Orchid Culture Questions and Answers
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Orchid Culture - Questions & Answers from This Month
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!
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Leaf Tip Discoloration

 

Leaf Tip Discoloration

Q. I bought this orchid on eBay. Is this anthracnose on the leaf, and if so, what should I use. I donít want to spend a fortune on chemicals.  

A. Yes, that's anthracnose, you can tell by the little dark dots between the darker bands, they are the fungal spores. Cut the discoloration off the leaves about an inch below the discoloration with a single edged razor blade. If the eBay seller sent this plant with obvious anthracnose, don't buy from them again.   (Nov-18)


Dendrobium in Sphagnum

Dendrobium in Sphagnum

 

Dendrobium in Sphagnum

Q. I got a dendrobium last week from the local farmers market. It has lovely blooms! But the root/pot is packed tight with sphagnum moss, and I worry it will lead to root rot if itís not repotted soon. Water definitely isnot draining easily from the pot, it just gets sucked into the medium like a sponge. However, I understand that dendrobiums are sensitive to repotting and it should only be done when new shoots are sprouting. The plant is currently in full bloom. What would you suggest in this situation?  

A. The roots look fine, and I'm guessing you can pick up the plant by the cane with no wobble in the pot, so the roots are nicely established. If water doesn't drain easily from the pot, the sphagnum is probably packed tight and perhaps is getting older, so just be careful with watering until it is time to repot. I would let it bloom out and then wait til you see the beginnings of new roots, and then put it into your mix of choice. you could pull it out of the plastic pot now and just drop it into a slightly larger clay pot too, until it is time to do the real repotting.   (Nov-18)


Growth at Medium Level

 

Growth at Medium Level

Q. I can't identify this strange growth at the growing medium level. I have been growing orchids for several years, but this has me stumped.  

A. That looks like a mushroom growing on some decaying bark, and the orange spores are sitting on top of the media. I suspect it is time to put that cattleya in some fresh mix!   (Nov-18)


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