basal rot...

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some call me brian
Jun 7, 2006
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Cape Cod
so, for some reason i've been getting some of what i'm calling basal rot. it happens mostly in the winter. the leaves start browning near the crown and it quickly spreads to the rest of the plant. shoulda taken a few photos before the last 'cleanup' (read: throw out)...
anyone have any thoughts?
i had that problem too. I started using phyton 27 and added more fans to help with it.
A good systemic (like phyton 27) will help, along with good air movement. Also, since your temps are probably lower in the winter (especially at night) reduce your humidity, especially at night.

- Matt
You need to change your cultural methods.
Paphs are basically epiphytes being grown as terrestrials.
I would suggest that use a fast draining mix and pot with the plant sitting on a hill in the middle of the pot. Also adequate air movement is important. Be sure that there is excellent aeration and control your humidity.
My feeling is that you are running your plants cooler than they like! Or watering more than they need! For them this is their rainy and warm season in their native habitats, nights down into the mid 50s is minimal but I try to keep mine at around 60 but push the highs up into the mid 80s
(all Fahrenheit) coupled with humidity persistent in the 70% range. Let the plants get somewhat driest with the humidity up they can handle it and water heavy when you do.
How cold is the water you are watering with?

Winter is pretty stressful on tropical plants. Light is lower, temps and humidity fluctuate more, and potting mixes don't dry at the same rate they do in summer. Stressed plants don't have as good of an "immune system" and so something like cold water settling between the leaves can be an open invitation to fungi and bacteria.

the water temp is actually okay. the air temps stay around 70... tried to talk to the boss about lowering it, but no go.
i think i need to invest in a fungicide but for some reason, they freak me out. i used a pesticide last night which is a parasitic fungus and requires all sorts of PPE (personal protective equipment) with no issues, but fungicide, that's another story for some reason...
Does this start on one leaf and then spread or do all the leaves turn brown at their bases at the same time?

Once you see the leaves turning brown how long is it before the rot spreads to the center of the crown?

I'm having good results with treating various types of rot with with a natural product called Dragon's Blood. It may prove to be a good alternative to fungicides which are not really all that effective on bacterial infections.
Have you read this thread Natural Treatment for Bacterial Infection
Does the "basal rot" look like this:


? I stripped off the really bad leaves and treated with Cosan 20 (= Physan 20) and the plant is still alive with no further "rot." We'll see what happens.

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