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  • 2 Post By OrchidAddict
  • 1 Post By Katherine
  • 1 Post By Brutal_Dreamer

Spot on Phal leaf

This is a discussion on Spot on Phal leaf within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Dear Experts, I made an effort to find pics on the website that resemble the ...

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  1. #1
    Velamen is offline Member
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    Default Spot on Phal leaf

    Dear Experts,

    I made an effort to find pics on the website that resemble the one below, but I didn't have any luck and though it easier to post this query. I realize I'm not the first one to have this problem with a Phal (below)!

    I bought this Phal already planted in the original plastic container, with a bark medium. I had cut the flower spike and pretty much water it every 1.5 weeks. It has sufficient but not too much light. I thought at first it was a sun burn but I believe its progression of size and color indicates something else....

    I'm not sure why my Phal has the spot it does in the pic below. If someone were to recommend that I cut out the rot, would that mean cutting, with a sterile razor, the area around the spot or would the whole leaf have to go. I hate the idea of depriving the plant its "real estate" available to photosynthesize. Plants do need their leaves! I also realize that sodium/cinnamon is required to seal the wound. The spot has grown and began as something of a light yellow and has no progressed to the dead zone at the bull's eye!

    I really appreciate your taking the time to read my query and examining the pic.

    Best of orchid growing to you!

    Don

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  2. #2
    OrchidAddict's Avatar
    OrchidAddict is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    I think your initial instinct of sunburn was actually correct. I'm looking at the leaves of your plant, and they have prominent purple tinges at the edges of them. The root tips are also deep purple. The hyper-pigmentation is a sign that the plant is receiving high light levels (and not all plants show this purple tinge, but we got lucky with yours). The only problem is that purple-tinged leaves are right at the brink of getting too MUCH light, and it's a delicate balance to strike between getting the plant enough light to bloom without it getting too much sun. Sunburn can take a little while for the full damage to become apparent, and often it first appears as a lighter, yellow spot, then progresses to the black spot you have in the center, which is basically just cells that have died due to the burn. The yellow spots don't ALWAYS turn black, but if there's been enough damage done to the sunburned area, those cells will eventually die, leaving you with the black spot in the center, which is basically necrotic tissue that is slowly spreading.

    I had a plant that got sunburned, and leaves were still going bad three weeks later, so the progression of this wound is following the path of a sunburn-type injury. This type of injury is likely going to continue to spread, and will eventually overtake the leaf.

    Heat could also be an issue. Do you grow this one next to a window? It looks like it's on a table by a window. If it's really close to a window, the light coming in can burn the plant even if it's only really hitting it for a short time. Is there any direct sunlight touching the leaves during the day? Phalaenopsis plants like a bright room, but not direct sun.

    When you have your next sunny day, at the brightest part of the day, feel your Phalaenopsis leaves to see if they are warm to the touch. If your leaves feel warm, they are in danger of literally "cooking." I accidentally left a Phal too close to a window for a couple of hours one afternoon, and the heat cooked the edges of three leaves. Fortunately, those were easy to remove because they were just the edges, but I have other plants that I've had to remove more leaves from, and they're pretty tolerant to leaf removal. Your Phal will bounce back after you remove the damaged leaf. But I would remove the leaf sooner rather than later, because that wound WILL continue to spread, and eventually the plant will lose the leaf anyway. And the longer it has a wound on it, the more likely it is to contract a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection through the wound. You don't want your plant getting a secondary infection on top of this.

    I would cut slightly below where the lowest yellow part is. Your plant will bounce back; Phals are hardy. But I would back off the light for a little while to let the plant recover. It needs to heal, so moving it to a slightly lower-light spot for a while is a good idea. Then you can slowly bring it back out to a higher-light area.

    Good luck!! I know it's sad to cut off a leaf, but your plant should bounce back just fine with your tender care.

  3. #3
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    Yes sunburn

  4. #4
    Velamen is offline Member
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    Thank you, Jen, for your detailed account! Just so you know, I moved the plant to a reading lamp to photograph it. I have grow lights under which the Phal was laboring. I have two trays of hanging grow lights, which, at the time of their installation, carry T5 bulbs with a total of 13K lumens. I have 3 cattleyas and a dendrobium kingianum and a calanthe vestita. These latter plants require more light as you know. Now I had moved the Phal to a place in between the hanging lamp trays as I do realize that Phals don't need as much light, but, as you point out, there is purple on the leave edges and the root tips so I still have too much light on it. Thanks for teaching me to read the signs!

    I will remove the leaf below the area of injury and let her recover under real sunlight, far from the grow lights.

    Thank you, Katherine, for you confirmation. P.S. love the dog!

    I really appreciate this!

    Thanks,

    Don

  5. #5
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    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Thanks Jenn! Yes, sunburn on that leaf.

    cheers,
    BD

  6. #6
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    I'm glad to hear sunburn from the more experienced growers. I had a similar injury to a leaf last year that I had attributed to it hitting the edge of the plastic pot (that is exactly where it was) as it was under lights and shouldn't have been sunburned. I eventually lost the leaf. Next time I'll cut it back to below the injury. Can that sort of injury also be to physical damage?

  7. #7
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    If you have a bit of purple on your Phals. it indicates that it is happy. I have one that has all its leaves purple, i don't know why, it is growing with the rest of my Phals. I just consider it an anomaly, as it blooms and thrives.

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