Deep purple leaves/growths?

jane__ny(9-10)March 16, 2014

Sun-shade, doesn't seem to matter. Thinking pH or nutritional. Beginning to concern me, especially on emerging growths?

Florida, RO, rain water. I like MSU for RO and Foliage Gro Dyna-Gro.

Any insight would be appreciated.


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how often do you actually fert? Do you use more RO or rainwater? Do you do anything to the RO water or water straight with it?

What plant are we talking about, what color are the flowers, and can you post a pic?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2014 at 5:17PM
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Good questions, Terp. Didn't expect any responses as there are so many variables.

In Florida I use rain water most often. I have rain barrels all over, hooked to every down spout. I collect as much as I can to get me through the dry months. They do get hosed occasionally and the tap water here is very alkaline. I use RO when I run out of rain water or am too lazy to go out and fill a watering can.

I am not good with fertilizing as I'm lazy. If a plant is really dry, it gets a sip of water. I probably fertilize every few weeks. Nothing mixed, just the fertilizers I mentioned.

The purple leaves/growths are extreme. Never saw it to this extent. Almost black but really a deep, dark purple. New growths are affected. Dens and Catts. Underside of large Catt leaves are deep purple.

I ask the question because some of these plants I've had for years. These are not new growths on newly acquired plants although I'm seeing it on those also. The growths from last year are green. I'm seeing it this season. I suspect nutritional or water pH because that would be the only change in a year. I've used the same fertilizers for years and always used RO in the past.

So far all the plants appear healthy and good root growth, just these weird purple leaves. Thinking it might be light levels, I've moved them around but that didn't change anything.

I haven't tested the tap water because I rarely use it. Just a spray from the hose once in a while.

I'm more curious than concerned. I'll try to get a few shots tomorrow.

Found a pic of one. Back side of leaves

Here you can see the top side is greenish.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 12:14AM
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Have growth rates or quality been affected?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 7:30AM
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shavedmonkey (Harvey in South Fl.)Z10b

My guess is that it is a reaction from cold weather. I've noticed that on some plants in the winter when temperature exposure is right at the limit. I think it ties in to trees going through the fall and the color changes. Just guessing...

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 1:12PM
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Some of my Catts have gotten purple leaves that appear to be related to a calcium deficiency. I started using dolomite lime every now and then. It seems to help mine.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 3:42PM
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Jane, one more question on top of flowering: how often are you watering?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 9:51PM
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Thanks all. I'm leaning toward what shavedmonkey pointed out, cold. We did have some cool nights-40's and I suspected it might be the cause. Greencurls - I also know there are many growers here which use vinegar or other pH methods, including lime and dolomite to deal with calcium depletion.

Plants seem healthy, just these weird colored leaves. The leaves changed color in the last two months. They have already flowered (except one, which never flowers) so I'll have to wait until next year to see if flowering is affected.

I haven't fooled around with pH as I still use wood chips and spag, although to a lesser degree. I'm still leaning toward the chilly nights as the cause.

Watering is taken care of by Mother Nature and by me when I fertilize or we haven't had rain in a while. I'm not a great waterer so I don't worry about over doing it. Another thing, the humidity is so high here at times, the plants do not require any more moisture.

The sun is strong here even with shade cloth. Plants make a lot of growth and I'm sure put additional stress on the plants.

Really just a curiosity and whether anyone has run into this in the warmer climes. If I notice any decline I'll look at it more seriously.

Thanks again,


    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 11:20PM
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shavedmonkey (Harvey in South Fl.)Z10b

Here is a red leaf on a brassavola jiminy cricket

    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 9:29AM
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allymarie(zone 10, So. Fl.)


Some of my orchids have the purplish leaves also.I always thought it was too much sunlight.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2014 at 11:04AM
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