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!
Blotches on New Phal Leaf
Q. I repotted this orchid about a month ago. A new leaf formed but had these spots on it. Medium brown in appearance and perfectly smooth. Any idea what it is?
A. From the description, you might think some sort of bacterial infection if water sat on the leaf, but the blemishes would be sunken. We asked for a picture of the whole plant and the top leaf underside, and you can see the plant looks great. Just some purple pigmentation on the tender new leaf. Don't change a thing!
Basal Keikis Form on Phalaenopsis
Q. I thought you might like to see how I made a division of this phalaenopsis?
A. One of our newsletter subscribers sent us a series of photographs showing how he got vegetative divisions of his phalaenopsis to form. First, he cut the top the healthy part of the phalaenopsis away from the lower stem, so the leaves and newly forming roots could be repotted into fresh mix. This left the older part of the phal with intact healthy roots in the old pot and mix. He did not disturb the older part of the plant while waiting for the basal keikis to form. You can see where the basal keikis form from the old stem and then grow into small plantlets in the final photographs.
Q. What shall I do with this problem vanda. Do I throw it all out, take the keikis off or leave it alone?
A. The bottom part of the plant is the future of your vanda. If all those roots are from the keikis rather than the mother plant, you could actually just cut out the top of the plant and toss it. If that seems too harsh, you can wait until new roots start along the stem and then separate the two halves. You can see that the top part of the plant is a little tired, with some sunburn and fungal issues, while the bottom part is so young and healthy. Think of all the blooms you'll get from all those keikis!