Orchid Problems: The expert answers on orchid diseases

Orchid Problems: The expert answers on orchid diseases




Dear Agronomist,

Thank you in advance for your kind attention. I have orchids in very bad condition, they had been in closed greenhouses with a lot of humidity, along with other green plants.

Phalaenopsis had circular black spots with small dots around them, the surrounding areas turned yellow. Some leaves dried up shriveling and others "swelled" with water. In a short time they lost all the foliage; now they have only partially green branches of the previous inflorescence. I managed to keep the roots, in the lower layer of the pot, green (transparent pots). The stem where the leaves started from also looks dry or rotten. At the moment they are placed near a radiator on the saucer there is water, but without direct contact with the plant.

The light is guaranteed by the window above the radiator. They have been in my possession for about 2 months, in which I kept them at a lower temperature than the current one (13 °), watering once a month, to switch, lately, to once a week.

I made a single fertilization, diluting 3 caps in 3l of water, as indicated by the package, with a liquid fertilizer for green and flowering plants (NPK-7-5-6). The first thing I did was repot the plants, the most damaged ones, and sprinkle the damaged parts and the stems with liquid clay and cinnamon.

I found small white spots on the pine bark, but I'm not sure they are parasites. I also have some specimens of Miltonia and Oncidium in the same conditions, but some have green leaves and the pseudobulbs are very shriveled. How can I do to restore my orchids? I hope you can help me. Waiting for an answer, I take this opportunity to thank you again.




Dearest Keti, I see it hard, very hard but for the dedication and love you show towards these plants, we try to try to save them.

First of all, I suggest you read what I write in the article onPhalaenopsis and also peel the other general articles onOrchid cultivation techniquesbecause from how you acted I guess that you do not know much about orchids as you have done and you make cultivation mistakes that you should not do when dealing with orchids. In fact, orchids are not difficult to grow and, after all, not that demanding, only their needs are quite precise and very, very different from "normal" plants.

Before giving you some advice you have to make me understand a few things but first of all remove the orchids from above the radiator immediately (never place any plant on a direct heat source), in this way I read the roots. Find a well-lit place at home, for example behind a light curtain on a window but away from the radiator.

Tell me how you did the repotting which is essential for orchids. How did you do it? What kind of substrate did you use? What kind of vase did you use?

I do not understand another thing: what it means "Now they have only branches of the previous inflorescence, partially green". TherePhalaenopsis is what is called a monopodial species that is to say that they develop in a single stem therefore what do you mean by your statement? You mean it still has a flower stem? Let me understand.

Tell me one more thing: why did you use liquid clay and cinnamon? Why did you think about doing this treatment?

I await your news.

Dr. Maria Giovanna Davoli

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