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  • 1 Post By orchidsal
  • 1 Post By Melanthis
  • 1 Post By tucker85

Orchid leaves are starting to die.

This is a discussion on Orchid leaves are starting to die. within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I've had this Phalaenopsis Orchid for five years and have moved with it several times. ...

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  1. #1
    Melanthis is offline Junior Member
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    Default Orchid leaves are starting to die.

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    I've had this Phalaenopsis Orchid for five years and have moved with it several times. At all of the locations, the plant has done well and bloomed on a regular basis. My most recent move took me to Alaska and over the winter I could tell that it was not getting enough light. It sits in an East facing window and once the days started getting longer, it predictably started looking healthier and eventually started flowering. Because it is usually cloudy, it does not get a lot of direct sunlight but rather many hours of indirect light. Recently, the bottom two leaves started dying and I'm concerned that the top two aren't looking so great. I wouldn't be concerned if it was just one leaf dying, but I don't want to lose the whole plant. I've watered it the same over the past five years (about once a week) and it seems to work so I don't think root rot is a problem. I believe the last time I repotted it was around November. Although this pot is relatively large, the plant has lived in it for at least 3 years without any problems. I'm tempted to go ahead and repot it now so I can check out the roots but I don't know if it will help and I hate to see the blooms die prematurely. Although it has produced blooms, I don't see any signs of new leaf growth. What do you guys think? Does the plant otherwise look healthy? Will repotting it now help it out? Is it possible that it is getting TOO much light?

  2. #2
    kiwiorchids's Avatar
    kiwiorchids is offline Plant Nut
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    I would actually say it might be root rot, considering you are living in Alaska and it is moss. If you have just moved from a rather dry area to a rather cold and damp one like Alaska, you may be watering it too much, even though it was probably just enough in the previous location. The only way to see is to just excavate some of the moss (i see you are using moss, not my personal choice for a phallie, but if it works for you ) from the roots and check, go right down if you need to. Remember, that moss takes a long time to dry, and phallies like it moist, not wet or damp. I could get away with one watering every few weeks.

    The other thing it might be, is the lower leaves may just be spent. It happens frequently, and they just turn brown and drop off very easily with a short gentle tug. This is basically meaning that the plant has decided to suck it dry of any nutritional value and then drops it. Nothing to worry about if that is the case.

    And no, i dont think it is getting too much light, in my experience, a phallie starts to look nasty when it is getting only direct sunlight.

    But you could try repotting now, but i would leave it a bit longer and repot only as a last resort. If you do repot though, i would either try 1:1 ratio of chopped sphag (you can actually buy compressed blocks-try shaving off the compressed dry sphag with a sharp knife) and medium-course bark, 1:2 ratio of chopped sphag and bark, or straight bark.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    orchidsal is offline Senior Member
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    Jordan just gave you very reasonable, sound advice. At this stage of the game it would be hard to improve upon it. The only thing I will add is that in your newer northern location that ceramic pot may also hold moisture to long. Clay or even plastic with lots of drainage holes (bottom and sides) might be better. The best of luck with this! AL

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    Melanthis is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you for the advice! If I find root rot, should I go ahead and repot now (and cut the bad roots)? Or should I just reduce the amount of watering? I don't know how far the plant can go before it is unrecoverable.

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    Melanthis is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you for this! I'll go look for a new pot within the next few days.

  6. #6
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    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melanthis View Post
    Thank you for the advice! If I find root rot, should I go ahead and repot now (and cut the bad roots)? Or should I just reduce the amount of watering? I don't know how far the plant can go before it is unrecoverable.
    Yes, repot now. Save the orchid plant.

    cheers,
    BD

  7. #7
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    tucker85 is offline Senior Member
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    You've already received some good advice. I would only add that you improve your chances for success if you use a much smaller pot. I would say a pot about half that size. Good luck.

  8. #8
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    nen
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    I agree, Good Luck and keep us posted!

  9. #9
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    I had a very similar issue with one of my phals a couple months ago and I was told it was "brown rot". I removed the bottom leaves which turned yellowish and covered the rest of the plant with hydrogen peroxide and didn't have any more problems.

  10. #10
    PetSlayer is offline Senior Member
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    Hello!
    I think that both Jordan and Al have a point, but because I experienced similar problems when I moved my phals up north, maybe my tips could help as well.

    First of all I think you do have a light issue. Light in the far north is not orchid friendly most of the year. You have periods when you barely have night and viceversa. The sun is much stronger, and from about mid february to mid october you have a very diffrent spectrum, it feels stronger. I know my phals hated it and refused to bloom for almost 2 years after I moved. The way your leafs look, i'd say you have too little night/day is too long. Mine started to get better when I hid them behind the darkening courtains for about 7-8 hours a day and had them at the same time rather deep in the room during the day.

    I experimented a lot with them since I moved and the only things that got them going were: green transparent plastic pots(holeless), Leca at the bottom(aprox 1/3 of the height of the pot ), orchid compost ca 2 cm above, then orchid, did not push the compost much, the roots have a lot of space around. I water at the level of the leca when I see the mist on the pot walls has vanished and shower once daily in winter, more in summer. According to my measurements the air in the house is dry enough to make the water dissapear completely in ca 30 min.

    In time, all of them grew their roots deep in the leca and despite the fact that they have wet feet more or less I didn't get any rot when I refreshed. Weird climate.

    Hope it helps! Sorry for the bushiness of the reply

    Laura

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