Orchid Culture - Questions & Answers from This Month

by Sue Bottom, from the St. Augustine Orchid Society Newsletter. Email us with any orchid question. If we can't answer it, we'll find someone who can! Send photographs too!
 
Maxillaria tenuifolia Bulbs are Wrinkled

Maxillaria tenuifolia Bulbs are Wrinkled

Q. My Maxillaria has some new growths and roots but the pseudobulbs are wrinkled, should I leave her alone or repot?
A. That looks like it would benefit from being repotted. The mix looks worn out and the pseudobulbs are probably dehydrated from the moss breaking down. You can safely repot now because new roots are forming. Keep it in a smallish pot. It will tend to grow up and out. A basket would be great.   (Jan-20)
 
 
White Spots on Leaf
White Spots on Leaf

White Spots on Leaf

Q. What is this bug and how do I get rid of it?
A. I couldn't tell what the problem was from the pic of the top of the leaf, so I asked Humberto to send a pic of the leaf underside. The scale infestation is clearly visible on the bottom of the leaf. The first step was to spray the obvious scale with alcohol and follow up with a drench of one of the Bayer Three in One products containing imidacloprid as one of the active ingredients. (Jan-20)
 
 
Phalaenopsis Leaf Blemish
Phalaenopsis Leaf Blemish

Phalaenopsis Leaf Blemish

Q. I was given a Phalaenopsis in rotting, moldy bark medium. I removed all the medium, perched it on a plastic bottle I've punched full of holes, and it's been growing in 'air' for four or five months now. I spray it twice a day with spring water, and also spray with fertilised water. The roots are NOT sitting in water. It seems healthy enough -- new roots and a leaf are emerging, and the old leaves do not look like they are yellowing. That top big leaf grew while it was with me. While it was still in bark medium, one leaf developed these marks, but they have not enlarged. Should I trim the leaf?
A. Whatever you are doing, don't change a thing! Do not worry about the bottom leaf blemish, eventually your plant will shed the leaf and you won't have to look at it anymore. It looks like something happened to it when the leaf was originally forming, but there is no active infection. Good growing!   (Jan-20)