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Brassavola nodosa, leaves falling

This is a discussion on Brassavola nodosa, leaves falling within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hello, I recently purchased a mature B. nodosa grown in large pieces of charcoal. As ...

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  1. #1
    alex is offline Junior Member
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    Default Brassavola nodosa, leaves falling

    Hello,
    I recently purchased a mature B. nodosa grown in large pieces of charcoal.
    As I am unfamiliar with this growing medium, I decided to re-pot in orchiata & sponge rock (1:1 ratio). Roots were dipped in hydrogen peroxide, medium was inoculated with trichoderma and any roots stuck to the charcoal were included with the charcoal attached.

    The plant has been turning a purplish-black color and the leaves eventually fall. I have been watering once medium is close to dryness. Light levels are not the best in Scotland as we speak but I have moved it under some grow lights in case it helps with root recovery.

    My main concern is that this may be a disease that could affect other plants. It has been some years since I lost a plant but I may have been a bit too confident with repoting mid-winter.

    Any help would be appreciated
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  2. #2
    78Terp's Avatar
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    How long did all this take to happen? Unfortunately, I can't help with your problem. Ironically, I bought a blooming Brassavola nodosa yesterday at my local orchid nursery. It was grown in a clay pot. Hannah, the nursery orchid wiz IMO, said when she was told to pot them up in the clay pot, a large pot as compared to the seedling size, and to put them on the bright side of the Dendrobiums in the GH. She said she was surprised at how fast they grew into the pots (2.5 inch round). Then they grew spikes and moved out to be sold. Hannah told me to treat it like a cactus, water wise.

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    First off welcome to the orchid forum Alex!

    From what I can see of the pictures the media looks fine but I would agree with Harvey on the clay pot. The spoting on the leaves might just be too much water. Just as a precaution it would not hurt to treat with fungicide just in case.

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    Agree. B.Nodosa is grown more like a cacti. likes to get water when completely dry and likes to get dry fast. They do much better if mounted on cork and require high light to do better.

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    Given what we now know about B. nodosa, I would remove that sphag moss from the pot. That is probably the source of the purple-blackish issue. Also, consider repotting it to either a terracotta pot or mount it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 78Terp View Post
    Given what we now know about B. nodosa, I would remove that sphag moss from the pot. That is probably the source of the purple-blackish issue. Also, consider repotting it to either a terracotta pot or mount it.
    I agree. I got a B. nodosa 'Little Stars' a few months ago. I searched this forum for care and most people found that they die eventually if kept in pots. They do best mounted or in baskets. Mine is still in its original small plastic pot with large pieces of bark. It is doing well right now by keeping it dry most of the time. I have plans to move it soon to a wooden vanda basket I have waiting for it. I am going to use my own home grown charcoal and bark as media.

    I think yours is just too wet. The lower, tan part of the stem - the pseudobulbs if they have them, should be above the media as well.

    ---------- Post Merged at 05:51 AM ----------

    I also wonder if Brassovola is one of those that don't like being repotted until they are producing new growth. This is why I haven't repotted mine yet. I plan to wait until it is spring or until I see new growth.

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    Hello everyone,

    Firstly, I would like to thank you for the swift replies- I feel very welcome indeed.

    B. nodosa has been:
    1. moved into a smaller clay pot with no sphagnum top dressing
    2. treated with fungicide
    3. put under 15W LED grow lights.

    The wall I hang mounted orchids receives light mostly suited for Angraecums etc.

    Thank you once again for the kind advice.

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    Thanks for the further insight on B. nodosa Karin!

    I'll keep an eye for signs of unhappiness with the pot.

    I am planning to water once a week here in dry Colorado. Do you think that is too often?

    As to whether to wait for new growth to start before potting, I have no idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 78Terp View Post

    I am planning to water once a week here in dry Colorado. Do you think that is too often?

    As to whether to wait for new growth to start before potting, I have no idea.
    Mine is in my humidity tent where it is at around 70% RH most of the time. I give it just a drink or sometimes only spray the roots about once a week and I am nervous about that much. It is sitting near a south facing window with ample sunlight filtered through shade cloth. It gets kind of hot in the day. I am just trying to use intuition with it. It was in beautiful bloom when I got it and now it seems to be resting which does not seem like a good time to repot.

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    Perhaps I'll make room in an orchidarium for it once it finishes blooming and I bring it home from work. But neither orchidarium is bright enough for it. I think outside summer, among other orchids, it will do fine. Then back into the orchidarium. I have shade cloth for this coming season and expanded the number of outdoor shelves.

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