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Pleurothallis dilemma leaf tips

Discussion in 'Issues, Disease and Pests' started by KellyW, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    This P. dilemma grows and blooms for me but, as you can see in the photos, the tips of the leaves die. So far I haven't lost an entire leaf. I recently moved this to a shadier spot but all summer it was in moderate bright light hanging next to a thriving Restrepia cymbula. It received daily summer water, intermediate-warm temps and dilute fertilizer with every watering.

    I don't know if the leaf tips are sunburn, too dry, too warm, disease, or mites. I have had some mites in the greenhouse this summer that I have been treating but the damage I have seen has been limited to thin-leaved species so far. Any and all ideas are appreciated.

    BTW, in the flower photo, the missing "horn" on that leaf is unrelated. It is just a break.

    Pleurothallis dilemma-900.jpg Pleurothallis dilemma leaf tips-800.jpg Pleurothallis dilemma flower-900.jpg
     
  2. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I was told to grow this cool and bright and it seems to really like that.
     
  3. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks, Marni. By "bright" would you say Cattleya light?
     
  4. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Where I grow it isn't quite that bright, but close. But that is 75 maximum daytime temperature and 50 minimum nights.
     
  5. Alexey

    Alexey Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Marni, do you grow it mounted or potted?

    Kelly, for me Pleurothallis dilemma and penelops grow better in shallow pots. During re-potting I found that naturally they have rather long roots (hard to imagine them on mount). What about chemical leaf tip "burning" due to mounting technique?
     
  6. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Would you explain that? I don't see the connection between "chemical ...burn" and growing on mount or "mounting technique".

    If you talk about the salt build-up here, then you should work on the water quality, not the growing method(in pot or on mount).
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014
  7. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Personally, I think it all depends on the growing conditions. For example, while some people can grow Lepanthes successfully only in pot, they will die slowly if I grow them that way.
    BTW, my Pthl. dilemma has been growing happily on a stick. I suggest good air and slightly dry between watering.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014
  8. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks Marni, Alexey and Tom.

    Alexey, I considered fertilizer burn but nothing else is looking that way so I discounted that unless this species is very sensitive.
    Marni, if I have to keep it that cool it won't work for me. Next summer I'll move it closer to the air conditioner and give it the coolest days that I can. Do you grow it moist?
    Tom, in your conditions to let it "slightly dry between watering", how often do you water in mid-summer? In my summer conditions, the surface of the root ball feels dry to the touch between daily watering but I never really checked below the surface. I suspect it was staying slightly damp at the roots.
     
  9. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I do grow it mounted on hardwood. It does dry each day before it gets watered again.
     
  10. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Pretty much year round, I water mine every other day or sometimes every other two days. Keep it in mind, My condition is cooler(not warmer than 75F) than yours and humidity is always good.
     
  11. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks again. No one has suggested disease or bugs so I'll just try to keep it as cool as possible.

    Very few Pleurothallids do well for me. Restrepia thrives for me but most others just survive (or not :(). I'll learn my lesson some day and stick to the I-W growers.
     
  12. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    well, I kinda suspect it might be fungal problem. Cut off the affected area(not the whole leave) and see if it will stop the spreading.

    @ insects/mites, Check closely. if so, you know what to do.

    I don't think you have a whole lot to worry about it. Just keep your eyes on it.
     
  13. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Kelly, if I could have one or the other between light and coolness, I would go with cooler. I just took a picture of mine and will post it in a new thread.
     
  14. Alexey

    Alexey Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Tom, everyone appreciates your posts with beautifully grown plants using classical mount technique. On the other hand, you have seen that I can grow well in pot orchids, typically mounted by others. Not that I am using a magical secret. It is just a common sense approach for me - mounting requires a significant time investment and less forgiving to my faults or neglects. That is why for me it is a not a water quality, but growing method question.
    Growing orchids I have learned that anything is possible, but common things they are ... common. There are not to many plant pathological conditions with leaf tips necrosis and funggal infection or mites infestation are not among them (sorry Kelly, all that not about your plant, but about true!).
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014
  15. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    No one questioned about your growing method or how you care for your orchids. Like I said before, it all depends on your growing conditions.... I just don't understand what the connection between "Chemical burn" and "mounting technique" is.
    My head hurts!:confused:
     
  16. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Tom and Alexey, enough said. Thank you both for your input.
     
  17. Natureman

    Natureman Active Member

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    I can't see the roots? Are you getting good root growth?
    My mentor has over a thousand plants and he's been finding that his mature plants stop doing well with too much moss on the mount. He's been seeing the moss actually keeping the plant too dry!? He's been scraping off moss on some of his established plants.
    So here's a great grower having to do something different after over three decades of growing!
    Hope this observation helps.
    In my experience, leaf tip dryness is the first sign of significant root rot... Scares me to death to see it - it's good that your plant is otherwise heathy and blooming.
    -John
    (PS. What about neem oil on the leaves in the future... My plants seem to like it and it seems to keep the leaves in really good shape)
     
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  18. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That is a very good point! It looks like it is from Andy? If so, he mounts things with a wade of some kind of moss between the mount and the roots and it goes bad rather quickly. It works for him, but it is not good in my conditions. This species should put out a good root system.
     
  19. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    John, Marni, Thanks. I'll unmount it today and start fresh.
     
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  20. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I agree Andy's staffs may use a bit too much moss sometimes. Normally remount most of the plants from Andy right away or pull some moss off the mount.

    @moss, dead moss will soak up the water right away while the thick live green moss may prevent the water going down to the roots if you don't water it properly.