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seawitch

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Help!!!

I bought this, my first phrag, (phrag besseae (smokin x colossal) at an orchid society a few weeks ago. When I asked one of the experts about care, he said his type of orchid could use about as much water as I could give it.... (unlike the treatment I provide my other orchids)...

So, after bringing home my beauty, I watered it every 2-3 days, but after water accumulated in the bottom, I poured it out. The roots have been constantly moist/wet. I kept it on an eating bar next to my range (the bar is elevated), and have been careful to not get directly over the range area, but over to the side where it would not come into direct contact with steam, grease, etc. It has not been in direct sun, but is about mid-room between windows. By the end of the first week, the brown areas on the leaves near the buds/flower started to brown.:sob:

Bud April 21 Small Web view.jpg

It had two buds on it when I brought it home, and when the second one opened, the first one fell off (although it still looked quite nice). It developed a third bud which hasn't opened yet (see pic), and today the flower that was in bloom fell off as I touched it to try to check out what appeared to be white fluff on the back side of the bloom (see pic).

Should this plant be kept wet? Should I let its roots be in water, rather than pouring off the accumulation? Is the fuzzy white stuff a parasite, pest, fungus? :confused:

Any help will be appreciated!

Ann

Bloom April 21 Small Web view.jpg
 

smartie2000

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Yes it should be kept wet. Keeping it dry won't do it any good.

these blooms don't last too long...you don't know how long that one was already opened for. People bring their phrags to shows and hope their perfectly looking blooms don't drop before the judging. They drop when they look perfectly fine, unlike other orchids.

However many new buds will develop to replace the dropped blooms. Phrag besseae are sequential blomers, each new bud replaces the old bloom.

I am unsure why the bracts have turned brown. I am thinking it could it be stress from moving it to a new environment. Or it could be water quality. Definitely not pests. Phrag leaves can get brown spots quite easily.

The fluff is not a fungus that I recongnize. It could just be some cotton that got stuck on it by accident. It's also not the same texture as that of mealie bugs either,

I suggest giving it more light. Mid room light isn't gonna give it what it wants. This second bud should have been more well developed before the first bloom dropped.
 

kentuckiense

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Welcome to the forum!

"Mid room between windows" doesn't sound like enough light (assuming you mean it is in the middle of a room).
 
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seawitch

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Oh, Good!

Thanks... I'm feeling less guilty now! I also took the plant out of its planting medium today and checked the roots, which to my untrained eye, looked okay...no bugs, eggs, slime, etc. :)
 
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seawitch

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Yes, maybe it's not getting enough light. However, I have other orchids in areas where there is even less sunlight, and they are doing fine. But, good idea, I'll get it re-established elsewhere.
 
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gore42

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Hi Ann, welcome to the forum!

For many Phrags, it is normal for blooms to drop off before they start to wither and fade (they may fade a bit), which takes a lot of growers by surprise... they expect the bloom to shrivel a bit first. That in itself is nothing to worry about. And as you've heard, they do like to stay pretty wet.

How long was the second bloom open? If it was more than a couple of weeks, I'd say it was probably pretty normal for it to drop off at that point, especially considering the advanced devleopment of the next bud.

I'd agree that you should move it to a window sill. I expect that it's still pretty cool up there this time of year (I grew up a bit north of Seattle), and there isn't much worry of it getting burned from direct sunlight in that region either :D Also, keeping it on a cool window sill will help it bloom with a richer red in the next blooming.

I don't know what Kirkland municipal water is like, but that could have something to do with the browning of the brachts. If you collect rain water, that would probably be better for it... Phrag species tend to be sensitive to water quality. But who knows, it may just be stress.

Guess I didn't add much :) Good luck with your plant! Let us know how it goes...

- Matthew Gore
 
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seawitch

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Thanks, Matthew. I'll restablish it to a window, maybe a westerly one.... Another orchid I have there seems to be enjoying the location.

Actually, later I'll post pics of another orchid I have which has developed brown spots on the leaves. It may be that it got too much sun from a south side window sill...believe it or not, we've had quite a bit of sunshine recently.... I'm hoping the brown spots are from too much sun and not a fungus.

Thanks for the welcome! I'm enjoying the discussions.

Ann
 

Marco

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Hi Ann, Welcome to the forum. I have one phrag, phrag sunset glow that I recieved from Matt, great plant by the way, and it loves sitting in water. I keep mine sitting in at least a half an inch worth of water.
 
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seawitch

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Wow, that's interesting! I would never have thought that much water would be appropriate... but I guess that's why I'm here... to learn from all of you!
 

Heather

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Phrags tend to grow in areas where there are lots of rivulets and streams and often their shallow roots are right in the running streams. There is a subcategory of the Genus that does not like to have wet feet, but besseae, it's hybrids, and most of the other short petaled phrags like to be quite wet. Much more so than other orchids.
 

SlipperFan

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Welcome, Ann.

When I see something suspicious on my plants, I tend to use a magnifying glass to check it out. The white fuzz on the back of your flower is a good example -- probably not anything more than a little cotton, fluff, but a mag. glass will tell you for sure.
 
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Barbara

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Hi Anne welcome to the forum.

White fluff could be mealy bug...

Are you misting your plant? Water sitting on leaf on a cool day or in bright(hot, hot) sun can scar the leaf or cause markings. This is true of many plants.
 
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seawitch

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Dot & Barbara, et al.

Thanks for your thoughts re mealy bugs... I'd forgotten about using a magnifying glass to check on such things. I'll do that tomorrow. Late today I became more suspicious in that regard as I noticed more white spots inside the leaf area around the bud shaft.

If mealy bugs are present, would I use alcohol on a cotton swab for this as I've done for other plants?

In response to the question about misting, no, I've not been misting the orchids. It hasn't been really dry here (Seattle :confused: ).... Should I make misting part of my care routine anyhow?

Thanks,
Ann
 

smartie2000

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Yes alcohol and cotton swab:)...if they become uncontrollable you may have to spray some chemicals. Careful because mealies can spread onto other plants
 
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gore42

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Ann,

If it is mealy bugs, I'd recommend heading over to Home Depot (or similar) and picking up a bottole of Bayer Advanced Rose and Flower insect killer (with the active ingredient imedaproclid ). It's systemic, so it will protect the plant for weeks, and if you aren't careful with mealy bugs, they will quickly spread and attack all of your plants. A spray bottle of the stuff costs around $5-6, and works really well.

- Matt
 
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seawitch

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Good idea, Matt. I was not aware there was a systemic treatment, and was planning to ask that question of the forum. You anticipated my query.

Thanks.

Ann
 

NYEric

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I grow mine in full sun, southern exposure. I have about 100 besseae/hybrids growing hydroponically. The flowers will drop off as the next one blooms. I'm having increased success w/ MSU fertilizer in reverse Osmosis filtered water. If it is mealie bugs or something on the flower just clean them off w/ a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol. See the Phrag photo threads and Buy more!
 

Candace

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I haven't had success with the the Bayer spray Matt mentioned. I bought 5 bottles on clearance and have had to do MULTIPLE(like 6-7) applications for scale and mealy bug on some plants I received that had some of the buggers. Some people have had success with it and a lot have not. If it's available locally and cheaply, I'd say go for it, but if you have to order it on the net etc. I'd say buy WP orthene for a systemic. Enstar works wonders, but it's not cheap and not for just a few plants.
 

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