Am I starting to see the beginnings of rot damage?
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  #1  
Old 01-20-2021, 04:37 PM
Student Hobbyist Student Hobbyist is offline
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Am I starting to see the beginnings of rot damage?
Default Am I starting to see the beginnings of rot damage?

Hello everyone, I am a new poster on this forum (well, any forum for that matter). I have been a lover of plants and nature since I was a child and have developed a rather large house plant collection since I moved into an apartment of my own (100+ plants). Within the last 6 months though I have discovered the world of orchids and it is now my new favorite. I currently have around 10 orchids, but plan to collect more.

That being said I am not as skilled or knowledgeable with orchids as I am with other houseplants, and could use some guidance.

About two months ago I purchased a baby (seedling?) Alcra. Hilo Ablaze 'Hilo Gold' and when it arrived it appeared to be in perfect health. It is potted in sphagnum moss and stands about 9in tall. I hadn't had any issues with it until this week I noticed brown edges on most of the leaves that surround the pseudobulbs. Additionally, some of the lower portions seem to be turning yellow (pictures included for reference).

I was hoping somebody might be able to give me a clue as to what is causing this new discoloration, and if it is a normal process or is something I need to correct. I love my little orchid and hope to see it grow big and strong. My working theory/ worry is that I have either over watered it, or managed to get excess water/ moisture on the leaves causing rot. Does this seem to fit with the picture in anyone's opinion?

I typically use an overhead watering technique with my orchids in moss, opposed to a bottom up soak. But I try my best to be super careful not to wet the pseudobulbs or the leaves. However, that doesn't mean it isn't possible. Also, I did have a friend water my plants for a week over winter break, so I cannot speak to her diligence.

I have a couple other Alicera/ Oncidium type orchids in moss and so far they haven't given me any issues.

I would greatly appreciate any help or advice.
Thanks,
Student Hobbyist
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2021, 08:33 PM
Orchidtinkerer Orchidtinkerer is offline
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Am I starting to see the beginnings of rot damage?
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looks fine to me. The moss might need replacing sometime this year, moss needs to be replaced fairly often anyway.
As the bulbs expand it is fairly common for the outer layer of leaves that you are worried about to dry up completely.
The two leaves that come out of the bulb are the most important, the rest usually drop off in time as the bulb matures.

Last edited by Orchidtinkerer; 01-20-2021 at 08:35 PM..
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Old 01-20-2021, 09:10 PM
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First, Welcome! I agree, that bit of browning isn't worrisome. But I'd be concerned about that moss, and the overall condition of the roots. These do like to stay on the damp side, but do let it dry out a bit for a few days after watering. I like to water from the top - with plenty of water, so it runs through the pot. That tends to flush out "crud" as well as pull oxygen into the root zone. In general, when in doubt I would suggest pulling out of the pot to take a look at the condition of the roots. If they look good, you can just pop it back into the pot. But if you see evidence of rot on the roots, it's time to repot into fresh moss... don't worry about cleaning off all the old moss, just take what comes off easily, but fresh moss will provide a lot more air to the roots, and that's what orchids need.
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Old 01-21-2021, 01:38 AM
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Old 01-24-2021, 02:33 PM
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Thank you everyone for the responses and feedback. It is nice to have access to kind orchid lovers willing to provide guidance!

I do let the moss dry out in between watering, and I took a peak at the roots which seem to be healthy without any sign of rot. I shall keep my eye on them.

I am used to being able to look at my other houseplants and knowing if a leaf discoloration is due to too much/little light, water, fertilizer or just a natural leaf drop. I have a feeling I will be a little over protective of my growing orchid collection until I have more confidence in reading their signals.

Again thank you for all your help
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Old 01-24-2021, 04:13 PM
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That moss looks to be in pretty sorry shape.

When it dries, is it sort of "hard" or very springy? If it's the former, it should be replaced ASAP.
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Old 01-24-2021, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
That moss looks to be in pretty sorry shape.

When it dries, is it sort of "hard" or very springy? If it's the former, it should be replaced ASAP.
Hey Ray,

The orchid is currently in the medium that it was sold in. When the moss dries out, it is still very springy and not hard at all. I do agree that the top middle portion of the moss seems a bit old, but the rest of it seems okay (in my limited opinion).

Should I repot just to be sure?
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