Leaf dieback on calanthe

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Well-Known Member
Apr 30, 2011
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Orba (Alicante), Spain
I'm having a lot of trouble with a Calanthe argenteostriata. No matter how I treat it (low water, keeping damp, light seaweed based fertilizer, no fertilizer, shade house culture in Spain, now windowsill culture in the Netherlands) the leaves just keep blackening from the tips downwards, and now the new growth from the edges inwards. Other (evergreen outdoor) calanthes and (windowsill) phaius are not having those problems.
Despite the size of the new growth and visible pseudobulbs in the somewhat blurry pic I just took, the root mass occupies about 70% of the pot.

Any other growers successfully dealt with similar problems?



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    black leaf, cal argenteo striata.jpg
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Reckon it could be water pH? Both Spain and here in Netherlands have harder water. The dieback was apparent in both locations, in different media. Not much chance of fertlizer salts, but could be already in the water supply. I don't have RO but I could switch to rainwater pretty easily here. Maybe I'll also take it out of the bark and pot in straight gravel.

The Calanthe argenteostriata is the only one showing these issues. Maybe more sensitive than the others.
Get yourself a TDS meter off eBay. They are very cheap now (10 euros) and that will tell you exactly what you need to know about water quality. My rain water reads 20 to 30 and the local tap water 450!

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