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Den Problem

This is a discussion on Den Problem within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; This happened in a week. At first I thought it was burned, but then discovered ...

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  1. #1
    Styx is offline Senior Member
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    Default Den Problem



    This happened in a week. At first I thought it was burned, but then discovered there was no way that could have happened in it's location. The leaf is not crispy, instead it is soft and shriveled like that. It's potted in volcanic rock.

  2. #2
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    LJA
    LJA is offline OrchidTalk Tech Admin
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    That's totally normal.

    Eventually, all the leaves on that cane will turn brown and wrinkled like that and then fall off, and if the process has already started, it can happen really fast, as in a matter of two weeks, or it can happen much slower. When it happens fast, people usually freak and start watering the hell out of the plant, thinking it's dying, and that winds up killing it. As long as the cane itself stays green - greenish yellow, there's a possibility it can rebloom, so don't cut it once it sheds its leaves.

  3. #3
    Styx is offline Senior Member
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    Thank you very much for helping me out. ^^; I had no idea they did that.

    Should I clip the leaf off? Or just let it fall off naturally?

    Should I be concerned because it's just STARTED it's bloom?

    Here's a photo of the entire plant:

  4. #4
    LJA's Avatar
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    No prob re: the help--it's what this place is all about.

    Dends use their canes and fleshy leaves for water and nutrient storage, a surplus they keep for the times they have to put out the most energy: blooming, and new growth.

    In a perfect world, you (the grower) are replenishing with water and fertilizer the energy the plant has to expend on those processes, and you're doing it in just the right amount so that canes don't shrivel and leaves on the blooming growth don't fall. Ideally, the newest canes in bloom keep all their leaves, at least until new growth has started at the base of them, with the leaves on the oldest growths being shed first.

    Since that's not what's happening here, the plant is using the energy it's got stored up to make up for some deficiency, which is why that leaf shriveled, and the one below it is starting to go next.

    It's really hard to take a plant like this out of its original environment at the grower's into completely different conditions (your house) without seeing some side effects. It'll acclimate eventually, but in the meantime:

    Make sure you're not overwatering or underwatering. Water should not be standing in that saucer that's been placed under the pot. These guys need to dry off (not dry *out*) between waterings, so make sure you're letting the roots do that. If a Q-tip or toothpick stuck down into the pot comes up wet, it's not time to water again yet. It should come up just barely barely damp before you rewater.

    Keep up with fertilizer. If the plant's been accustomed to having its expended nutrients replaced regularly and is now only getting straight water, it's going to take the nutrients it needs to bloom from its storage. If you're using orchid fertilizer, just follow the instructions on the box. If you're using houseplant fertilizer, dilute to 1/3 the manufacturer's recommendations and fertilize with that once a week.

    Judging from the redness of the canes (the tops, where the papery sheaths haven't protected them), the plant may be getting too much bright light. If it were me, I'd move it back from the window some since it looks like all the leaves are starting to go a little bleached out.

  5. #5
    Styx is offline Senior Member
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    Got it.

    It was purchased from __box store__ two weeks ago, so is it possible it suffered that loss there and I'm just now seeing the effects?











    edited by lja: we need to keep from naming commercial establishments....

  6. #6
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    Very possible.

    The plant still looks in decent shape though, so won't be hard to turn around.

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    Styx is offline Senior Member
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  8. #8
    catfan is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    It might be happier in a shallower saucer...might get a little more air circulation around the roots...

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    Styx is offline Senior Member
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    And update. Okay, it's been two weeks and I saw it again this weekend. It's gotten a lot worse. That leaf fell off and another one did the same thing then fell off. One of the blossoms died, and two more leaves are yellowed like that.

  10. #10
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    Sounding more and more like overwatering. Were the roots ok? Did you get a chance to check?

    I've got one here that I neglected to repot from the grower I bought it from. Watered it along with everything else and it lost every single leaf on every cane. Turns out, it was potted in mud and pebbles. It hasn't put out new growth from the base yet, but 4 or 5 keikis are forming at the nodes of the newest canes. So there's still hope if you can find out what the problem is and get it corrected.

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