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Funky, damaged leaf, Aerangis articulata

This is a discussion on Funky, damaged leaf, Aerangis articulata within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; This is an orchid I got a couple weeks ago. It had a little of ...

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  1. #1
    poetiscariot's Avatar
    poetiscariot is offline By virtue of the absurd
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    Default Funky, damaged leaf, Aerangis articulata

    This is an orchid I got a couple weeks ago. It had a little of this damage when it arrived, just on the edges and I thought was sunburn. It got suddenly much worse today. The plant is inside, away from direct sunlight and has been situated toward the outer part of a grow light's illuminated area.





    What's anyone think? (Other than "yuck!" I got that covered.)

  2. #2
    opaline's Avatar
    opaline is offline Senior Member
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    What a poor little bugger! Victoria!!!! Exactly how much of the visual damage occured/ increased whilst in your possession in the last 2 weeks. Its possible a bacterial, viral, fungal infection has struck the plant and seems by the pic its in the crown. Looks so similar to a Phal. Cell damage from sunburn, pest attack can also result in this way once the bad pathogens have entered a vulnerable area. Hope someone on here can verify it for you from their experience. If its viral its sadly doomed and hope your other resident plants are well faraway. Poor little Aerangis.

  3. #3
    poetiscariot's Avatar
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    I kind of doubt it's viral just because as far as I know, that's usually a slow-acting problem. It kind of looks doomed to me, anyway, though. :P It showed up with the two lower leaves looking dehydrated, as they are there, and a couple minor lesions on the leaf edges. Maybe three days ago, I thought, "huh, are those things spreading? that shouldn't be." Then this morning I saw it as the photos show. Plus, since I posted, I noticed a similar-looking lesion on the edge of my Howeara which was sitting near it, and I was waiting for someone to chime in with what they think it might be, but I may just cut that leaf off.

    :'(!

  4. #4
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    It looks like it might be bacterial. Pseudomonas, maybe?

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    Cut those leaves off of both plants - just to be safe. Dab the cut edges with sulfur dust or another sealer. It just for good measure.

    Cheers,
    BD

  6. #6
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    The top leaf on the Aerangis came off just by tugging at it -- not a good sign. I'll leave it away from the rest of my plants and see if it starts growing again, but my bet would be that it'll die. Cut off the Howeara leaf that looked affected. Added a little Physan to my misting water this morning, dusted both plants with cinnamon. . . but I'm NOT happy. One of the plants I got from this same seller was puny for its grex and showed mealybugs a few days after I got it -- it's also in quarantine. One looks skinny but I don't know the cross so I don't know whether that's abnormal or not. One was supposed to be one young plant and turned out to be two very young plants, which isn't bad, but not what I ordered and it does suggest they don't know what they're doing. Sometimes I do great buying online, sometimes not so great. :P

  7. #7
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    Doesn't sound good

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    Ya agree better remove the infected leaf do not let the black spot moving toward the growing area, I got similar problem this kinds of disease very difficult to eradicate and the plant will stop growing and dormant for long period of time.

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    It sounds like your Aer has crown rot (a Bacterial rot). I believe it's happened because water stayed in the crown (where the leaves meet) too long. It can be caused by watering too late at night or (and I think this is your problem) misting too heavily and or too often.

    Contrary to popular opinion, orchids should never be misted, unless it's to cool them - and then only if there is more than enough time for the water to totally evaporate before the temperature goes down at night. The benefits from misting are at best temporary - a brief rise in humidity. The problems are numerous, including what happened to yours. Anytime water sits on any plant there is a chance for bacteria or fungus to gain a foothold and begin to do their nasty jobs.

    In the wild, Aerangis, Phals, and almost all other orchids sit on a tree with their leaves parallel to the tree. This prevents water from accumulating in the crown and makes the water slide off the leaves (gravity). There's an important reason for this. Water that stays on leaves is not good. In fact it's bad, bad, bad. When we pot orchids, the leaves are parallel to the ground and the potting medium, causing water to stay on the leaves and to run towards the crown. Bad, bad, bad.

    Crown rot is unfortunately a death certificate, unless the orchid produces a new growth or basal keiki which is possible in Aer.

    Aer do much better mounted because of the tenderness of the leaves. You should also spray the rest of your collection with a fungicide/bacteriacide like Physan at the recommended strength. Too little no good, too much probably worse.

    Phal bellina and gigantea should also be mounted because they have the same tendency to rot because their leaves are very tender - especially when young. If mounting is impossible, tilt the pots as much as possible to help the water runoff and keep if from accumulating in the crown. Also, increase air circulation and never water late in the day....and remember, grasshopper, NO MISTING!!!!!!

  10. #10
    poetiscariot's Avatar
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    I did use Physan, carefully dosed as the bottle directs, over all my plants. The business about misting orchids or not, though, is one of the main pieces of commonly-held wisdom that hasn't worked for me. I watered them only through the pots, and did it regularly, even though it meant carrying them to my sink and back for an entire morning, and my whole collection was consistently dehydrated for a frustrating year-plus. I finally decided to experiment with doing most my watering by misting instead, and things have been growing much better for me since. I had some root rot issues last fall on two plants, so once it gets cool enough that I need to shut my windows, I'm going to start running a fan to keep air circulation up this year -- but for my other 30+ plants, misting has been working.

    I know it's not what people are supposed to do. I know the angles at which these kinds of orchids grow in the wild, but I don't have the space to do a lot of hanging mounts, so I do what I can, for example, yes, blowing water out of the crowns of my sympodial plants. I also know what causes crown rot and how it works, and that's why I already said I suspect the plant is a goner. I may continue to lose the occasional plant (and this particular one did arrive already looking sick), but on balance, misting really is better for my particular conditions.

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