Pale, Marked leaves on paph

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Wahaj

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Hiya,

I'm at work right now so can't post a picture but will try to do it tonight.

Basically I have 3 paphs, a couple of them Leeanums, and another similar hybrid. When I bought them, they had mid green, floppy leaves. Last year they were in good light and watering was erratic, however they developed some mid-dark ish green leaves . I've now moved to a new flat and the existing leaves seem to be loosing colour. I'd slowly moved them into an area of light, but there's no direct sun, and because of the amount of plants around them, they're always shaded.

It's difficult to describe how they look. It's like they're almost losing water as they feel rough in texture, and they seem to have a network of dark green veins all over the pale coloured leaves.

There is new growth on all them and it seems healthy and vigorous to me. It is however lighter in colour to last year's growth.

I'm assuming this is an issue with light.

The humidity around them seems to be constantly between about 80-90%, sometimes higher.

I've only started to feed them this year with a very very weak solution seaweed fertiliser.

I always water them with rain water.

Unfortunately one of aparatus I'm looking to buy next is a min/max thermometer, so I can't really comment accurately on the temp ranges they're growing in, however it's always roughly room temperature and I don't have the radiator on at any time, it's just a naturally warm flat.

Help!
 

Paul

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hello,
Couldn't it be simply a lack of fertilizing?
And/or pH too high/low?
Lack of some micro-nutrients?

please, a photo would really help us to help you! :D
 

Wahaj

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Here are the pictures. I understand everything looks a bit wet but it's because I've just watered haha.

This is what the leaf looks like now.


This is what the old one looks like one of the others. I've noticed this "bleaching" of the leaves is only happening on one plant to this extent. And then I realised that this is the plant that I had a bit of an accident with a month or so ago. When I was repotting, the roots weren't of good health on any of my paphs as back then I didn't know much about their culture. However while repotting one of the growths broke, and it may have been the new growth that broke, which you can see in the 3rd pic.


so I just put some rooting gel on the broken growth and put it back into the medium, and it hasn't shown signs on dieing, so I'm assuming it's still alive and hopefully started to make roots. Could this be what's causing problems?

The medium has been changed on all 3 of them, but only this one is reacting like this, the others are happily growing away and having plenty of new growth.


Now I'm starting to think this is less to do with any virus, but more to do with my growing conditions. This mottled leaf one here. This is one of the old leaves on one side. Not looking good! that black marks made me think it's too much sun so have moved it into a shadier position.


When it arrived the yellow leaf was starting to become yellow anyway. However it's not improved in health under my care, only gotten worse. Should I remove this leaf?


Again new growth on this plant seems to be fine as well.


These 2 are of my zygopetalum. This one seems to have black streaks on it...but again the new growth seems very clean and lush.



This now seems to be the average humidity around my plants....even when I come home in the evening.


Hope this helps you guys to help me!

thanks.
 

SlipperKing

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The forth PIC down, that leaf shows signs of gentic mismatching (light yellow streck). This happens to hybrids (sometimes species too) when the two parent plants are very different from each other, such as, a brachy X to a strape leafed plant. If the streck is carried through all the leaves on that side of the plant then many times the flower(s) will show some sign of mismatching as well but not always. If the it is on that leaf only then you probably won't notice anything in the flower. It's something to watch for when buying Paphs. Now the surface of the same leaf has sunken and/or pitted areas. This is due to lack of water so the suface collapsed. Without roots and too much sun (plus heat) this will happen. Just shade the plant more until roots are out and functioning again.
The other yellow leaf is old just pull it off by carefully holding the base of the plant and gently tug.:)

Rick H
 
B

Bob Wellenstein

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leaves seem to be loosing colour
started to feed them this year with a very very weak solution seaweed fertiliser
water them with rain water
Your plants are starving. Hopefully they still have some roots so they can be fed. Start immediately with some epsom salts at 1 teaspoon/gal, and by the next watering hopefully you will have gotten your hands on a decent fertilizer, making sure, if you are going to continue with rain water, that it contains calcium and magnesium. Keep the humidity high and the light reasonable until they perk up. It can take a while for plants like this to get growing again, they seem to go into a "survival" mode and it takes them a while to get going again.
 

Wahaj

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oh really? Now I'm really confused. I mean I've also read that paphs and such aren't heavy feeders. They've only recently been repotted so I would have thought that the new medium would have had atleast some nutrients...no?

But anyway I'll take your advice. I know it's terrible but I've no idea what Epsom salts are so I will be researching them and then hopefully trying to find a supplier. In the mean time I've bought a dedicated liquid orchid fertiliser which I'll use from roughly next week when I start watering them again.

I've also moved them into a bit more shade because the lightest part of the leaves were in the brightest light.

I've also pulled out the yellow lead on the mottled leaf one. It practically came off in my hand when I tried to inspect it for any rot.

I mean I don't have to use rain water.....but can I use hard tap water...which I'm assuming would contain calc and mag?

thanks
 

Pete

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paphs like fertilizer. i promise. you just have to flush with plain water often enough to prevent salt/calcium buildups..
 

Wahaj

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Will be going to boots today to buy some epsom salts. How much should I be using of this stuff and how often? is this th only fertiliser I should use?
 
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To address the use of hard water, I got a RO filter about 6 months ago and it seems to have drastically improved the growth, health, and size in most of my paphs, phrags' new growths (some are supplemented by a calcium top-dressing)... RO water also improved the taste of my tea and coffee! My tap water is in the 230ppm TDS range, so using it for the orchids and cacti is out of the question. You might want to get your water tested or invest in an electronic meter. If you are looking for a good fertilizer, do a search here on the forum for MSU, many of us swear by it. As for a fertilizer regime I feed at half or quarter strength every time I water.

Good luck!
 

Wahaj

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excellent. Ok. I mean I've read about several different fertilisers. One method of adding calc I've seen is adding crushed cuttlefish bone that you buy for parrots. 2 Of my paphs have this in the medium.

I've also read about worm tea and it's benefits, but i guess that's a very general fertiliser for plants, rather than for specific needs of certain orchids.

I'll look up MSU but not certain how easy it will be to et hold of in UK.

And correct me if I'm wrong. I have read about R/O water and it's stability. I think I read that when applied to the medium it can change PH dramatically and unpredictably. But I guess if your chids are loving in it, then it can't be that bad.

My budget's pretty low really, so R/O water isn't really an option for me. However it seems to rain enough at the moment for em to be abl to water my chids when they need it, and have enough left over to mist them every day. Even though a lot of people here aren't so keen on the idea of misting. However for me, it's worked wonders.
 
G

goldenrose

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Will be going to boots today to buy some epsom salts. How much should I be using of this stuff and how often? is this th only fertiliser I should use?
You should be able to find epsom salts at a drug/pharmacy store. They are used typically, by people to soak one's tired, achy body parts.
I don't think it would be considered a fertilizer, so you would need a fertilizer in addition to epsom salts. As Bob indicated 1teaspoon/gallon.
Do a search on this site, we've talked about the use of epsom salts, you can get more details that way.
 
J

John D.

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Epsoms salts is Magnesium sulfate
For a supplement try 1/2 - 1 teaspoon per gallon several times a year not every watering.
Some of the seaweed extracts and fish emulsions can be high in salt NaCl not a problem for gardens and houseplants but can be detrimental to orchids.
Many of us target the 100-150 ppm of nitrogen range when we fertilize (weakly weekly) or at that range every watering with an occasional flush of plain water.
What is the orchid fert you have (NPK)??
 

Wahaj

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Ok I'll give you all the details this has so you can see what I'm using.

NPK 5-6-7 with trace elements.

5% total nitrogen. 2% nitric nitrogen, 1.8% ammoniacal nitrogen, 1.2% ureic nitrogen. 6% Phosphorus Pentoxide. 7% potassium oxide.

trace elements: boron, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, zinc.

the recommended usage for this is 5ml in 1 litre.

The seaweed fertiliser unfortunately doesn't tell me roughly what the elements are.

and thank you for the help guys. didn't manage to get there tonight will will try going to a pharmacy tommorow night to get the salts.
 

Paul

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Hello,
Sphagnum is not very suitable for growing Paphs (It's better to use it only for epiphytic orchids) because pH is too low for them.
Then if you can find some Mancozebe (phytosanitary treatment) you can water/spray your Paph once at the lowest rate. That will help your plant to recover.
then you can use 1/3 hard water + 2/3 rain water if possible, and add a good fertilizer, as said before. :)
 
J

John D.

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What Paul said about mixing waters will help give some Calcium and Magnesium and help buffer the pH. Without knowing the exact weight (since it is a solution already and part is water) of your fertilizer concentrate 5-6-7.
Assuming weight of 1gram/ml the recommended 5ml/liter is 500 parts per million total - of which 5/18 is nitrogen - is about 138 ppm N. About right if it was all fert and no water, .
 

Wahaj

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Oh the moss isn't what I'm growing it in, it's just for decorative purposes on top of the medium. I've found that the medium dries out very very quickly if i have the surface open. Which is fine i guess for airating the medium, but I find it difficult to rehydrate. The tiny bit of moss on top keep it just moist enough from the moisture in the air to keep it open. Well i guess it works for my set up any way haha. It also help me while watering a I find that the medium is so light that when i water, everything floats to the surface and open pours out. The moss keeps it in place.

As for using the hard water, definately easier and readily available for me. so I'll definately use that method now i guess, if you guys are saying it's safe fo me to use. I was just scared in the past to use it because i was told it would burn the roots.

oh and john. Now I'm not sure if this info helps you work out the concentration. I have 250 ml of the fertiliser which makes 50 litres. No idea if that helps you. I'm not good at this maths stuff I'm afraid!

thanks very much again guys. Very very informative and I feel my plants are safe under your guidance.
 
B

benilaca

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starving, starving, starving... whatever ... can't uptake nutrient! foliage feed daily if possible (feed morning only w/ fine warm misting - rotting may occurred if apply in late afternoon + don't want to feed while they are weak & are in daily luna-rest cycle). alternate between epson salt & food (feed & nutralize salt build up). use warm water so particles soak in quickly. new root should come w/in 8 weeks. may loose current leaves w/ issue; the goal is to give enough enegy so new one can form as quickly as possible.
 

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