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Unread 03-03-2013, 12:04 PM
Shikitita Shikitita is offline
Jr. Member

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Alicante, Spain
Age: 31
Posts: 21
Default Phal with "translucent" leaves


My name is Tamara and I am new in the forum. I have been reading some of your articles as I have two orchids and there's always been some information I've needed (at the moment they're in the bedroom, cooler than the living room and trying to put them in a dormant period so they can recover from a "bad" year).

Unfortunately, now it's not just that but I also need help.

Last Sunday we bought a new orchid in a well-known shop here in the UK, without realizing that the leaves weren't as healthy as they should have been.

When cleaning it after getting home I noticed there was a mini spider going around, and had left some small threads of cobwebs around. I think I killed it, cleaned the orchid and everything was fine. But a couple of days ago I found a few more threads, again, which made me think that probably I hadn't killed it.

After reading today this thread (Some glue under phalaenopsis leaves), I went to have a look and found more cobweb threads again. The description of the leaves is the exact same one, as they have like small patches of glue on their back and also dark spots all over the edges. They are loosing their colour as well, which is really worrying me...

I probably bought it sick, but I don't know what to do as it's a really nice orchid, in bloom (despite bringing it home walking for 20 minutes in temperatures of 5 C or less), and doing better than the other two orchids I have.

What would you suggest I do that doesn't involve repotting or thowing the orchid away?

I've attached a couple of pictures so you can have an idea of exactly what's going on.

Thanks for your help!
Attached Thumbnails
Phal with &quot;translucent&quot; leaves-orch_-091-jpg   Phal with &quot;translucent&quot; leaves-orch_-092-jpg   Phal with &quot;translucent&quot; leaves-orch_-093-jpg   Phal with &quot;translucent&quot; leaves-orch_-094-jpg  
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Unread 03-03-2013, 01:01 PM
AaronC AaronC is offline

Join Date: Feb 2013
Zone: 3b
Location: Edmonton, AB
Age: 24
Posts: 36

I don't think the spider is a big deal. If you were able to see it moving around I don't see it being Spider Mite. Spider Mite sucks the Chlorophyll from the leaves of many species of plants. They are too small to see in detail with human eyes. The leaves look like they got Cold damage from your walk of 20 Min in Temps less than 5 Degrees Celsius. That explains the darkening edges and spotted/ Darkening/ Yellowing on the Tips and down the Spine of the leaf. But as a precaution I would still treat the plant for Spider mite. I personally use a solution of Dr. Bronners Peppermint Organic Soap (1 1/2 Table spoons per Gallon (3.78L) of warm water) Mist with a spray bottle onto the top and underside of the leaves as well as soak the roots and Medium you are using for potting in the solution to make sure no mites are under your medium. Do the treatment as many times as necessary (Usually once or twice). Treat all your plants once a month with this solution and you won't ever have to deal with Scale, Melee Bug, Spider Mite, Thrips Etc. Only thing I still have issues with is Fungal Gnats.....
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Unread 03-03-2013, 01:05 PM
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silken silken is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Zone: 2b
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 9,225

I agree, a walk at those temps with a phal would likely cause cold damage to at least the outer edges of the leaves. If you wipe the underside of the leaves and see red spots or little bits of 'dust' it could be spider mite and some do leave very fine webbing on undersides of leaves and in crotches of leaves. But a regular spider moving around and leaving some webs is quite different usually. Harmless, but I don't like them in my plants.

I realize you aren't asking about your other two orchids, but I noticed your comment about them in a cool room to recover after a bad year. If they are Phals and have root problems, keeping them cool will likely make it worse. Let us know what they are so we can try to help with them too if you like.

Last edited by silken; 03-03-2013 at 01:07 PM..
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Unread 03-03-2013, 02:02 PM
Shikitita Shikitita is offline
Jr. Member

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Alicante, Spain
Age: 31
Posts: 21

Thanks so much both Aaron and silken for your replies.

My mum is checking at the moment (she knows about plants tho not about orchids, but nevertheless), and reckons that you might be right and the sudden change of temperature might have caused this. Is there anything special I can do to treat it or should I just keep with her in a normal way? (In Spain "orchid" is feminine, so don't be surprised if I refer to the ones I have as her. )

About your question, silken, this is basically what happened.

I had two orchids, one in June and one in July, both nice, in bloom, healthy and with good aerial roots. But both, just after a week here, got all the aerial ones dried. I kept watering them the way they suggested at the Garden Centre (dunking them during 30 minutes in water and then leaving them to drain) and once a week as it was Summer. I think that was the mistake as the roots started to rot.

A couple of months before Christmas I got rid of all the rotten ones and changed the watering method, once every two weeks and only a bit of water with a bit of growth solution, and placed their plastic pots on top of wet pebbles at the bottom of the "decorative" pots. That way they had a bit of humidity they could hold on to. It seemed to work as they started sprouting really nice and one of them had a bud that was supposed to be open by the time we got back from Christmas.

Instead it went wrong and the bud was all dried when we got back. I think either the fact that there was no one in the house so it was very cold, or that the person who staid had the heating full blast every day, caused a shock in that orchid. Afterwards one of them lost one of the sprouts, and one spike on each of the orchids (they're twins) dried out and stopped growing. (You'll be able to see it in the pictures.)

They advised me where I bought them to do what I had in mind, repot them and get rid of all the rotten roots they might have had. Also they suggested to try and keep them in a dormant period for 4 weeks so they could get their strength back. As they are not blooming and one spike on each is not growing, they wouldn't need to put too much effort in any of those tasks. In the end one ended up with one healthy root and the other with one and a half. Funny enough, the one with only one root had a new one growing as I could see the tip.

The temperature in the room is always between 15 C and 19 C. Haven't watered them since I repotted them (a week ago) and only spray them in the mornings so they can have a bit of humidity. The very last picture with the blue pots is how they ended up after my attempt at trimming them.

We suffer from mold and humidity problems in the house, which is the reason why it's so dry in the living room. My first orchid I had was 3 years ago on July, and because it was a small room and I used to dry my clothes there, it had always enough humidity, plenty of indirect sun light and watered enough. My landlady kept it after I left as it was her present and I hated her... (Shame because I loved that orchid.)

Now I'm spraying the new one (the one with the "cold") every morning and some evenings, so it can have enough humidity as I don't want it to lose the aerial roots as well.

I know I might be taking too much care of them, but the difference from one place to another is not making it easy to know how I should act.

(Sorry for the long writing!)
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Phal with &quot;translucent&quot; leaves-orch_-072-jpg   Phal with &quot;translucent&quot; leaves-orch_-073-jpg   Phal with &quot;translucent&quot; leaves-orch_-076a-jpg   Phal with &quot;translucent&quot; leaves-orch_-078-jpg   Phal with &quot;translucent&quot; leaves-orch_-079-jpg  

Phal with &quot;translucent&quot; leaves-plant_-011-jpg  
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Unread 06-18-2013, 03:45 PM
Shikitita Shikitita is offline
Jr. Member

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Alicante, Spain
Age: 31
Posts: 21

Well, it has been over 3 months since I posted this, and I thought I probably should give, to whoever is interested, an update.

My yellow orchid had definitely cold damage as it wouldn't keep the water when watering her, so I did it every 2 weeks and just a tiny bit to keep her at least a bit moist. At the beginning of April I had to repot her and cut the rotten roots that all of a sudden had appeared despite barely having been watered. Around a week later it opened all its buds and only 1 or 2 weeks later it started dropping the flowers. Ever since then she's kept 11 of them that are still hanging, small but looking nice. Now, the best surprise is that it's growin a leaf, two roots are growing now and another one is showing up! The old leaves are still looking a bit fragile, but at least I know she's still alive and going for it!

About the other two I had to sanitise them in the end, as the spikes started to wilt again and had to cut them at the bottom completely. Now, one of them is in between but I'm not sure she'll make it. Had no roots left, only one leaf is still lasting and I have it hanging on a pot with gravel and water (the orchid is not touching the water) and in my bedroom to see if the shade there helps a bit...
However, the other one, has given me the surprise of starting growing a new leaf plus the old one that stopped growing, and also a new root! I am sure there must be something going on under the soil, but until she's not strong enough, I won't have a look as it might be too much stress for her. Afterwards I guess I'll have to repot her properly so she can grow stronger!

The last picture is of the oldest one, and the other three of the yellow one that suffered cold damage.
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Phal with &quot;translucent&quot; leaves-orch_-215-jpg   Phal with &quot;translucent&quot; leaves-orch_-216a-jpg   Phal with &quot;translucent&quot; leaves-orch_-217a-jpg   Phal with &quot;translucent&quot; leaves-orch_-207a-jpg  
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