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  #1  
Old 09-20-2015, 01:59 PM
vMitchaaay vMitchaaay is offline
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New Phragmipedium Pearcei - Yellowing leaf and care advice
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Hello Guys!

I have recently purchased my first phrag, pearcei and I have noticed that one of the leaves was slightly yellow upon arrival, and it looks like its continuing to yellow!

The phrag came in a bark media and I havenít re-potted it due to a new growth and not knowing what the best media to use is.

I noticed that the gwowth with the yellow leaf was sitting proud of the substrate exposing the roots, so I placed a layer of sphagnum moss over the top to prevent them drying out.

I was wondering what to do to prevent the leaf from dying? And also some detailed care instructions for this orchid (mainly regarding the media). I know it likes to be kept wet (mine has wet feet), I use rain water and that it likes a lot of light.

Please see images attached!
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Last edited by vMitchaaay; 09-20-2015 at 02:06 PM..
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  #2  
Old 09-20-2015, 02:29 PM
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MrHappyRotter MrHappyRotter is offline
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Once the leaf starts to yellow and turn brown like that, it's game over for that leaf. So, don't worry about saving it.

Most phrags are fast growers (relatively speaking), and as they grow, they also rid themselves of old leaves. Sometimes it's the result of a slow process where the plant is reabsorbing nutrients from an older leaf, sometimes a flush of new roots or a new growth will physically detach an older leaf from the stem, thus causing it to turn yellow and die off. In addition, like all slippers, old growths die after reaching maturity, so that might be what's going on for you as well.

For Phrag. pearcei, you are correct, the plant likes bright light and lots of moisture year round. My planting technique looks similar to yours, with the exception that I prefer wider/shallower pots for P. pearcei because it is a rambling species. As far as potting mix, I suggest a chunky media (bark, charcoal, sponge rock, lava rock, etc), with a thin later of sphag moss on top. This allows the interior to get plenty of air, even when it's sitting with water in the saucer. The moss on top, around the roots, helps hold moisture where newly emerging roots can appreciate it, and also helps to keep the interior humid, where older roots can get a good hold on the media as they plunge towards the water below.

Feed very lightly. Despite being a good grower, they don't like salts in the water. Over time, the moss and any organic components of your mix will break down, supplying the plant with nutrients. Addition of blood, bone meal, or other organic fertilizers may be helpful, and an occasional light feeding with water soluble fertilizer containing a full range of micronutrients is recommended.

I'd also suggest you minimize repotting & dividing as much as possible. If the current potting media is in decent condition, just leave it. This is not my normal recommendation with newly acquired plants, but in the case of P. pearcei, they do tend to sulk for me after repotting, so I prefer to just leave it be. They'll tolerate broken down media a lot better than most orchids, and in most cases, they'll handle decomposing media better than the shock of repotting. This is especially true for small/young plants.
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  #3  
Old 09-21-2015, 11:29 AM
vMitchaaay vMitchaaay is offline
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Thanks for the detailed reply! Very helpful. After reading your reply Iím going to leave the plant how it is as the media wasnít too bad! However I would like to put some extra ventilation holes into my pot.

I feels strange having an orchid which likes so much moisture!

Thanks again!
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Old 09-28-2015, 10:56 PM
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I wish I could get similarly encyclopedic information for all my orchids. A+, Mr. Happy Rotter
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Old 09-28-2015, 11:13 PM
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Your plant looks to be in nice shape. I have one and it may have been other reasons, but it did seem to sulk after I re-potted and divided it. Pearcii is one Phrag that likes more water than most. It lives by streams where at certain times the water over flows the banks and can submerge the plants briefly. So this one will like very wet feet. Phrags seem to be more sensitive to over fertilizing than many orchids. Leaf tips will turn brown. It will enjoy a good flushing of water and changing the water it sits in very frequently.
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