Orchid Culture - Questions & Answers from This Month

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by Sue Bottom, from the St. Augustine Orchid Society Newsletter. Email us with any orchid question. If we can't answer it, we'll find someone who can! Send photographs too!
 
Keikis on Cycnoches

Keikis on Cycnoches

Q. This Cycnoches Topaz Grande is my pride and joy, but it obviously thinks it’s dying as do I. One cane rotted off but the others seem to be quite firm. Do I just leave it do its own thing or do I somehow remove the keikis?
A. If your plants have time left in the growing cycle, I would cut the bulbs about half way between the nodes that carry the keikis and pot them up in small (2 to 3 inch) pots in good sphagnum moss and let them grow til dormancy hits, the nutrients in the pseudobulb will continue to nourish the keikis until their roots grow into the moss. Another alternative would be to get a shallow bulb pan with long fibered sphagnum moss and just bury the pseudobulbs half way into the moss so the keiki roots can grow into it. The bulbs will ultimately rot and you can pull them out while the keikis continue to grow. The keikis may continue growing through the winter, or they may go dormant. If most of your other plants have entered dormancy, it may be better to leave the keikis on until next spring.   (Jan-23)
 
 
Hard, Clear Bubbles on Phal Leaves
Hard, Clear Bubbles on Phal Leaves

Hard, Clear Bubbles on Phal Leaves

Q. There are hard, clear bubble shapes on my phal leaves. It doesn’t look like an insect. What could it be?
A. That's edema, like a water blister. It happens when you water late in the day when the air cools or the skies turn grey, so transpiration slows down and the water needs to be shed from the leaf so it forms these little blisters. It won't harm the plant. Here's a link to more information. (Jan-23)
 
 
Color Break on Cattleya

Color Break on Cattleya

Q. Do you think this is virused? Where can I buy some test strips?
A. That looks like a nasty case of color break caused by Odontoglossum Rinspot virus (ORSV). Sometimes you can join a group that is ordering the test strips from Taiwan, or you can order from Agdia in groups of 5 to 25. Such a shame!   (Jan-23)