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Leaf discoloration and possible root issues

This is a discussion on Leaf discoloration and possible root issues within the Phalaenopsis ('moth orchid') Information forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; Hello everyone. My mom sent me home with one of her orchids last weekend that ...

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  1. #1
    kristiyates7 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Leaf discoloration and possible root issues

    Hello everyone. My mom sent me home with one of her orchids last weekend that is not doing very well. I was thinking that it might be sun damaged, because she had it in a very well lit area in my parent's Florida home. It has lost all but one leaf. She was watering it every 10-14 days. I haven't pulled the plant out to inspect the roots because I'm afraid to damage the only remaining leaf, but I did pull out some of the bark around the crown to try to view the roots. There is new root growth, and I think the roots look good. I moved the plant to a spot in my house (Tennessee) that gets much lower light. It is about 8 feet away from a West facing window, and it doesn't get direct rays. Does anyone have any recommendations on how to care for this plant? Do you think the leaf is so discolored because of too much sun/heat?
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  2. #2
    ksriramkumar is offline Senior Member
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    Silvery appearance on top of the leaves look like serious mite infestation. Try confirming using a magnifying glass or rubbing it with a cotton dipped in rubbing alcohol

  3. #3
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    It also looks like it might have crown rot in the crown. Be sure to not get any water on the leaf, except to maybe wipe it down and do the treatment suggested above. You might be able to bring it back even if it loses the one last leaf, as the roots look pretty good. Sometimes keeping the roots misted and the top ones exposed will allow it to start a basal keiki and basically start over. The Phals are basically pretty tough. Spray it enough that those top roots stay green and plump and see how it does!

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    I would agree with both comments!

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    kristiyates7 is offline Junior Member
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    Last night I wiped a paper towel with rubbing alcohol on the leaves...I will attach the picture. I didn't consider mites before, but I think you are right! This is my first case of mites. How do I deal with them? This orchid is separated from my others, but how far does it really need to be? Can these mites affect my other house plants?
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    kristiyates7 is offline Junior Member
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    Should I treat another phal that was kept near this one as a preventative measure?

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    If you found mites on one they might be on all of them, check them all for signs of mites. The dehydration is probably a problem with all of them, the crown rot is just a sign of improper watering techniques.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kristiyates7 View Post
    Last night I wiped a paper towel with rubbing alcohol on the leaves...I will attach the picture. I didn't consider mites before, but I think you are right! This is my first case of mites. How do I deal with them? This orchid is separated from my others, but how far does it really need to be? Can these mites affect my other house plants?
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    Check this link;
    http://www.rv-orchidworks.com/orchid...der-mites.html

  9. #9
    kristiyates7 is offline Junior Member
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    I made a dish soap/ alcohol mix and thoroughly cleaned the leaves a few days ago. I think another treatment is due today or tomorrow. I have also been misting the aerial roots daily on this phal. I think it looks pretty good...how do I know when it is free of the mites? I ordered neems oil online, and it was just delivered, so I could treat with that too...also, do I need to treat the roots? Here are some photos I took this morning.


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  10. #10
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    There are a couple of things to keep in mind - the damage done to the leaves already won't go away, you should retreat and wipe it down every so often to be sure they are gone and the new growth will be clean. Also, neem oil, like any botanical oil, will concentrate sunlight and can burn the leaves if the plant is put in the sun before it dries out. When I've used neem oil, I've learned to put my plants in a low light for a few days before I put them back in their regular spot. I personally wouldn't treat the roots unless someone can tell you what's safe, they can be delicate.

    Also, keep the base of your leaf dry - if you treat the area, soak up any liquid afterwards with a paper towel and leave it dry, you may still have crown rot there. You can dust the base of the crown with cinnamon to help control rot, but cinnamon is too drying for the roots.

    Good luck... the roots are ok, but the plant is pretty sad, so I hope you pull it off!

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