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Spike turning black on Psychopsis Mariposa

This is a discussion on Spike turning black on Psychopsis Mariposa within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I have a Psy. Mariposa GV and it came with a 10 inch spike. I ...

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    Default Spike turning black on Psychopsis Mariposa

    I have a Psy. Mariposa GV and it came with a 10 inch spike. I have had it for a while now and it has grown considerably. I noticed last week that it has developed a black mark on the base of the spike which has grown and spread. I hope to God it isn't a virus.






  2. #2
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    many plants demonstrate similar markings that amount to nothing apart from mithering the hell out of us. On the otherhand perhaps applying a course of systemic fungicides products much like those for roses that have multti purposes. Atleast the feeling of doing something pratical may help your care approach of your plant. A good tidy up removing dead/ dried tissue, decayed media. Implementing a bit of cross -infection/contamination control may do well also. Are the roots good. Appears to have the appearance of a plant thats has faced the worst of two evils - damp and cold. I have never succeeded with these mule eared oncids.

    I would definelty consider some systemic action as soon as poss. Damaged tissue can become infected fungal or bacterial and worth a battle, but they do take hold strong so would avoid risk of water contamination from spills/dribbles/spray/misting on other plants until your more confident.

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    Thanks Opaline. I have removed the plant from the rest of my collection and I have rubbed the affected area with some hydrogen peroxide -for want of nothing else available right now. I hope that it isn't rot. It is very dry and I thought that rot was soggy or spongy. I hope that this is not the end for me with this one as I really do love it.

    Btw, I forgot to mention that I noticed today some sort of amber like secretion in the same place. It looks like clear honey so I don't know if that is important or not? Also the roots appear to be healthy.
    Last edited by Susie11; February 3rd, 2012 at 11:13 AM. Reason: additional info

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    If this were MY orchid...I would first cut off the spike, and then re-pot it. After taking it out of its pot, I'd cut off ALL dead or black plant material. I would then put it into another pot ( I use clear plastic with slits and drain holes ) and fill with fir bark which had been soaked in water overnight, perlite & charcoal. 60 %, 20%, 20%. I should include that any cut made on any orchid should then have sulphur put onto the cut. This kills any remaining bacteria. Then I would hope for better luck next year....Just MY opinion...Betty
    Last edited by espranch; February 3rd, 2012 at 07:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by espranch View Post
    If this were MY orchid...I would first cut off the spike, and then re-pot it. After taking it out of its pot, I'd cut off ALL dead or black plant material. I would then put it into another pot ( I use clear plastic with slits and drain holes ) and fill with fir bark which had been soaked in water overnight, perlite & charcoal. 60 %, 20%, 20%. Then I would hope for better luck next year....Just MY opinion...Betty
    Thanks Betty. I don't know whaty to do, it is just the spike that seems to be affected and I was wondering whether just cutting off the spike would be sufficient. I think the rest of the plant is ok so maybe I will do that. I only have a orchid compost mix that is very heavy on the coir -I think that is what it is- so I don't know if that would be any use. Either that or some spagh mixed in with it.

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    At the base of the spike where you noticed the infection first, has it spread on upwards spike only or can you see any blackened tissue dry or wet in any other direction on pseudobulbs or leaves. Bacterial infections will attack the vasccular/ cell tissues internally leaving damaged tissue as it spreads. certainly consider Bettys idea of amputation if the symptoms are isolated to spike only. A ruthless decision such as this maybe the best option but be sure to amputate at a point where all infected tissue can be removed which is why i would suggest a close look at the joint where spike meets bulb, if bulb has symptoms remove this to..

    Isolating the plant is a good move and when convenient or viable treat the collection as a whole with a systemic fungicide. The hydrogen peroxide is great for cleansing wounded tissue and keeping bad pathogens at bay even when operating on rotten (mushy) areas where the bad is removed and clean area is nursed with h.p. Hydrogen peroxide will do very little for bad bacterial invasion within the plant. The secretion is sugars, part of bio processes in plant, some plants even use this to survive by trading it with ants inexchange for their protection.

    Ive stubbornly tried growing this plant a few times. Infact, to shed some positive light on your dilemma the one plant i had greater success with had the spike removed on arrival reluctantly following the growing advice similar to that of the meconopsis poppy in its 1st year.

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    Wow thanks alot Matt for the info. It is heartbreaking to think that I might have to cut the spike but on closer inspection I can see that the blacknes has indeed spread up. I think it started from the base of the spike and has slowly continued up. It doesn't look as if the pbulb has any infection yet so I will amputate. . I only have the compost that you get in the garden centres around here so it is not very barky more coir like. Would this be o.k to repot in do you think?

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    Hi Susie11 I also got similar problem they attacked the pseudobulb from inside and I only know the leaves turned yellow and pseudobulb liquified, spraying with fungicide does help including wet oil and isolate the plant too.

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    Hi Susie, with any media for pot growing just ensure careful watering. You can cut slats in pot yourself and you can customize orchid compost with chopped up pieces of sponge or foam, polystyrene/ stryofoam. This will help aerate the media. I cannot pot grow any epiphytic orchid to save my life resulting in root rot issues all the time. Oncids dont like prolonged wet feet and this one prefers drier conditions anyway. Have a peruse carterandholmes. Good luck and try others, some orchids thrive with us while others struggle or perish. On our side of the pond Susie I would ensure good air circulation and restricted spraying/ watering as our damp/ cold/or war/ humid conditions are perfect for harmful pathogens, ironically the jungle/ tropical climates such as Malaysia/ phillipines also share these troubles but they just gey away with having no damp/ cold in their equation. If your collection is growing consider a regular monthly systemic fungicide/ pesticide program.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zainal abidin View Post
    Hi Susie11 I also got similar problem they attacked the pseudobulb from inside and I only know the leaves turned yellow and pseudobulb liquified, spraying with fungicide does help including wet oil and isolate the plant too.


    Thanks Zainal.

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