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  #1  
Old 08-04-2020, 07:15 PM
PlumCrazy PlumCrazy is online now
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Plant in Semi-Hydro Going Down Fast...
Default Plant in Semi-Hydro Going Down Fast...

I’m about 85% sure this is Paphiopedilum spiceriana, but the tag disappeared years ago. Anyway, plant history: Purchased in January 2017, and has never thrived. I repotted it when I purchased it, and the original mix was mush at that point. In May of that year, I brought home some new plants, and just have gotten into non-big box stores orchids, did not quarantine so this plant got infested with mealy bugs. (A whole other story, but I think I may have *finally* eliminated them. They were immune to imidacloprid!!!!) I finally rid this guy for mealy bugs around January of this year with a rigorous alcohol regiment. I believe the bugs certainly factored into why the plant did nothing the first several years I had it. No growth, no changes, just sitting.

It did eventually start losing its roots, so in February I transplanted it into a container of spag moss and it finally grew a second set of leaves. It also had a brief fungus gnat infestation – ugg! Anyway, it seemed to like the dampness of the spag, and I wanted the gnats gone, so I transferred it to semi-hydro. It’s been in there about 2 months. It is at the bottom of my case, and gets light, but is quite shaded. I also have a heat mat under him, which provides a couple of extra degrees about the typical 72. Humidity is usually around 70-80%. Anyway, last week, a leaf turned yellow and dropped. Didn’t think it was a big deal, but today the remaining leaves are looking really bad. It was not like that two days ago when I did a water change. I have been completely overflowing the container weekly, and there is decent air circulation in the case.

After having it so long, and finally seeing a glimmer of hope, I really want to save it… Advice?
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  #2  
Old 08-05-2020, 02:46 AM
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This kind of Paph doesn't need such high humidity. I would take it out of the terrarium and grow it on a bathroom or kitchen counter with no direct sunlight. I don't know whether it will survive, but I try not to give sick Paphs such high humidity. Perhaps sit it on a heat mat out of the terrarium. It likes warm temperatures.


The mealy bugs may not be completely gone. And fungus gnat larvae don't usually eat orchids; they eat decomposing organic matter, and are often a sign the medium is rotting.
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  #3  
Old 08-05-2020, 08:35 AM
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I doubt the mealies were immune to the imidicloprid. More likely you did an insufficient treatment. Most insecticides only kill adults, so any eggs or immature bugs were able to mature and reproduce. Three, thorough (went entire plant and soak the medium) treatments at one-week intervals are necessary.

Between multiple media and treatments, that thing is pretty abused, and it looks like its base is rotting. As a last-ditch attempt, follow ES’ suggestions about culture and consider a copper-based fungicidal/bactericides treatment.
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  #4  
Old 08-05-2020, 11:39 AM
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Ok, I've repotted him. He also got a fungicide treatment and is resting in my office in indirect sunlight on a heating mat. *sigh* Yes, he's had a hard life. Doing my best...

Really glad I found this forum. I truly appreciate the help I've been getting here. Before joining, it was do an internet search when I had an issue, which of course yields very non-specific information.
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  #5  
Old 08-05-2020, 11:59 AM
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First, please quit changing the medium it's growing in. Choose one, and stick with it. Each time you change how you're growing it, it weakens the root structure. Roots grown in bark, roots grown in sphag, roots grown in semi-hydro, now back to bark... not good, especially on an ailing plant.

Were it mine, I'd get those rotten leaves peeled off of it, and see if the bottom of the crown is rotted. If it is, there's not a whole lot of hope. It looks like you might have two viable leaves, unless the base of them is also rotted?

Does it have viable roots at all? If not, I'd be doing some sort of sphag and bag method on it. Put in a glass or plastic "something" and cover most of top of the vessel? A cloche? When it gets some viable roots, choose a medium and stick with it.

Please don't take this as being harsh... I just don't know how else to put it.
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Old 08-05-2020, 12:36 PM
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welcome and god speed

this is a tough case and i have seen what the damn mealys will do to these paph, i inherited a collection and SEVERAL had them and it is a battle that is hard to win.

do you have toothpicks? one trick i have is to take a few toothpicks and cut the ends off with about 1 cm..take tweezers or needle nose pliers and GENTLY slide the toothpick tip down the leaf into the fan until it juuuust lifts the lower leaf and leave the toothpick there...this will let the air get between the two leaves, allows the dead one to dry and fall away, lets you get a qtip in the gap with alcohol to get the bugs and eventually it can be just removed.

this is pretty critical too, let it get settled. As WW correctly stated, ANY adjustment is rough on the plant so let it ride without moving or unsettling it.

pulling for you!
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Old 08-05-2020, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterWitchin View Post
First, please quit changing the medium it's growing in. Choose one, and stick with it.
Pretty sure this is a trait observed on Youtube where those abusers are trying to cover a wide range of audience.
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Old 08-05-2020, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterWitchin View Post
First, please quit changing the medium it's growing in. Choose one, and stick with it.
I have been kicking myself for taking it out of the spag. After 3 years it FINALLY had some growth, so I should have just let him be happy in there! It was the fact that I wanted to put him in my case that did him in, i.e. vanity. Didn’t want fungus gnats in the case. As I’ve learned, the case will be too humid for him anyway, but I’ve found a home for him in my office now where I can enjoy him.

DityCoconuts – When it was infested, I’d been using toothpicks to get in there kill the bugs by stabbing them/ opening the leaves to pour in alcohol, but hadn’t thought about wedging the leaves open more permanently by placing them horizontally. I think I may try that *steady hands, steady hands* if it needs further drying out.

The good news is, as of right now, it looks like those remaining two leaves have not started rotting yet. It does have some roots at this point (the spag did help with that) and when I was transplanting him this morning, I even saw a tiny little nub of a new root forming.

Question: should I put it back in the spag then? I really am listening about not changing the medium, but this is in one day, so I think it’s a little different. If I do, I promise I will let him settle in
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Old 08-05-2020, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogdan View Post
Pretty sure this is a trait observed on Youtube where those abusers are trying to cover a wide range of audience.
Among other things... agreed.
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Old 08-05-2020, 04:39 PM
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No, don't repot it now! Leave it alone for a while. Paphs don't care what the potting mix is. Water so the roots never go dry. The coconut fiber may retain water for quite a while, or you may need to water every other day. I can't predict that.

Make sure the heating mat doesn't get too hot. Put a thermometer down into the bottom of the pot to check.
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