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Orchids/Leaf problem on phalaenopsis

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Phaelanopsis
Phaelanopsis  
I have a problem on my phalaenopsis leaves. The leaves are turning brown and the veins are popping out.
I keep my orchids 8 inches away from an artificial 20 watt flourescent light with watering whenever the roots turn white. I keep them in fir bark and fertilize every time I water. What's the problem?

Answer
David, there are many possible explanations, however, the two that ocuur first in my mind are the following:  1>  most root damage occurs far down into the orchid mix so roots whose velamin (ie surface covering) appear white on the surface do not reflect the condition of the roots further down in the potting mix.  To rule out a root problem, you will need to unpot the plant and examine all of the roots. Potting mixes tend to degrade from the bottom up, so roots near the bottom of the pot may be rotting and these roots can affect leaf growth..  In the event of root rot, you will need to repot the plant with fresh orchid potting mix; 2] part of one leaf shows signs of leaf burn from overheating. This does not damage the plant but is unsightly; 3) 20 watts of light is insufficient light for a phalaenopsis.  You should at least double that amount and, ideallly, use two 40 watt florescent bulbs (egg a shop light).

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Wayne King

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Any question about orchid culture. I have thirty+ yrs of growing experience,president 2x of our local Orchid Growers Guild,held a position in most all other offices associated with the Guild at one time or another. Head of Orchid judging team for local club meetings and some shows. Member of two Orchid Socities and local Rep.for Mid America Orchid Congress for several yrs.I have in my collection about 800 Orchid plants of all types.

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