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  #1  
Old 10-31-2007, 11:03 AM
guardiola guardiola is offline
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Default Help! Brassavola nodosa leaves dropping like flies!

Help! I bought a Brassavola Nodosa in the summer, but now that it's turned cold, I've brought it indoors. Three weeks later, it's started to lose its leaves. Out of 20 leaves, about 7 have fallen off. None of them have been new growth, but 7 is a lot! They turn yellow, then brown, and fall off.

The plants were in pm shade with some direct light in the am. Now they're under a 40 watt grow bulb, and a southern facing window (shaded by trees). Although during the summer months it may have been a little hotter in the day and colder in the night, the variances haven't been so great. The humidity for the past two days has gone down to 47%, but I'll be starting to mist in the am (the humidity tray isn't working). I've been watering less... could that be the source of the leaf drop? The brassavola was pretty dry when I fertilized and watered today.

The only other variable is air circulation, which has gone down considerably. Could that be it? If so, how can I improve circulation indoors?

Any comments, suggestions, sympathy, would be much appreciated!!!
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  #2  
Old 10-31-2007, 11:33 AM
kiki-do kiki-do is offline
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Sorry to hear about your dilemma. I'm no expert but I can sympathize. I have one I got in the early summer and it is mounted on a piece of cedar surrounded with moss. I've never had it outdoors, but hanging under a skylight giving it plenty of sun, mist at least once a day, but try for twice, and I soak and lightly fertilize every other day. It needs air movement (I have a fan), humidity, and doesn't like to dry out. So possibly those are the reasons your leaves are falling off. How is it sitting, in a pot? basket? All I can suggest is more air, more watering/misting. Mine is still young so can't tell you if this is the answer yet....perhaps one of the experts on this type orchid can help you. A picture of it might help also. Good luck! I know how scarey it is to be in that situation. kiki-do
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  #3  
Old 10-31-2007, 12:08 PM
Ross Ross is offline
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I agree, please tell us how it is being grown. For instance all of mine are mounted and get daily water/fertilizer. They get full sun when sun shines supplemented by 3 Compact Florescent bulbs (each equiv. of a 250 watt incandescent). These guys need real bright light.
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  #4  
Old 10-31-2007, 12:38 PM
guardiola guardiola is offline
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Thanks for the replies. I have it in a plastic pot (which is how I got it). It's about 6-10 inches away from a 60 W grow light, and also receives light from a southern facing window. The dendrobiums are on the sill, and after reading rsfrid's adivice now so is the Brass. nodosa.

I'll try to get a pic. uploaded tonight. Thanks!
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  #5  
Old 10-31-2007, 01:00 PM
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Dorothy Dorothy is offline
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The leaves will fall off if they have spiked off of that pseudobulb - the backbulbs .. I have noticed this with my b. nodosa hybrids - I haven't paniced as new growth has developed and will eventually spike and flower
I allow my hybrids to dry out as I would any other cattleya that I have (their psuedobulbs, though not bulbous like many cattleya, still hold a good amount of moisture) .. I have tons of root growth .. It might be different with a species ...
I grow my orchids windowsill and I keep a fan on them during the day .. air circulation is important ..Living in the northeast, I am also dealing with a drop in humidity as the winter approaches as indoor heating will provide a drier heat. Root spraying is a good idea
I would acclimate them to a little more light each day if you can provide it .. they are light lovers.
Here is some info from the Amherst Orchid Society dated July 2006 - "B. nodosa is native to Mexico, Central America, Belize, Venezuela, Columbia, found along the Gulf of Mexico, and both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts and also reported on islands of the West Indies. Plants are found in low lying coastal regions, generally below 1640 ft (500m), growing in epiphytes on trees in tropical forests or mangrove swamps or as lythophytes on exposed rocky cliffs near the shore, forming clumps about 15 inches high. It is considered a warm growing species, but will adapt to a wide range of conditions in cultivation. Many plants are grown with average winter low temperatures of 58-60F. It may be grown even cooler, but may not bloom if winter lows are colder than 52F. If grown in cool conditions, it is important that they be kept dry.
Light requirement is 2500-3500fc. Althought, plants may tolerate higher light levels, if introduced gradually, keeping humidity high (80%) with brisk air movement. Water should be kept off the leaves during the brightest part of the day to prevent burning.
Watering should be heavy every 2 to 3 days during the summer growing season, using a 1/4 to 1/2 strength balanced or low-nitrogen fertilizer. Leaching with plain water to prevent mineral build-up is important. Winter is a resting period requiring cooler and drier conditions.
Inflorescences are produced one per leaf axial and each inflorescences my have 1 to 6 long-lived evening fragrant flowers, giving rise to the name 'Lady of the Evening.' The flowers are white to pale greenish or yellow, sometimes marked with purple or red in the throat. This tendency for marking is often passed on to offspring of intergeneric crosses, with the color determined by the other parent." as per July Meeting at Verda Dale’s
I hope this helps
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Last edited by Dorothy; 10-31-2007 at 01:02 PM..
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Old 10-31-2007, 01:09 PM
Ross Ross is offline
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Great info D. I would add though, that if B. nodosa is mounted (as are mine) they will dessicate if not water frequently. This is probably only true with indoor growing conditions and low humidity. In pots, you are correct in 3-4 days depending on medium used and its condition. I tend to use baskets, waterlily pots, etc. to force drying out as I love to water stuff. That's what happened to my cactus collection
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  #7  
Old 10-31-2007, 01:33 PM
John John is offline
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Help! Brassavola nodosa leaves dropping like flies! Male
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Hi...Have you tried pulling the plant out of the pot and looking at the roots? Do you see any insect activity? I can feel your pain. I have had plants appear to go bad without any obvious reason. Sometimes it was natural dieback and others they never recovered.

John
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Old 10-31-2007, 03:18 PM
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Dorothy Dorothy is offline
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Good point, John!
I agree with you, Ross. I am growing my hybrids in plastic pots in coconut husk medium. Mounting is a different animal when it comes to determining it's watering and misting needs.
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Old 10-31-2007, 08:12 PM
reinbo15 reinbo15 is offline
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Help! Brassavola nodosa leaves dropping like flies! Female
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I agree with kiki-do... I think it's all about the humidity. Many types of plants, not just orchids, go through a kind of shock when brought indoors after a beautiful summer outdoors. With the decreased humidity, and likely lower light levels, the plant can't support as many leaves as it could outdoors. When it has shed a few leaves and has reached a level that it can support, it should bounce back just fine. I would be alarmed, also...but it's probably perfectly fine.

As a side-note...every orchid I've ever brought home has done that to me when it was still adjusting to my apartment. They level off in about a month.
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Old 11-01-2007, 08:40 AM
Neverend Neverend is offline
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Help! Brassavola nodosa leaves dropping like flies! Male
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Hm, perhaps it's the humidity and watering, they seem to be drying out. Try to give more humidity by using a humidifier and more water more frequently (but don't do this if the medium retains water really well).

As for air circulation just get use an electric fan, it need not be blowing directly at the plant but as long as it creates air movement in the room it's good enough.

Lighting might be a problem (though it won't make your plant lose leaves). Giving it stronger light might encourage it to grow, these guys can even take full sun.

If all the above fails, that means you're growing them at the wrong temperature. Give them temperatures around 30 degrees Celsius, they are tropical orchids after all.
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