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Help! I've a Black Thumb!

This is a discussion on Help! I've a Black Thumb! within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hi everyone! Just looking for a bit of advice for my three orchids. I live ...

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  1. #1
    Quinmutt3's Avatar
    Quinmutt3 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Help! I've a Black Thumb!

    Hi everyone! Just looking for a bit of advice for my three orchids. I live in CT USA, so thats the climate, and I water my orchids about once a week... trying to avoid overwatering. My Brassia 'Eternal Wind Summer Dream' is doing wonderfully, and I'm hoping it'll bloom this fall like its supposed to. However, my Dendrobium 'Burana Sunshine''s leaves are turning yellow and dropping off quickly. I've read that they lose their leaves when they are growing new shoots (which mine is)... is that right? Also, my Phaleanopsis 'French Spotted''s lower leaves keep shriveling and dying, and I'm wondering if its the humidity levels. None of them appear to have pests or diseases, and I don't overwater (once a week for my plants). Any advice would be great, thanks!

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    Lore's Avatar
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    Hi, I haven't had experience yet with Brassias or Dendrobiums so I can't help you there, I'm sure someone will be along shortly to give you some sound advice. About your phal, you say the lower leaves keep shriveling and dying? How many leaves so far? I think it is a natural process for the lower leaves to fall off to make room for new ones eventually. If it appears there is no damage other than the lower leaves turning yellow and falling off, then it should be fine.

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    Thanx Lore, unfortunately, it is the lower leaves that are shriveling, but I'm worried because I only have three leaves left with no sign of new growth!

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    If it's not just "shedding" of the lower leaves to make room for new ones, and you are very worried, how about repotting? When did you last repot? Bacterial root rot can cause shriveling of the lower leaves. I hope that's not the trouble, but if you haven't repotted in a long while, then you probably need to and this way you can check the roots and hopefully fix the problem. When you unpot it, if you find dark and soft roots, and especially if you see decomposing media, remove the media and all the rotted roots. Pot it in a smaller and clean pot. One that fits properly around the root mass. Let it rest a couple of weeks. Don't water for a few days to allow the roots a chance to seal and heal. You might want to use a more porous media. What do you use currently?

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    About the Dendrobium . they will lose old leaves . and like to dry almost all the way between watering , also hate to be repotted , the best time to do that is when new growth is starting at the base be careful of over potting it . Bright light some eary am. sun is fine if it is not to hot . The main reason they fail to bloom is not enough light .
    Brassias like Med. light , more water when growing and blooming , they also hate to be repotted same deal as the Dend. when there is new growth is the time to do it . Sounds like yours is doing fine . Gin

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    Yeah, it's best to check the phal's roots. Four leaves is considered as a minimum number of leaves for a mature healthy phal.

    If the roots are rotted, then putting it in a bag with a bit of sphag may help. Or just pot the plant (as said above), and put the pot in a bag. Humidity can help stressed plants.

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