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Scaphosepalum microdactylum losing leaves

This is a discussion on Scaphosepalum microdactylum losing leaves within the Genus Specific forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hello all: I have a small 6" cork slab of Scaphosepalum microdactylum that I purchased ...

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  1. #1
    OrchisAmor's Avatar
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    Question Scaphosepalum microdactylum losing leaves

    Hello all:
    I have a small 6" cork slab of Scaphosepalum microdactylum that I purchased back in March 2014. It seemed to be doing great - producing new leaves; however, recently, in the past month or so, it started dropping leaves. As far as I can tell I don't have any sign of fungal or bacterial growth as the leaves are still green when they fall off! The moss that it is tied to the slab with looks good. I try to keep the humidity over 70% (usually around 80-90%) with good air flow and partial indirect light (low light). I water it every day with distilled water as I was told that it should be kept moist. I fertilize weakly when I do fertilize - which I do only about every 10 days or so.

    Does anyone have any idea at what's happening? Are there any suggestions to help me try and keep this little guy going? I'm so excited to see if I can get it to bloom because the blooms look awesome!

    I haven't figured out how to post pics yet, which I know might help with suggestions, but basically the plant looks okay other than the nice green leaves are dropping (pretty much a leaf about two times a week.) And there aren't too many left.

  2. #2
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    Could it be a pest? Mealybugs, for example?

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    ksriramkumar is offline Senior Member
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    Annette, a photo would help. a couple of thoughts
    1. some pest as mentioned by Mary.
    2. rot of root
    3. fertilizer burn
    4. dropping leaves are yellow. could it be lack of nutrition to newer leaves and plant is moving it from older leaves?

  4. #4
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    These ideas are greatly appreciated! Pests & root rot might be the problem, but I haven't been able to see any evidence of either -- however, I might take a closer look around the roots to see if pests or rot is the case. Or just treat with insecticidal soap to be sure?? This is my first slab mounted orchid so it's tied to the cork slab with clear-type fishing line. Should I take the line off to inspect or just pull some of the moss away? The leaves are nice and green and appear healthy when they snap off, so I don't have yellow leaves and the ones that drop are both new and older leaves.

  5. #5
    silverstoli's Avatar
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    Look at the edge where the leaves break off? Pics would help.

  6. #6
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    I'm working on getting some pics to show my poor little guy. But right now it's holding at 6 leaves of varying age (some older and larger, and some smaller newer ones). I inspected the roots as previously mentioned and they appear quite wet. I don't see any creepy crawlies moving down in the moss. The roots look okay - not quite green, more yellow-green but they aren't black. Since rot could be a factor, I wonder if my high humidity means that I dodn't need to water as much. I know that Scaphosepalum likes to be kept moist, but I wonder by watering it everyday, even though it's on a slab, if I didn't keep it too wet?? I tend to be an overwaterer, maybe that's the problem??

  7. #7
    78Terp's Avatar
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    Are the mounted orchids sphag/root ball dry before you water again?

    My mounted orchids have no issues being watered morning and evening. But they do dry out fully during the day. If they are still damp, I push off the watering until the next regular watering.

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