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phrag question

This is a discussion on phrag question within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; hi there phrag lovers (you know who you are!) i have a question/potential problem for ...

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  1. #1
    kewpie's Avatar
    kewpie is offline Senior Member
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    Default phrag question

    hi there phrag lovers (you know who you are!)

    i have a question/potential problem for your collective minds:

    i pulled off the very bottom leaflet of my phrag court jester (one of the ones that are a lot smaller than the larger leaves, that are mealy bug havens) and i found this rust-colored, sticky substance spread around the inside of the pulled off leaf and the base of the plant where the leaf was attached. like i said, its tacky to the touch, and is only on the areas of leaf-to-rest-of-the-plant contact. i cleaned off the plant with some hydrogen peroxide. should i do more? does anyone know what it is?

    help!

  2. #2
    Jmoney's Avatar
    Jmoney is offline Senior Member
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    It could be one of two things. A lot of phrags, especially the long-petalled types (Court Jester has a long-petalled species as one parent, if I'm not mistaken), will have a little bit of this sticky brownish stuff at the leaf base. It seems to be increased with high light levels and temps. It does *not* smell foul.

    The other brownish substance is the dreaded basal rot. It is watery, spotty, and very very ugly. It also stinks, and once you smell it once, you will know what it is.

    It sounds like you have the former, harmless brown stuff. Basal rot is usually not detected incidentally--the typical picture is the orchid grower seeing it and freaking out.

  3. #3
    kewpie's Avatar
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    the brown stuff doesnt stink, and it seems to be just on the surface of the leaves, not in the leaves.

    thanks, jason! im glad to know that its just a sign of high light (which long-petalled phrags love, right?).



  4. #4
    Paphraguy is offline Former User
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    That is quite normal and by pulling them off for no reason, you're inviting diseases.

  5. #5
    Jmoney's Avatar
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    Whenever a leaf starts to turn brown (as a part of normal aging), I usually pull it off at the base. Mostly because it is unsightly, although I suppose the brown parts can serve as bug incubators. But unless they start to die back, the lower leaves stay on.

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