My maxillaria tenuifolia (coconut orchid) isn't happy. Leaves drying up.
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My maxillaria tenuifolia (coconut orchid) isn't happy. Leaves drying up.
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  #1  
Old 03-18-2017, 04:56 PM
Elfkin Elfkin is offline
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My maxillaria tenuifolia (coconut orchid) isn't happy. Leaves drying up.
Question My maxillaria tenuifolia (coconut orchid) isn't happy. Leaves drying up.

I'm attaching a few photos of my coconut orchid. I live in NW Louisiana and it's an indoor plant. Humidity inside is basically same as outside..humid. the leaves are turning brown and the bulbs are shrinking. I replanted two weeks ago but it was still in this condition. I used the same media it came in and directions said keep very moist, which I do. It was at a window facing south. I've since moved it to a window facing north (my only other option). Any ideas?


My second question, since I want it to flourish My questions are like, do they like cool showers for so many minutes, watering, fertilizing, soil media, etc. So I thought maybe the best way to get most of my answers before I ask in the forum would be to see if there. Is a free PDF or doc, comprehensive guide to maxillaria culture. I found one on orchids in general from Venamy Orchids and it's very good with most of my general orchid questions. So I was hoping for something similar y'all might recommend? I've already downloaded and read ORCHIDBOARDS documents which are really good for prevention, diagnosing, and curing when possible bacteria, pests and viruses. My only complaint is it relies only on commercial products. It would be awesome to have a natural remedy section. Thank y'all!!
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My maxillaria tenuifolia (coconut orchid) isn't happy. Leaves drying up.-rps20170318_155257-jpg   My maxillaria tenuifolia (coconut orchid) isn't happy. Leaves drying up.-rps20170318_155324-jpg   My maxillaria tenuifolia (coconut orchid) isn't happy. Leaves drying up.-rps20170318_155348-jpg  
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:34 PM
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My maxillaria tenuifolia (coconut orchid) isn't happy. Leaves drying up.
 

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My maxillaria tenuifolia (coconut orchid) isn't happy. Leaves drying up. Male
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Hi Elfkin,

The pot is about six times too large for your plant in its current state. They do like to stay moist, but they also need air at the roots. A super-large pot like that will never dry out and will stay so wet the roots might rot.

In extremely humid areas many people say they do much better mounted on a branch, rather than in a pot.

I would take your plant out of that pot right now, clean off any dead roots and repot into something just big enough to hold the plant. Another option would be to mount it on a branch. Oak with its rough bark works very well. You might be able to find a piece somebody has cut off one of their trees.
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Old 03-19-2017, 08:39 AM
PaphMadMan PaphMadMan is offline
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My maxillaria tenuifolia (coconut orchid) isn't happy. Leaves drying up.
 

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My maxillaria tenuifolia (coconut orchid) isn't happy. Leaves drying up. Male
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Yes, it is drastically over-potted, and the media looks like it is fine textured and stays too wet. These do need frequent and abundant moisture, but perversely can't stay soaking wet. They need media that drains fast and is well aerated - with water almost every day. In a humid area they can do well mounted with frequent watering, or use a smaller basket or net pot with coarser media than this.
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Old 03-19-2017, 11:26 AM
Elfkin Elfkin is offline
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My maxillaria tenuifolia (coconut orchid) isn't happy. Leaves drying up.
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Even indoors with central air and heart in an oak branch? Do I wrap any sphagnum sound the roots loosely if I use the branch? Also we have a lot of lichens on our oak branches do they need to be removed? My bf if clearing the roof today so I'll have lots of options. Will regular rubber bands or unwrapped wiring work to attach? Thanks!
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Old 03-19-2017, 11:56 AM
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My maxillaria tenuifolia (coconut orchid) isn't happy. Leaves drying up.
 

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My maxillaria tenuifolia (coconut orchid) isn't happy. Leaves drying up. Male
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You do need to water mounts every day. I think this one would be fine outside during your summer.

Many people would wrap a thin layer of sphagnum on the branch where the orchid will be first, then attach the orchid over that. Look online for some photos of the plant so you have an idea of what size branch to use.

People use fishing line, dental floss, rubber bands for attaching. The key is not to cut the plant, but to secure it.

There are threads here in Orchid Board about mounting plants. wintergirl has a good one, I think.
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:59 AM
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Default My maxillaria tenuifolia (coconut orchid) isn't happy. Leaves drying up.

I neglect my Maxilaria tenufolia. It is still too cold to put this plant outside. But I have mine potted in sphagnum moss in a net pot that is 1/2 inch larger than the root ball--which is a 4 inch pot. Because of the characteristics of the sphagnum moss, I also put in a smaller net pot upside down, inside the root mass so that air can access the core of the plant underneath. If I was using Orchiata or other substrate like you use, I would still put in a smaller net pot upside down to create a hollow space, that the plant sits on top.

In the winter season, I water my Max once a week. But when the plant goes outside (after all threat of frost is passed--around Memorial Day for Fort Wayne, Indiana) this plant is watered by rain or @ least every other day in the morning. It is also given regular feeding from that day until it goes back inside in the Fall.

Once I stopped worrying about this plant, it started producing new pseudobulbs and flowers. The psuedobulbs should not be wrinkled like I can see on your plant. You would think that the plant needed water, as others have advised, the roots are drowning in too much water and not enough air.

Last edited by MattWoelfsen; 03-22-2017 at 12:10 PM..
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:44 PM
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My maxillaria tenuifolia (coconut orchid) isn't happy. Leaves drying up. Male
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My Max ten is huge compared to yours, and is in a 4-inch terracotta pot. I agree with others, move to a small pot.

First half of winter it was indoors on my plant stand under lights, and kept slightly dry (still watered about 3 times a week) pseudobulbs slightly shriveled. I am in north Georgia, and put many plants outdoors within the last month, but Max ten went out 2 months ago, only coming in when temps were dropping into the 30s F. Watered every other day outdoors, bright light (this is still in cool weather). It has loads of buds right now.

Summer, it goes with Cattleyas, and is watered and fed when the Cattleyas are watered.

I give my plant benign neglect, similar to Matt Woelfsen. Like many orchids, it prefers a little neglect.
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