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curious spots on my phal

This is a discussion on curious spots on my phal within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I recently noticed on some spots on the underside of my phal . I have ...

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  1. #1
    gabi_borza's Avatar
    gabi_borza is offline Senior Member
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    Default curious spots on my phal

    I recently noticed on some spots on the underside of my phal. I have no ideea what it is, so I'ss send you some pictures, mabye you can tell. Spots are white, excavated and the plant doesn't look affectet by them. I mention that you must look at the margins of the leaf, not the center. In the center there is some physical damage. In the first pic I've captured the upside of the plant, which looks normal. Some advice please.
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  2. #2
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    hmmm, something is eating your leaves. check your pot for lil animals and rub your fingers alongside the leaves to see if it shows some reddish/rusty color.

  3. #3
    gabi_borza's Avatar
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    Default I think it is something else

    I've checked for little bugs, but the plant doesn't look like it's being eaten. The margin zones look like they are drying out, but I've seen it for over a month, it hasn't changed, it's the same, hasn't grown, hasn't shrinked. Idon't think it's a parasite. I have 3 plants, the other two are fine, if it was a parasite, the other plants would be infested as well. It must be something else. The plant is otherwise healthy, looks good.

  4. #4
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    I would guess you have spider mites. They are very tiny and usually appear where it is very dry. They 'like' phals. Take a damp, white paper-towel and rub the underside of the leaves gently. Then take a look at it. Do you see any red or orangeish color? If so, that is what you have. Increase the humidity around this plant.

    Sometimes pests will attack a weaker plant right in the middle of several plants and never touch the others.

    good luck.

    Cheers,
    BD

  5. #5
    gabi_borza's Avatar
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    Default Thanks

    Thank you for your answers. BD, I don't think that it is spider mites either. I'm a vet and I know how a mite looks like, unfortunatley animals have them too!! I think it could be chill injury. Ileft home for one week, to celebrate easter with my parents, and turned the heater off. I only had one plant than. The temperature could have dropped under 15 C, because it was very cold that week. Could it be that?

  6. #6
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    It could be cold damage, but that doesn't look like the cold damage I've had happen to a couple of Phals-- I had entire leaves go yellow and die off, it looked like super accelerated natural death. Although I've read that freezing/chilling damage can cause surface lesions and pitting.

    That certainly does look like the spider mite damage that Bruce and Ron suggested. Phals are notoriously susceptible to insect damage, especially mites. In the beginning of these infestations, you'll never see the webs or mites without a real good magnifying glass. And they pseudo-hibernate during winter. Just in case, even if you're pretty sure that it isn't mites, you could treat for them since it is fairly easy. Just wet down some paper towels with rubbing alcohol and wipe the leaves once a week for a couple of weeks, spray the mix as well. Or an even better treatment, if you're really feeling fancy, mix 20% alcohol with 20% all-purpose household cleaner (like 409) and 60% water to make a great miticide spray. It's good to spray your plants at the end of winter when mites become active--especially if you've had any new additions you've picked up during winter.

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    Default

    I know you don't think it is pest damage, but that was my first thought also. I had strange leaf damage on a phal awhile back and couldn't see anything else overtly wrong with the plant. That damage looks quite similar in places. It turned out to be thrips.

    Most of the time they were hiding within the leaf crown, damaging it as it grew. It wasn't until later when it flowered that they came out and munched on buds that I saw them. Spraying regularly with rubbing alcohol doesn't hurt the plant and can take care of a number of munchers. I haven't changed a single other thing about this plant and the new leaves and flowers look great.

    I would suggest it is worth a try if you can't find anything else obvious.

  8. #8
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    I've searched the internet for orchid diseases, and I read about all kinds of parasites. My plant had flowers for about 2 months, but there was no bud or flower damage. As I said before I left home for a week, in which time the temperature was surely below 15 C and the flowers started to fall down. I' ve checked for mites, thripes, but found nothing. The flowers and buds looked allright, until that after that week. I'll do a thorough search, but I haven't found any reddish spots on the leaves, no bud problems, nothing. And the leaf lesions aren't growing, nor shrinking. I saw this around 2 weeks ago, if I'm not wrong, and the spots are still on in the same areas, haven't modified at all.

  9. #9
    Undergrounder is offline Junior Member
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    It looks like mite damage - maybe not red spider mite, but mites nonetheless.. it's possible you could have had mites grazing on the underside that have moved on. Those shaped marks, only on the edges, only on the underside are typical of mites. Dried edges would show up on the top of the leaves as well, and cold damage doesn't really look like that either.

  10. #10
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    Default Thanks for advises

    Thanks a lot for your advises. I haven't seen any parasites on the plant, but I started treating it with isopropyl alcohol. I keep my plants in my room,. so I won't use any insecticides, other than alcohol, but i've read it works well on mites. I'm using a 70% dillution and read that it should be used once every 3 days, for several weeks. Is this info correct? If not, please tell me the correct usage.

    Thank you, Gabi Borza

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