Orchids forum: Possible virus, ORSV or CyCMV on Phal

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Surprise AZ
Apr 29, 2018 1:28 PM CST
I came across this today and instantly thought this coloration may be due to a virus. Are my suspicions correct?

When purchased it did not have this coloration on the blooms but now on the sequentials it's present.
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Surprise AZ
Apr 29, 2018 1:32 PM CST

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Color before. The small leaf and color breaks present here make me also believe it's virused?
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Orchids
Apr 29, 2018 4:11 PM CST
I've had my share of virused plants...and the only way to be sure is to test it.
Knowing the parents of your plant is also helpful. Your pretty Phal probably has a complicated past.

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I bought this plant in flower with the pink blooms...2 weeks later the pale yellow ones appeared . The grower had told me that they were 'Highly Variable' so I didn't think too much about it .. the next bloom cycle was really bizarre and I tested it and it tested positive.
Usually the virus shows up as a 'color break' on the flower.

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These both tested positive.
sometimes the plant is virused but doesn't show on the flowers.
Sometimes we spray chemicals at the wrong time of the day..or on the bud at an unfortunate time in its development and similar disfigurations can occur.

The tests can be purchased from Agdia.com and cost about $10. each..so it's not worth testing most plants.
If this were my plant, I would segregate it from the rest of my collection and use good hygiene while and after handling it to keep it from spreading to your other plants. Fingers crossed that it blooms normally next year.
If you just got the plant, you might be able to get your money back or at least an exchange.
[Last edited by sugarcane - Apr 29, 2018 4:20 PM (+)]
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Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
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Apr 29, 2018 9:06 PM CST

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@Mdntnmtgmy, if you suspect it's virused, keep it isolated. Always remember to properly sterilise your tools. The worst thing about ORSV is that it can last 2+ years outside the host (and can be transferred just by touch if the leaf is damaged).

As Lindsey says, the only way to be sure is to have it tested. If the plant isn't valuable to you, though, it might not be worth it - sometimes it is easier just to throw it out and buy another one. If the plant is valuable, though, then I would be getting it tested and keeping it isolated in the mean time.

Viral symptoms will usually show up in the leaves more than in the blooms, depending on the genus. Can you add a few photos of the foliage?
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Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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May 1, 2018 8:12 PM CST
It has been my experience that viruses in Phalaenopsis are not terribly common.
If it is a sequential bloomer producing more buds from the tip of the inflorescence, virus would be evident in all of the flowers.
Since there is limited water storage in a Phalaenopsis compared to a Cattleya, I would think that a virus would make itself known quite readily. In a Cattleya, it takes more time for the virus to show itself progressing along the rhizome and new bulb then finally on to the flowers.
I would suspect in your case this "abnormality" you are seeing is due to unstable genetics.
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchid Judge
Region: United States of America Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Orchids Cat Lover Birds Dahlias
May 2, 2018 3:01 AM CST
What you are seeing in your flowers and leaves on this particular plant took me back to the "Great Benlate Scare" of the 1980's.
Benlate was the new hot shot cure all for what ailed all orchids. It turned out to be a disaster! It caused flower form mutations, extra segments, missing segments, disrupted patterns of spots and stripes. The changes were swift and irreversible. Entire business were wiped out, contamination of groundwater, millions of dollars in losses, all due to Benlate.
Your Phalaenopsis shows this kind of breakdown in color and form, things often not seen from a virus. Testing is always the real way to be sure but things like this have kept me away from chemicals.
Good culture, strong growths, good root systems, all produce healthy disease and insect resistant plants. The next time it blooms and the flowers are not normal, pitch it right into the can!
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."

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