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!
 
Cattleya Leaves Floppy after Repotting

Blackening New Growth

Q. What’s causing this blackening from the new growth tip down?
A. My guess was that you must have had water pooling in there as the growth was forming and caused the localize rot. It is a problem this time of year when the high humidity doesn't allow leaves to dry out quickly. If you see areas where water can pocket around your soft new growths, gently pull the sheath down to allow any condensation or accumulation of water to drain freely.   (Sep-22)
 
 
Possible Virus
Possible Virus
Possible Virus

Possible Virus

Q. This Cattleya Sea Breeze was gifted to me in April. I have kept it outside since then. It has had 6 blooms, all look like the one pictured. The plant looks okay, way over pot bound, had lots of leads this year, but the flowers look funky. What is going on?
A. After looking at the first picture, I thought there was thrips damage. Those clearish areas with a bulls eye in the center are most likely caused by thrips. There were also some areas in the petals where there was darker pigmentation that was a concern, maybe viral color break or caused by thrips. I asked for more pictures and the verdict was in. Definitely thrips damage and most likely virused too. The dark asymmetric streaks that aren't associated with the thrips damage and the black speckling on the older leaf are both suggestive of virus. This plant was tossed to avoid problems with his other healthy orchids.   (Sep-22)
 
 
Sunburn Damage
Sunburn Damage

Sunburn Damage

Q. This Vanda had a great spike that was coming out and it turned black on me. I have it hanging from a hibiscus on the side of the house. It does not get direct sunlight. I don’t think it is because of the sun.
A. I think the leaves got sunburned. Either there is more light there during certain times of the day than you are aware, or it was not acclimated to that level of light. The bloom spike could be sunburn, particularly if the blackening happened in one day like the sunburn. Otherwise, thrips are a possibility. (Sep-22)