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What's this brown goo?

This is a discussion on What's this brown goo? within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I bought this cattleya (Gaskelliana) last Feb, near-blooming-size, and I've got great hopes for the ...

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  1. #1
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    Default What's this brown goo?

    I bought this cattleya (Gaskelliana) last Feb, near-blooming-size, and I've got great hopes for the most recent growth.

    Then I noticed this brown spot. It's a little mounded, like someone dripped chocolate sauce on the leaf.

    The smaller blotches above and below the big, middle blotch are new in the last couple of days.

    Yikes! What is it and what should I do? I'm really dying for this guy to flower. Help!

    Julie
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    Julie, is the tip of that growth open enough to let you look at the inside, at the other side of the mound? If there's not a critter in there, did you recently move the plant into more direct light? The new growth is looking a little yellow at the tip, and pinkish on the second sheath down from the top. That kind of coloring usually indicates too much light too quickly, and the spot might be a burn blister, with a secondary infection setting in from the burned tissue and spreading.

    There's going to be no way to really fix it without cutting that part away, but if you do it carefully and sprinkle cinnamon on the cut part, bloom shouldn't be affected.

    We pull the shadecloth off the greenhouse here for winter, and while we were gone over Christmas, it snowed. The sun came out a day later and stayed out for several days while temps remained below freezing, and all that reflected light burned the leaves on several plants here. If there's snow on the ground where you are and the sun comes out, be wary of the same kind of situation occuring--intense, reflected sunlight coming in through a window, possibly while you're away.

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    I did move it to the windowsill, from the table by the window, when the growth started, because I thought my catts were sluggish to bloom wanting more light.

    I actually turned the new growth away from the window about a week ago (after the first spot), hoping to encourage it to grow more upright (rather than straight out towards the window).

    Is new growth more susceptible to burn? (I would guess so) And, if it is a burn blister (it's 3-d like a blister - not just a brown spot), should I cut it away? Or should I just move it back a bit from the window? It hasn't opened at all, so there's no way to peek inside.

    Thanks, Louis!
    Julie

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    New growth is a lot more sensitive, so any kind of intense light should be added gradually. I'd move the plant back from the window for now, in any case. Some folks go right to the knife and cut away damaged areas, but you don't need to do that unless the brown spots keep spreading even after you decrease the lighting. You might try rubbing some cinnamon and listerine around the blister to discourage fungus and bacteria, but if the spots grow and spread, you'll have to cut.

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    It's moved back. I'll hold on surgery and see if it continues, but it's been dusted in cinnamon.

    Thanks, Dr. Louis!

    Julie

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    The plot thickens...

    I think this is more than just a sun blister. On the windowsill, the catt was sitting next to my brassia verrocusa. I just went to water the brassia and noticed lots of goo, primarily on the undersides of 4-5 leaves. From the plant's position, it couldn't sun blistering. I'm attaching photos of the brassia. Some of the spots have the same rounded appearance as the catt's spot, so I'm assuming the brassia is the source of whatever this is.

    Julie
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    Could it be pseudomonas? Neem oil is good for both bacterial rots as well as fungi, so as a first step both plants are going to get a good spraying. I'm wondering if I should also cut away the spotted areas.

    Julie

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    Are the blisters watery? If they are, it *is* pseudomonas, and you'll have to cut away the bad parts by cliipping into healthy, green tissue above the affected areas. You've probably already done this, but check all your plants. When you're done with the surgery, wipe everybody's leaves down with listerine and dust all cut edges with cinnamon. (Or, use a commercial disease control product like Daconil.)

    I'm not a big fan of neem because I haven't noticed that it does much other than act as an insecticidal oil or plant polish. At least, that's been my experience with it here....

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    No, the blisters aren't watery, and they don't smell (as far as my cold-congested nose can detect).

    And the brassia isn't all blistered (just a few of the dark spots are). I haven't cut yet, but I think I will.

    I'll cinnamon and use listerine. I've been happy with Neem for critters, but have never needed it for crud before. I'll follow your judgement!

    Thanks,
    Julie

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