Cracks on Paph leaves

Discussion in 'Problems, Pests, & Diseases' started by Monica Penders, Sep 27, 2019.

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  1. Sep 27, 2019 #1

    Monica Penders

    Monica Penders

    Monica Penders

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    So I've had this Paphiopedilum Pinocchio (I'm told it is), and it's my only Paph, and I've had it for years. I can't believe it's survived my hands as I'm notoriously bad with plants. However this Paph has not only survived but so far made it pretty well, made new growths and flowered about once a year.

    Recently I've been starting to research to try and learn how to take better care of my orchids. I realize that I've done lots of things wrong, like for example never repot in years and years and years, also never fertilized, not even once, the biggest problem for my other orchids was: I'd forget to water them for weeks.

    Right now this is my concern regarding my Paph: It's got some cracks right in the middle of the leaves, also something that looks like round "nibbles" as if someone or something has been taking a nibble of the leaves. It's also got some brown spots on the leaves. Looks like sunburn, but I just can't see how that's possible. That's the one thing, I think I've been doing right all this time. I've always tried to keep it away from direct sunlight. So weird. Does this mean I've got a problem with some bugs or a disease or is it simply a lack of nutrients? As I mentioned I never fertilized it for years and years.

    Ok, so the one thing I know is that obviously the older leaves at some point turn yellow and die, this is normal. But the cracks and the "nibbles" what's that?

    Other information on the care and conditions: My orchids all get regular tap water. I've checked and the tap water where I live is soft water, which I understand is good, had it been hard water not good. Right? I've even found a website that says what the percentage of minerals in the water is here, they measure it every 3 months. Is this handy?

    In the fall/winter I keep my Paph by the window (east) because there isn't much sun here this time of the year. Plus I heard that this Paph likes cooler climates and this particular window is pretty cool wintertime. Once spring starts the sun gets pretty sharp here as it shines from sunrise until about 12 - 1 p.m. and so every year I move my Paph to somewhere in the middle of the room, anyway away from direct sunlight.

    Summers can get hot here, especially as I don't have airco. Fall and winter cool. Right now the temperature inside the house is around 71.6F (22C), and humidity 60+. No need to start putting on the heater yet, and besides that we never turn on the heater particularly high anyway (it's expensive plus we're used to it by now) so wintertime it's around 68F (20C), never more than 69.8F (21C).

    I only just recently purchased orchid fertlizer, I've got the one from Orchid Focus, I actually bought two, the one that says Growth and the one that says Bloom (for when they're flowering). I'm very careful with using this because I don't want to chock my orchids after years of not receiving any.
     

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  2. Sep 27, 2019 #2

    mrhappyrotter

    mrhappyrotter

    mrhappyrotter

    Grand Chupacabra

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    The plant doesn't look like it's in terrible shape, it's got lots of foliage and a nice healthy spike. There's always room for improvement, of course. Since it seems to be doing alright, I wouldn't recommend that you drastically change anything about your culture of the plant, and the plant should probably be acclimated to any changes you make. It sounds like you're already doing that with the fertilizer (i.e. being careful as not to shock the plant). Otherwise, consistency really is key, as the plants can adapt to a wider variety of care and conditions than they'd get in the wild.

    As for the cracks and nibbles, I wouldn't worry too much about them, since it's very difficult to get perfect foliage in home grown plants. The cracks may be related to moisture issues, for instance maybe the plant is being grown a bit too dry, experienced a bit of a dry spell at some point, or the humidity is a bit low. Temperature could be a factor there, too. The nibbles look like mechanical damage. The leaves may have rubbed up against one another, you may have accidentally nicked one, or perhaps there was a snail or other critter that took a nibble. None of it looks particularly troublesome unless the brown areas start to expand or multiply.
     
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  3. Sep 27, 2019 #3

    Monica Penders

    Monica Penders

    Monica Penders

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    Thank you for your quick reply. I'm so glad to hear that you think my Paph is not too bad. I'm so relieved. :)
    I have to be honest, that picture was taken a few months ago, but the nibbles and cracks are the same. It's done blooming though, but I enjoyed 3 sequential flowers, I'm glad they lasted pretty long, I think so anyway. :)

    I'll definitely take your tips into account. (thumb up)
     
  4. Oct 17, 2019 #4

    NYEric

    NYEric

    NYEric

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    Pull off the dead leaves. water a little more. Good luck.
     

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