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Old 09-17-2020, 03:45 PM
sweetas647 sweetas647 is offline
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Trimming oncidium leaves?
Default Trimming oncidium leaves?

Hey all! I've got a few oncidiums that look like they've had leaves trimmed but can't find any explanation for it anywhere... Is this a common practice? Is it purely cosmetic?
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Old 09-17-2020, 05:57 PM
PaphMadMan PaphMadMan is offline
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Trimming oncidium leaves? Male

Most likely the leaves were damaged or perhaps a fungal or bacterial infection, and the affected (and probably unsightly) parts were removed. There is never any reason to remove healthy green leaf tissue, but a cosmetic or preventative clip isn't uncommon.
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Old 09-17-2020, 10:01 PM
Steve83 Steve83 is offline
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Trimming oncidium leaves? Male

This may also be from a previous deficiency, such as calcium.

How does the newest growth look, and are the roots good?
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Old 09-18-2020, 12:34 AM
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Roberta Roberta is offline
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Trimming oncidium leaves? Female

There's a lot of reasons (most harmless) that make leaf tips get brown and ugly - hard water (salts), a period of not enough water... They got trimmed to look better. (It's a rare Cymbidium in a show that doesn't have a few trimmed leaves, better than brown tips) It isn't a cultural thing, just aesthetic. (If I am taking a plant with ugly leaf tips to an orchid club meeting or show, I'll tidy them up... when they're in the back yard, I leave them alone)
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Old 09-18-2020, 06:26 AM
ArronOB ArronOB is offline
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Trimming oncidium leaves? Male

I grow a lot of oncidiums and when Iím neglectful of cultural practices then a plant may show a few brown tips. I understand itís usually because (highly non-technical explanation here) the orchid pumps water plus dissolved salts from rootstock to tip of leaf - however it does so blindly and if subjected to too much fertiliser then it pumps too much fertilised into the leaf tip, which reacts to the accumulating salts (toxic at high levels) by dieing off. Not being very fond of dead brown bits, i trim them off with scissors in a manner that I hope resembles a natural leaf. In the 20+ years Iíve been doing it I donít remember ever seeing a negative consequence.

I think itís very often a result of too much fertiliser - but then who doesnít give their orchids too much fertiliser.

Vendors may do it to make their plants more saleable,
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Old 09-18-2020, 08:05 AM
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Fairorchids Fairorchids is offline
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Trimming oncidium leaves? Male

Yes, trimming brown tips is common. However, one word of caution:

If you use a tool (scissors), you MUST sterilize after each use. If you do plant after plant without sterilizing, you will inadvertently transfer any diseases that might exist in any one of the plants.

When I trim, I use a razor blade, and then toss it.
Kim (Fair Orchids)

Founder of SPCOP (Society to Prevention of Cruelty to Orchid People), with the goal of barring the taxonomists from tinkering with established genera!

I am neither a 'lumper' nor a 'splitter', but I refuse to re-write millions of labels.
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Old 09-24-2020, 01:00 AM
sweetas647 sweetas647 is offline
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Trimming oncidium leaves?

Thank you all for your responses! Curiosity satisfied
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Old 09-24-2020, 10:43 AM
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DirtyCoconuts DirtyCoconuts is offline
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Trimming oncidium leaves?

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Trimming oncidium leaves?

I second Kimís advice. (And Roberta, since she taught me this) but a huge box of single edge razors and use one for each plant. Then toss it (I put them into a can or margarine tub to avoid a cut bag or worse).

They are dirt cheap and there is zero chance of any incident
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