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Help! What is wrong with my plants?

This is a discussion on Help! What is wrong with my plants? within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I was inspecting my plants after watering today and I noticed that a few of ...

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  1. #1
    celiviel is offline Junior Member
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    Unhappy Help! What is wrong with my plants?

    I was inspecting my plants after watering today and I noticed that a few of the leaves are pitted and the undersides have black stuff on them.

    Phal #1: This is the phal that was dehydrated a while back. I thought it was recovering (it's putting out a new aerial root right now), but maybe not. The new leaf on top seems to be stunted -- it's been that size for about two months now. And I noticed that the new leaf (but none of the old, shriveled leaves) is covered in pits and the undersides of several of the old leaves have black stuff:



    Phal #2: This is a phal I bought a couple months ago. It started putting up a new leaf a little over a week ago.



    But today I noticed that the underside of one of the big leaves is also pitted and has a black spot.



    What's going on here? What should I do? Both phals are sitting on an end table a few feet from a north window. They're potted in a bark/sphag mix and I water them once a week and fertilize weakly/weekly.

    I'd appreciate any help/advice! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Cjcorner's Avatar
    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
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    I'm not sure, but could it be getting too much sun? I am having a tough time with a couple of mine and suspect I was letting them get too much heat and sun in the middle of the day. I live in Florida and it's been way hot and sunny the last month really bad.
    Connie

  3. #3
    celiviel is offline Junior Member
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    They're by a north window, so I don't know if sun could be the problem. I often worry they don't get enough sun.

    It has been pretty hot here lately, but I thought phals were fairly heat-tolerant. I keep them on a giant pebble tray that keeps the humidity around them at about 70%.

  4. #4
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    The trouble might stem from the plant being dehydrated in the past , also if it had a root rot problem .Looks like cell collapse, might very well be from heat . The black stuff could be a mildew or from bugs . I would try to dry up the spot on the last picture . They will lose the bottom leaves this time of the year . I would not let them go all the way dry . Hope this helps a little .. Gin

  5. #5
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    I don't know if you have repotted since you bought it but I would take a look at what is going on underneath. Like Gin said it could be root rot.

  6. #6
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    Okay, just my two cents and what works for ME and what I know.

    1. I've found that anytime the wrong types of medium are mixed toghether-slow and fast drying such as sphag (slow drying) and bark (fast drying), different areas in the pot dry out at different times and not the usual (top usually drying out faster than bottom) and mold/rot can occur with lightning speed
    2. The pitting in the leaves really looks like either red spider or false spider mite.

    I had a friend who I had to house sit for and his orchid was laden with yellowish/blackish spots. I trimmed it down to ONE and a half leaves, took it out the pot, trimmed the dead roots away, applied cinnamon to affected areas, hung it to dry overnight while i rinsed and soaked bark, perlite, and charcoal. The next day I potted it up. As a matter of fact, I just came from there today. The orchid has been placed in the shade on the patio OUTSIDE, and you would not believe it's the same plant-it grew two huge new leaves, and you can see a torrent of thick green fleshy roots in the transparent plastic pot.

    In short, I'd take it out the pot, trim the dead roots, repot in a more uniform mixture, and if your climate allows place it in a shaded protected spot outside for increased humidity....Just what's worked for me, but listen to the professionals here first, lol good luck

  7. #7
    Elitebettas's Avatar
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    celivie, by the way, I'm talking about the FIRST orchid pictured

  8. #8
    celiviel is offline Junior Member
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    I repotted the second phal about six weeks ago and all its roots were firm and healthy looking. The first phal was repotted 8-10 weeks ago and had strong, healthy roots then too. Do you think I should tap them out and take a peek just to be sure?

    I wiped all the leaves with some physan today. Is there anything else I should do to help dry up that spot? Dish soap? I'm kind of new at this, sorry! Thanks for your help!

    Elitebettas posted while I was responding! I'm not sure what a good medium is if I can't mix bark and sphag. It came potted in sphag only, which compacted, grew all sorts of green fuzz, and did cause root rot. Then I repotted it into a bark/charcoal/perlite mix mid-spring. That didn't hold anywhere near enough moisture. I was watering as often as every other day when it was potted in bark only and it kept wilting and wilting. It wasn't root rot; the roots looked good when I repotted it into the bark/sphag mix a couple months ago. I think the nights are probably too cold here to put it outside -- we're dropping into the 50s already. I may try to trim off some of the lower leaves if you think that will help. I can't imagine they're doing much good in their shriveled state.

  9. #9
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    Hi , Don't trim the lower leaves it needs all the help it can get from them . Try some cinnamon on the spot . I don't know where you are we are also dropping into the 50s to cold to put it out now . If the roots are good will have to wait to see what it does . Gin

  10. #10
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    not sure what the second one is but the first plant definitley was dehydration.. probly way to hot and dry for a prolonged time and then watering might have rotted the roots.. it needs some babying in some sphagnum.

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