avatar
    LJA
    LJA is offline OrchidTalk Tech Admin
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    Default

    Hi orchid_fan, thanks for posting!

    1. "Cracked oncidium" Oncidiinae are *notorious* for developing poor-looking foliage. Longitudinal cracks and splits will appear on the leaves, not only in the center, but outward from the center as well. It's worse in some plants than in others; the more "brittle-leafed" kinds have the biggest problems with that. If you've ever seen the leaves of a banana tree, they often look like hell too, with splits running diagonally from the center of the leaf out toward the edge. It's part of what the plant does and, while it looks bad, there's no a whole lot you can do to fix it....

    2. "Dried dendrobium" It looks like direct sun has hit these leaves and burned them. Before they got "dried out" looking, did they change color and get mushy? Or did the dryness just appear as it shows in the pic? This may be a fungus problem as well. What time of day are you watering? If you're watering close to evening, water sitting on the leaves overnight may be contributing to fungal growth.

    3. "Spot_Mtad" Those spots look to me like burn, as if direct sun hit the leaf when it was wet, and fungus subsequently infected the tissue. An east-facing window is fine as long as direct sun only gets in early in the morning.

    4. "Spotty oncidium" Again, it looks to me like sunlight hit a wet leaf and burned the tissue where water droplets were allowed to accumulate. It looks bad, but there's not a whole lot you can do to fix it. Sharry Baby and other Oncids will often develop a haze of spotting on their leaves, especially at the tips, when put into very bright light conditions after a winter spent in relative dimness. Research is underway to determine if this spotting is viral; if it is, then every Sharry Baby clone in existence is infected. There is no cure, so everyone just lives with it....

    5. "yellow dendrobium" Just part of orchid growing. It happens; dendros will often drop all the leaves on a cane when preparing to put out new growth or a flower spike.

    Suggestions: 1) To make sure that fungal infections aren't attacking your plants, take them outside and spray them with Neem or some other fungicide rated for use on ornamentals. 2) Water early in the morning in a location where direct sun won't beat down on the leaves before they're good and dry. 3) If any of these spots begin to spread, cut off the affected areas by cutting into the good (healthy) part of the leaf, a couple inches down from the problem areas. That often "stems the tide."

  5. #5
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    Default Thanks!

    Thanks to everyone who provided very useful advice. I will be more careful in the way I water the plants. I was feeling a bit ashamed while writing my original message because I felt like such a bad orchid caretaker. It's good to know that most of the problems are not serious. Thanks again!

    I'm looking forward to some good orchid discussions around here!

  6. #6
    LJA's Avatar
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    I was feeling a bit ashamed while writing my original message because I felt like such a bad orchid caretaker
    Lol!

    No need to feel that way. We've all been there.

    (And anyone who tells you they've never messed up with growing these plants is :toofull: )

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Thanks!

    << I was feeling a bit ashamed while writing my original message because I felt like such a bad orchid caretaker. >>


    Don't ever feel that way. The way I look at it, you are a better orchid grower for asking questions than letting them go and hoping for the best. TRUST ME, everyone has orchid problems, and if they say they haven't they are full of malarkey.

  8. #8
    TheEnigmaOfLife is offline Junior Member
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    Before you can successively grow orchids, you must first kill some .

    Good luck
    Chris

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by TheEnigmaOfLife
    Before you can successively grow orchids, you must first kill some .

    Good luck
    Chris
    That is the truth, and (unfortunately) I have had my share of orchid killing sprees. lol

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