Orchids forum: Big ugly black spot on phal leaf?

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Views: 1208, Replies: 33 » Jump to the end
Name: Kate
Holmes Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Not all those who wander are lost.
Bromeliad Cactus and Succulents Orchids Foliage Fan Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: Florida Tropicals Xeriscape
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karmatree
Feb 13, 2015 5:40 PM CST
This is the saddest orchid I have. It has had a bloom spike that splits 3 ways on it for as long as I've had it and they've never progressed to anything past little buds......it shed 3 leaves recently but I think that is normal for some phals? But it has these ugly black spots. This orchid really hates life...there have been times where it has shot out some beautiful, thick roots and then they just shrivel away....It is trying to make that new leaf there...

Whatcha think?


Thumb of 2015-02-13/karmatree/2f7d05
Thumb of 2015-02-13/karmatree/c28ccc

"A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy." - Rumer Godden
Name: Roberta
Cherokee Village, Ark (Zone 7a)
Region: Tennessee Orchids Irises
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901Bertwood
Feb 13, 2015 5:48 PM CST
I don't grow phals, they are just not worth the trouble! And you can get them for 10.00, so a perfect impulse buy at the grocery store but I know better than to think I should waste time on them.
Bert
Name: Kate
Holmes Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Not all those who wander are lost.
Bromeliad Cactus and Succulents Orchids Foliage Fan Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: Florida Tropicals Xeriscape
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karmatree
Feb 13, 2015 6:00 PM CST
Sighing! I agree with you somewhat. This orchid was on sale, pretty big, dirt cheap, not in bloom...I probably should have known better. *Blush* But I am stubborn and want to play detective with this pitiful soul's problem!
"A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy." - Rumer Godden
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
Garden Photography Region: United States of America Roses Tropicals Region: Florida Orchids
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hawkarica
Feb 13, 2015 6:15 PM CST
Let me give you a hint and then you can go play detective. What you have there is Bacterial Soft Rot or Erwinia carotovora. Your job, Kate, is to go research that and come up with a solution. I'll be here tapping my foot. nodding

Jim
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Feb 13, 2015 9:29 PM CST
I agree with Jim, it is probably bacterial soft-rot or bacterial brown rot. The treatment is the same for both.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 13, 2015 9:30 PM CST
I'm with you, Kate. I like to 'rescue' the cheap ones at Lowe's that have finished blooming, and I've had some success with them, at least the first year. Now I have a collection of about 9 that are pretty finicky and not all that willing to bloom. I've moved them again this year so hopefully a bit more light will inspire them.

I had one that developed soft rot spots like that. I don't know if I 'cured' it or if it just healed up on its own, but I treated the spots with cinnamon powder, let the plant completely dry out for a week or two in a shady spot (good weather for that, right now - low humidity). and although the scars remained, the rot didn't progress. Still have that plant, scarred leaves and all.

Oops, sorry to spoil your 'exercise' for Kate there, Jim. "Your job, Mr. Phelps, should you choose to accept it . . " Hilarious!

Anyway, I was just wondering if they might not also be sun burn spots, originally? How much light is that orchid getting, Kate? Phals really do not do well with any direct sunlight, and the sun is getting stronger every day here. The leaves get lighter green like that when they are getting high levels of light. Those Phals with the purple leaf reverse usually have very dark green leaves.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Kate
Holmes Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Not all those who wander are lost.
Bromeliad Cactus and Succulents Orchids Foliage Fan Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: Florida Tropicals Xeriscape
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karmatree
Feb 14, 2015 6:28 AM CST
I must thank you, Jim, for allowing me to do this investigation myself....this bacteria is absolutely fascinating. I have a background in microbiology; I was research assistant to the Distinguished Chair in Agriculture at VA Tech for years until simultaneously he moved to another university and I became pregnant with my little kiddo. I cherished him dearly; he also never just gave me the answer...and thus I learned so much from him.

This bacteria has some truly remarkable weapons...enzymes that are like soldiers who are sent to destroy the plant's first defenses.... enzymes who are produced only in certain manners under certain conditions...i.e. temperature, colonization numbers, oxygen presence, etc. And there's so much more sophistication to this tiny little cell than we'd ever appreciate.

Here is my plan of attack and tell me if you approve. The plant is mounted to a removable piece of pecky cypress board...I will remove the entire mount. Then, remove those black spots with a sterilized exacto knife...and isolate & treat the entire plant with a copper based treatment. I did read an interesting article about the use of salicylic acid on Erwinia, which is a popular and easily obtainable acne/toe fungus treatment, so I think I may try copper on one leaf, and weak salicylic acid solution on the other, just for fun. Smiling

This isn't a valuable plant, but the experimentation is the thrilling bit for me. This isn't a properly designed experiment by any means, either. But I care not! Big Grin
"A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy." - Rumer Godden
Name: Kate
Holmes Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Not all those who wander are lost.
Bromeliad Cactus and Succulents Orchids Foliage Fan Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: Florida Tropicals Xeriscape
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karmatree
Feb 14, 2015 6:32 AM CST
One more thing about using cinnamon, I discovered.....the effective component of cinnamon is cinnamaldehyde, which stimulates and is crucial in the production of lignin, which is a dense plant fiber that Erwinia enzymes cannot degrade. Perhaps the cinnamon treatment stimulates the growth of an effective wall of lignin in some plants, thus defeating or reducing the Erwinia invasion.
"A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy." - Rumer Godden
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
Garden Photography Region: United States of America Roses Tropicals Region: Florida Orchids
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hawkarica
Feb 14, 2015 7:34 AM CST
Good research, Kate. Before going too far, try dabbing some hydrogen peroxide on the spots just as you would a cut on your finger. After all, if it kills bacteria on your finger, why not on your plant?

Jim
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Feb 14, 2015 7:42 AM CST
I discovered a Cat. a couple of months ago that had two of these lesions on one leaf. They appeared to be Bacterial Soft Rot. They were evident only on the top of the leaf. The bottom-side looked fine. I dabbed hydrogen peroxide on the lesions, repeated the application the next day, and then sprinkled cinnamon over the area. I did not cut away any tissue. The lesions now appear about the same, but are "drier-looking". They did not spread (a yellow hallo around the lesions never has formed) and the bottom of the leaf still looks normal. I have this particular orchid out front and on a lower shelf so that I have to look at it every time I visit the greenhouse.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Feb 14, 2015 1:14 PM CST
I have read in some other orchid forums a spray of Listerine, the original formulation, can be used too. Then plant has to be kept dry to recover.

One of my noid Phals, also had something similar when I got it as a gift, but I did not do any spraying on it, just kept it drier than most. It took awhile to recover, seems really nothing was happening, but those blackened spots did not spread nor further hurt the plant. A new leaf has now grown, so I am reassured plant is recovering. Still keeping my watering at root zone level, nothing on the leaves. I have all my Phals indoors. I am waiting for the plant to just naturally drop the leaf. It is on the lower part, so am sure it will do it pretty soon.
Name: Kate
Holmes Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Not all those who wander are lost.
Bromeliad Cactus and Succulents Orchids Foliage Fan Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: Florida Tropicals Xeriscape
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karmatree
Feb 14, 2015 2:35 PM CST
Jim-- My first instinct was hydrogen peroxide after reading that Erwinia produces its damaging enzymes in an anaerobic environment, and hydrogen peroxide oxygenates whatever it's applied to.....I read a study from the University of Australia that discusses copper fungicide as effective treatment so that's why I went with that...but I kinda wish I had just tried the h. peroxide first!

Ken--My phal's lesions are the same...no halo, no spread...how is your Cat doing after that treatment? Anything new growing?

Here's a photo closeup of that weird flower spike. Is it all mangled and stunted looking because the plant is trying to recover first?
"A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy." - Rumer Godden
Name: Kate
Holmes Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Not all those who wander are lost.
Bromeliad Cactus and Succulents Orchids Foliage Fan Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: Florida Tropicals Xeriscape
Image
karmatree
Feb 14, 2015 2:36 PM CST
Whoops, guess it would help if I actually uploaded the photo. Duhhhh


Thumb of 2015-02-14/karmatree/e72463

"A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy." - Rumer Godden
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
Garden Photography Region: United States of America Roses Tropicals Region: Florida Orchids
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hawkarica
Feb 14, 2015 3:14 PM CST
That almost looks like a manganese deficiency but I've never read about that on orchids. It is not rare to see old Phal spikes branch off like that and bloom, Perhaps it is the bacterial infection that is causing the strange angular growth.

Jim
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Feb 14, 2015 3:48 PM CST
Kate, this plant is Lc. Sheila Lauterbach 'Equilab' FCC/AOS. I got this plant from Lindsey when she was down-sizing two years ago and it really hasn't done much for me. I think the plant is a fairly rare, fairly expensive one and that's why I continue to baby it and hope it gets a foothold and grows. So any lack of growth can't be attributed to the Bacterial Soft Rot on that single leaf. When received, this plant had several of its large leaves cropped off, and that could have been due to accident or disease. I will never know. I don't think this plant has ever lost a leaf and don't think it has grown any either. Sticking tongue out
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Kate
Holmes Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Not all those who wander are lost.
Bromeliad Cactus and Succulents Orchids Foliage Fan Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: Florida Tropicals Xeriscape
Image
karmatree
Feb 14, 2015 5:58 PM CST
Jim, I have a Strobilanthes, Crocodile fern and Batflower that are all twisting and mangling their leaves....just in one section of a small garden...could that be manganese deficiency?

Ken, sounds like it's frozen in time Sad How long has it been like that?
"A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy." - Rumer Godden
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 14, 2015 6:22 PM CST
Not likely, Kate.You'd see it on your palms first - a V-shaped discoloring of the fronds down the centers.

Manganese is a trace element, so most plants don't use an awful lot. More likely your misshapen leaves on the other plants are due to the cold nights we've had. Those tropical divas don't like to get cooled off too much. Is that section of your garden maybe more exposed to the cold NW winds?

Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Feb 14, 2015 9:04 PM CST
18 months.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Kate
Holmes Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
Not all those who wander are lost.
Bromeliad Cactus and Succulents Orchids Foliage Fan Organic Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: Florida Tropicals Xeriscape
Image
karmatree
Feb 15, 2015 7:21 AM CST
Elaine, bingo...that must be it. There are plants maybe 6 feet away that are nestled in a corner fence that look great. The border guys are getting beat up. I might dig up that croc fern and put it somewhere else. It's just too cool looking to ignore.

Ken, 18 months??? Ughhhhhhhhh.....long time!
"A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy." - Rumer Godden
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Feb 15, 2015 7:35 AM CST
I agree I am a (sometimes) patient guy. Angel
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

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