Will cutting baby leaves encourage root growth?
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  #11  
Old 05-18-2018, 02:35 PM
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greenpassion greenpassion is offline
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Will cutting baby leaves encourage root growth?
 

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I personally like Brad's greenhouse. Pretty much just the facts there.
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  #12  
Old 05-18-2018, 02:43 PM
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Yep, it's not about Brad...
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  #13  
Old 05-18-2018, 03:03 PM
plantluvver plantluvver is offline
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Though I am not very experienced with orchids, I would like to reply. Let me warn you that while I am knowledgeable about plants, I have great difficulty in applying my knowledge to keeping plants alive. So this is more of a theoretical post.

Leaves are how the plant fuels itself. Leaves convert light into energy. Although fertilizer is called "plant food," it really only supplies chemicals for the plant to use. The energy of the plant is created by the leaves. One analogy is the role of vitamins and minerals for humans. They are necessary, but they do not provide the energy we need to live. For energy, we consume fats, proteins and carbohydrates. If we cut off leaves, we are decreasing the plant's energy source and impair the growth of the plant in general.

Speaking of plants in general, I can think of two reasons you may want to remove leaves for plant health.

One reason is disease. Removing the diseased tissue can remove pathogens. I suppose it may also help air circulation, which can be a factor in some diseases.

The other situation is when the root system has been compromised. For instance, when transplanting a large shrub. The smaller root system may be insufficient to provide water to the entire canopy of the plant. While this may SEEM similar, it is done for entirely different reasons. It is not done to encourage root growth, but to prevent water loss. Phalenopsis are very good at conserving water, so we can't really improve on what they are doing already. Unlike non-succulent plants, Phalenopsis actually STORE water in their leaves, so removing leaves also removes water the plant hads previously stored, so it is actually detrimental.
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Old 05-18-2018, 03:03 PM
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I have not looked at the majority of their videos, and won't, but those I have seen either spread incorrect information, or seem to assume that what they're saying is universal, rather than applying to their own, individual circumstances.
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  #15  
Old 05-18-2018, 03:49 PM
plantluvver plantluvver is offline
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I will use many words to explain what others have already said.

Also, while I consider myself very knowledgeable about plants, I find it difficult to apply that knowledge to the practical benefit of my plants. And I am not very knowledgeable about orchids, in particular. So my post is mostly hypothetical and theoretical. However, I expect that any myths I might dream up will be squelched by the orchid experts.

I can guess where someone might get this idea.

Speaking of plants in general, pruning or training is often done to modify the growth habit of a plant. In pruning, we selectively damage the plant to stimulate growth of other buds. In essence, we remove the part of the plant that is actively growing to force the plant to grow from other buds. Take away some leaves, and the plant will try to replace them with other leaves. Take away roots, and the plant will try to replace them with other roots. (Root pruning is recommended before transplanting a shrub. Severing the peripheral roots forces root growth in the area you will be lifting.)

However, the plant is replacing what was damaged or removed. Leaves and roots serve different functions. A plant would not find a benefit to replacing leaves with roots or vice versa. (NOTE: I am NOT advocating root pruning of orchids. Epiphytic orchid roots are very different than the roots of a typical plant. I simply do not know enough about them.)

I can think of two instances where removing leaves might help the plants health.

The first is removing diseased plant tissues. Removing diseased tissues also eliminates the disease pathogens. Hopefully, we can eliminate or at least reduce the problem.

The second is removing leaves to reduce water loss. If the roots are unhealthy or damaged, they may not be sufgicient to support the water needs of the entire crown of the plant. Leaves are removed not to stimulate root growth, but to reduce water lost by the leaves. However, Phalenopsis seem adapted to conserve water, so leaf removal would provide little to no additional conservation of water. Further, Phalenopsis leaves are adapted to STORE water. Removing the leaves will reduce the plant's water reserve. So whatever small amount of water conserved will be offset by removal of stored water.

Last edited by plantluvver; 05-18-2018 at 04:29 PM.. Reason: Additions
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  #16  
Old 05-20-2018, 07:44 PM
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Kingianum Kingianum is offline
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Wow, thank you all for your replies! I'm so glad that I've joined and asked here! You guys so genuinely care about the other members!
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:29 AM
SundayGardener SundayGardener is offline
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Just on the topic of youtube ... I do look for information on specific topics but when I do, I now tend to demand good explanations for "fixes" and "cures." I also then search more to see what other people say and I try to find out what the credentials of the source of advice are. So for instance, coming here and asking the question instead of just lopping off leaves is exactly the approach I have embraced!
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  #18  
Old 05-21-2018, 02:13 PM
plantluvver plantluvver is offline
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I agree wholeheartedly.

The community nature of the forum tends to sort out the good from the bad opinions. But I also have been watching YouTube. Recently, I found specific information I needed in a video by missorchidgirl and her explanation made sense to me. Some things are easier to communicate in a video.

While I would not follow her blindly, I also would not blindly follow the advice of an expert either. The expert may not understand or have experienced your unique circumstances or understand your intent.

Also, sometimes plants survive despite all of our misguided efforts. There is no one correct way to do something. Ultimately , you need to figure out what works for you.
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Old 05-21-2018, 05:26 PM
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My routine is to pick-up the most of each source before decision: youtube, here, blogs of growers in my country, contact by e-mail or whatever...armed with all the info I gather, then I make my decision.
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