ground orchids - Knowledgebase Question

davie, Fl
Avatar for digsalot08
Question by digsalot08
October 1, 2010
how can I keep the leaves from turning brown, mostly on the tips?

Answer from NGA
October 1, 2010
Bletilla, Calanthe, and Spiranthes are the most commonly grown terrestrial orchids. I don't know which you are growing, but all have similar growing requirements - rich, moist soil and shade from hot sunshine. If the tips of the leaves are turning brown it can indicate salt burn (over fertilization) but it might also be a sign of water stress (too much, too little). It's important for the soil to remain damp, like a wrung-out sponge, during the growing and flowering season. Most gardeners simply pinch or cut away the leaves that develop brown tips. It doesn't hurt the plant = but it also doesn't solve the problem! Try working some compost into the soil around your orchids to help hold moisture. As the compost decomposes it will supply nutrients to the roots of your orchids which means you won't have to use chemical fertilizers. These two practices may help stop the browning leaf tips from developing. Hope this helps!

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