Aerangis curnowiana keeps losing leaves
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  #1  
Old 04-20-2021, 07:53 PM
harpspiel harpspiel is offline
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Default Aerangis curnowiana keeps losing leaves

First of all, I'm not certain that this is curnowiana - that's how it was sold to me but I feel like it might be punctata.

Second, it keeps losing leaves. They yellow slowly from the tip until they just fall off. It started growing a new leaf recently and I thought it was doing better, but then it lost 2 older leaves in rapid succession.

It was in a spot that gets misted multiple times a day but doesn't stay visually "wet" for long. At first I thought it was too dry because the leaves would appear slightly wrinkled and soft at the base before they started yellowing, but now I'm thinking it was too wet, and I have moved it up to a higher, dryer location.

How much water does it want compared to, say, Schoenorchis fragrans? Angraecum distichum? Pleurothallis dressleri? I feel like I have water dialed in really well on all of those, and all dry out slightly between waterings (but Schoenorchis dries the most, followed by A. distichum, and then my Pleurothallis dressleri a little less).

Any thoughts on care or species are appreciated.




Last edited by harpspiel; 04-20-2021 at 08:04 PM..
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  #2  
Old 04-21-2021, 02:02 AM
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I don't know anything about this plant. But I don't see any healthy roots. I suspect either it shouldn't dry out at all, or it shouldn't stay as moist as you're keeping it. You need to do some more sleuthing.
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Old 04-21-2021, 06:34 AM
harpspiel harpspiel is offline
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Yes, it doesn’t have any healthy-looking roots. The roots are supposed to be white (and, if it’s curnowiana, have a copper tip - which they don’t) and warty. It was growing a new root, relatively large comparative to the plant size, before it started on the new leaf. That root is now green and shriveled, but not rotted.

It definitely does want to dry out, and when I first got it I was watching the roots and they would dry out to white within a few hours, but now all of them are that shriveled green. So I’m really looking for someone who has experience with either curnowiana or punctata to give some insight into watering practices.
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Old 04-21-2021, 08:52 AM
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Andy of Andy's Orchids might be able to help you. If you know of any vendors who specialize in these, they might also be able to give you advice.

Years ago, some of the theories batted around about sudden onset of the slow but steady loss of leaves in Angraecoids was 1) too much fertilizer or 2) systemic infection. I do not know if anyone ever learned what really caused this but it was known to happen quite often in those days.
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Old 04-21-2021, 10:41 AM
harpspiel harpspiel is offline
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Definitely not too much fertilizer, I wasn’t fertilizing at all during the winter since it wasn’t actively growing. Could be systemic infection, I’ll try some Physan since I have it on hand. I can also try the vendor which I believe was LA Orchid Connection. Good to know that I’m not alone though, I have had this slow leaf loss happen with a few angraecoids.
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Old 04-21-2021, 01:58 PM
harpspiel harpspiel is offline
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Well, the vendor says it doesn't look diseased but isn't sure what the problem could be. Suggested that it may not be getting watered deeply enough with the misting system, so I'm going to try supplementing once a week by hand and see if that helps.

I have my misting system set to go off for 15 seconds multiple times a day to keep up humidity, and then 1.5 or 2 minutes (can't remember at the moment) twice a week to give plants a good, deep soak. Most of the plants that like a wet/dry cycle seem pretty happy with this, but it's possible the Aerangis has been in a spot that doesn't get soaked as thoroughly.

Last edited by harpspiel; 04-21-2021 at 02:01 PM..
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Old 05-08-2021, 11:19 AM
harpspiel harpspiel is offline
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Update: my conclusion is that it was in a very moist spot (hence the roots turning green, which I think is algae) but it wasn’t getting soaked. The largest, healthiest roots are shaded by the leaves and I think this was preventing the MistKing from really saturating them. Since I have been hand watering under the leaves twice a week it’s now growing two new leaves and a new root, pointed up, so once the new root is established I think I’ll be able to dial back on the hand watering.

Last edited by harpspiel; 05-08-2021 at 11:26 AM..
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