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-   -   Phal Leaves - reddish edges and floppy (https://www.orchidboard.com/community/beginner-discussion/70638-phal-leaves-reddish-edges-floppy.html)

LadySoren 08-24-2013 04:37 PM

Phal Leaves - reddish edges and floppy
5 Attachment(s)
Another sad orchid needs help::

I am posting pictures of my Phal. It's a ""White/ red lip Dtps. Ching Ann Angel"

It is currently under a 23w 6500k CFL bulb in brooder clamp light about 12" above leaves.
Before that its light source was just a small nightside lamp stand with no shade, bulb sticking straight up. Changed to the clamp lamp because I asked here on the board what I should do for easy cheap lighting (bad window situations where I live) and that was a suggestion.

A few months ago, one of its 3 leaves got really droopy. I thought it was no big deal because it was the oldest leaf. Now 2 of 3 leaves are floppy and all 3 have a reddish tinge around the edges. Some of the roots also have a red-brown appearance.

I have googled and googled, and some say it's too much light, so say not enough, some say too much fertilizer.
I was fertilizing it biweekly and, in my noobie opinion, it was "weakly."

As far as the floppy leaves go, I read that maybe it was not enough moisture. I water weekly, but it's in bark and good drainage. For a few weeks now, I have added bowls of water to sit around my phals (haven't gotten to humidity trays yet). I know once a leaf has flopped on an orchid, it will stay floppy because the damage is already done.

Will post photos of various stages of its life so far with me (since February this year '13) for comparison.
By the way, it had 5 leaves to start with. I repotted from moss to bark and when a little insecticide crazy in the beginning. Oops. But the leaves didn't start getting red edges until the last month or so. Was in sad shape before the clamp light, but not this bad at all.

Anyway, see photos and please tell me what you think.
The mini phal I have right next to it under the light is flourishing. A bit of brown roots (I really think it's fertilizer burn), but it's on it's way to SIX really happy leaves and some more bright green roots.

Let me know what other info you might want to help me diagnose the problem.


LadySoren 08-24-2013 04:38 PM

more pix
2 Attachment(s)
in the beginning

PS If you're thinking "it looked fine before, why don't you keep doing what you were doing?"
The answer is that it was all nice-green from when I bought it. My house is just dark and sad (for plants) and it would never be happy without artificial lighting.

LadySoren 08-25-2013 12:26 AM

Might be answering my own questions here, but I still want people's opinions just in case.

Maria's Orchids: Leaves darken on Phal Memoria Audrey Meldman 'Mendenhall' from high light

The above post seems to echo a little bit of what I'm seeing (though not as drastic). In her post she says she has a light about a foot above and that that's too much light, but she was doing it on purpose.
She also noticed a smaller plant not showing signs of stress from too much light.

So I'm thinking that it is possible the leaves got floppy from dehydration (totally likely where I live) and then red edges from the light change.

IF that's all there is to it, then I don't know how far away my light should be.

but still give me all your opinions if anyone even reads these posts.

Joyorchid 08-25-2013 12:59 AM

Not an expert here, but I will try.

The red pigment is likely from the increased light. Not a big deal as long as the plant looks healthy orherwise and continues to grow new leaves, roots, etc.

The droopy leaves could be a root problem or it could be that with the increased light and probably increased temperature from the lights that it didn't recieve enough water. Hard to say without looking at the roots.

Just my amateur:twocents:

mkaczur 01-08-2015 02:05 PM

Phalaenopsis are ‘low’ light orchids. They grow beautifully in an east window and can be grown in a south or west window if protected by a sheer curtain. A phal’s leaves should be olive green. If they are darker it means the plant is not getting enough light; red tinged leaves mean the plant is getting too much light. Once the plant is in bloom you can place it anywhere in your home out of direct sunlight. If your plant does not re-bloom, increase the amount of light that it receives.

Raqsharqi 01-08-2015 03:20 PM

If the phalaenopsis has a reddish/purple flower, is it not prone to reddish leaves? The phals I have that I know to be purple all tend towards red leaves, while those I know to be white do not...and they grow right next to each other in the exact same light.

bil 01-08-2015 03:27 PM

I had a phal this year where the leaves went all soft and floppy. I was furious, as it was a nice one that had thrown a basal keiki, and I could see it being a magnificent plant in a couple of years.

I checked the roots as carefully as I could (I pot them in large pots with big bark chunks) and the roots seemed OK.. So, I left it alone, and treated i as I had all the rest. Weakly weekly with the fertiliser,, and watering twice a week in summer, and one day after a month or more I noticed its leaves were hard again.

I just figure it had thrown a snotty fit and then got over it. I did repot while it was in flower, because the rooots were very crampd, plus, the moron who had potted it had shoved the spike stakes thru three leaves. (smh)

Touch wood it is doing OK at the moment.

Paphluvr 01-08-2015 04:04 PM

From the color of your potting mix I would guess that this plant was recently repotted. Is this true? If so, was the mix pre-soaked or moistened before the plant was repotted? Did it have a good root system? New mix does not retain moisture as well as it does when it has aged a bit. Between this and the higher amount of light (and possibly heat from the lamp) that you're giving it, it is possibly under watered.

mkaczur 01-08-2015 04:14 PM

This pigment which you are referring to is called anthocyanin it can build up in the leaves as it ages. This coloring is more notable on the undersides of the leaves or leaf edges.

Orchidgirl83 01-08-2015 05:27 PM

I agree with the above posts that the red is because it is getting close to the upper limits of light that it can handle. The leaves are probably floppy because it is too dry. The light may be putting off a lot of heat, or like was said above if you repotted it recently the mix may not be holding water very well. It does appear to have at least a couple of good roots from what I can see in the pictures.
I would soak the pot on a bowl of water for 10-15 minutes to let the roots get a good drink. Hopefully the leaves will plump back up at least a little bit after that.

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