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Phrag help, PLEASE!!!! :-)

This is a discussion on Phrag help, PLEASE!!!! :-) within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; My Phrag Penns Creek Cascade, which I bought about 6-9 months ago, has been growing ...

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  1. #1
    JOHNnDC's Avatar
    JOHNnDC is offline Senior Member
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    Default Phrag help, PLEASE!!!! :-)

    My Phrag Penns Creek Cascade, which I bought about 6-9 months ago, has been growing nicely, got 3 new growths since I bought it, but it's been having some strange problems as well.

    1. What almost looks like rust or something on SEVERAL of the leaves:

    <img src="http://www.hatecrime.org/orchids/leaf.jpg">

    2. I keep getting some kind of nascent rot at the base of the plant right where the outermost leaf meets the base of the plant. I noticed that when I put pressure on the area that's dark, water came out (never a good sign I suspect), meaning there's water between the leaves down deep (which is weird because it looks like a tight seal between the base of the leaf and the base of the plant):

    <img src="http://www.hatecrime.org/orchids/phrag6.jpg">

    3. I've also noticed a few of the leaves have small almost transparent circles on them - not totally transparent, but you can see where the color is lighter:

    <img src="http://www.hatecrime.org/orchids/phrag7.jpg">

    I've just sprayed the entire plant with Orthenex (fungicide, miticide and insecticide), and I hope that will address the problem, unless this is a culture problem as well. Diagnoses and suggestions please?!

    Thanks, JOHN

  2. #2
    SlipperFreak is offline Junior Member
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    Default Maybe Some Help..

    If water is settling in the crevices of the leaves I'd say more air circulation. Also yellowing of the leaves or some of them turning brown could be from too much fert. Hope this helps.

    SlipperFreak

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    uncasteeb is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    Wish i could help m8.
    Top piccie looks like sunburn scars.
    Do you mist the plant @ all ?

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    I might not be the best person to attempt an answer, as I am very hands-off on the orchids, and pretty much have resigned myself to benign neglect. Other than watering, they pretty much get ignored because I just don't got the time. But here's 2 cents anyways, which coincidentally is exactly what I have in the bank account.

    I don't know what the top is, but I get similar markings very occasionally on both paphs and phrags. Don't know what it is, but it never seems to progress much. Once in a while I'll cut off the leaves if they're really unsightly. I suppose it could be an infection of some sort, but I grow on a windowsill, and spraying with noxious stuff is out of the question.

    The leaf base looks a lot like those on my long-petalled phrags, both species and hybrids. I don't notice fluid coming out though (nor have I really pushed on them), but if they're not rapidly progressing, I doubt it's a serious rot. The plant looks healthy enough with all those new growths.

    High light might cause sunburn and "light"-colored/mottled leaves, I think.

  5. #5
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    John, the top pic looks like burn on some areas of the leaf that were already tissue-damaged. Those sunken spots just happen every once in a while, on some plants and not others. But if high light hits them, they'll turn brown.

    There's not much you're going to be able to do about that, since, to keep the problem in your middle pic from happening, you're going to have to *increase* the light as well as the air movement. If it were me, I would unpot the plant and then spray it with the disease control, pulling the leaves outward carefully so that you can spray as close to the base as possible without damaging anything. That kind of juicy rot is difficult to get rid of, so be sure you use your spray at least three times in succession, every week. If you leave it unchecked, you'll get a watery brown patch on the leaf that spreads from the base outward, and the stuff will eventually kill the entire growth. For some reason though, it doesn't seem to attack the new growth, which was always puzzling to me.

    The mottling in your bottom pic may also be caused by too little (or no) trace elements in your fertilizer. Try switching to Peter's CalMag or MSU's fertilizer, or start adding a little calcium and magnesium to your fertilizer solution once a week.

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    Thanks Louis, and all. I'm definitely going to treat it several times. Louis, what's the advantage of unpotting it before treating it?

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    I always unpot plants that don't seem to be doing well, just as a matter of course. Unpotting lets me inspect them better, and as far as spraying goes, will let you reach areas you'd have a harder time getting to if the plant was still potted up.

    (On top of that, fresh media never hurts...) Just a habit I've gotten into, I guess.

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    Good points, and being a phrag it shouldn't mind the repotting. I currently have it in a chc mix with some spahg thrown in. Any suggestions on potting medium?

    I have chc, sphag, clay pellets, bark, and some Aussie Gold that Ki gifted me. The plant never seemed totally happy since I bought it, though it did grow 3 new fans so I guess it wasn't totally unhappy. Just that the main fan, the leaves always seemed a bit limp after I got it home as compared to when I first bought it. And now this.

    Any thoughts on the amount of wetness this particular phrag likes as well?

  9. #9
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    I grow all of ours in CHC, charcoal, fine bark, and sponge rok, and the mix is heavy on the CHC for the moisture retention. I used to put the pots in little trays of water--they would grow like crazy for two-three months immediately after and then slowly go downhill, so I quit doing that. Now I just make sure the medium stays consistenly damp, and I've got an extra oscillating fan blowing on them all the time. I've never used Aussie Gold, but I imagine it would work just fine. The only reason I put together our own mixes here is that I can't be watering every day or trying to keep track of who needs water more often, who needs it less, etc. I just adjust the mix for a particular type of plant so that I can water everything at the same time once or twice a week and know that the ones that need to stay wetter will do that.

    There are only a few phrag species that like their roots constantly sopping wet, (besseae, for instance, loves water) but none of the hybrids I know of do--at least, they don't for me. So all the Phrags here are kept consistently *damp* but never allowed to dry out between waterings, and that's worked out really well for us.

    Penns Creek Cascade is (caudatum (or warscewizianum) x longifolium) x wallisii, none of which (to my knowledge) enjoy standing, stagnant water, so make sure you're not keeping yours sopping wet. Here is a thread where some Phrag water issues are discussed; you can find more if you do a search here using the keywords "phrags" and "water." Hope this helps some!

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    Thanks, again. I'll definitely repot, probably in the same mix it's in. Interestingly, as an aside, my longifolium cross LOVES s/h, which I heard was the case.

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