Sticky crispy dried out leaves?

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Jan 24, 2019
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Hoping someone can tell me what's happening so I can treat it. Happening to a handful of plants. I have not seen any bugs on the leaves or in roots. Repotted and treated with Azamax as a precaution. Leaves will sometimes be sticky prior to drying out completely. Help?


It looks like it had rot and the plant is desiccated. Unfortunately don’t hold much hope for a positive outcome with this. Look at the roots. You may find that they are in poor condition or now rotted away.
The media is too dry for Paphiopedilum as they need constant moisture in the media. Looks like the media you are using is more suited to epiphytes that need to dry out really quickly. I would use a smaller grade of bark and add sphagnum moss to the mix. Make sure you have at least 50% or more humidity in your growing area.
My humidity has been holding steady around 55%. A few points higher for a couple days after I water on Sundays. Going to look into getting a humidity tray to help it reach higher.

I repotted en masse this summer with Orchiata Power Classic mix for my smaller, compact paphs and Power Plus mix for all other pots 4" or greater. Didn't see too much root rot when I repotted, but I do struggle with occasional crown rot because I switched to a gallon pressure sprayer for watering and it occasionally blasts water everywhere unintentionally. Normally crown rot turns the plant to mush so the drying out leaf crispiness kind of threw me off.

If they are sticky, that may point to soft scale or aphids, though aphids are less likely.
The sticky stuff, if it's what I think it is, is honeydew (the polite way to say scale poop)
If they are sticky, that may point to soft scale or aphids, though aphids are less likely.
The sticky stuff, if it's what I think it is, is honeydew (the polite way to say scale poop)
“Honeydew” is a remarkably broad term.

Yes, I have heard it to be scale secretions, and in this case, that is the more likely source, but it is also sugary sap exuded by some plants when their stockpile of resources is quite good. I have read some folks’ speculation that it help attract pollinators.
it could be infected with multiple things, would not forget mites

but Azamax should take care of it ! any improvement ?
I never saw any bugs with my eyes. I tried zooming in on pics I've taken to see if I could make out any insects and didn't find any.

Could it have been the act of repotting that upset them? Actually, I did a lot more than that. I repttted then relocated from under a window/skylight to a LED shelf setup with fans. Could I have introduced too much change at once?
repotted the orchids with the extra coarse media as suggested and found some teeny tiny black dots on one of the plants in my mexi compot then mealies on my Benki. treating suspected, affected and surrounding plants with another round of azamax and quarantining until i see some improvement. oh and to top things off my pressure sprayer burst at the bottom. when it rains it pours. ☹️


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i always treat new incoming plants with azamax and quarantine for a week before introducing to the shelf. do i need to carpet bomb my entire collection? also i think i'll be reverting to my 2hr extra careful watering routine to battle the crown rot issue.