Amesiella monticola is having a problem

rames(Zone 7)July 9, 2010

I bought this Amesiella monticola orchid in October 2009 at Washington, DC. The plant was in bloom with fragrant flowers at that time. It was doing well till now. Please see the pictures, the leaves of the plant are becoming pale and one of the leaves is browning out. Earlier the leaves used to be in a nice green color. The temperature is around 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The humidity varies from 40% to 60%. Can some one please let me know, what is going on and what I should do to save the plant. Here is the link to the pictures:

Hope to get some good advice from you guys. Thank you.


P.S: I have trouble with two of my other orchids too. I will post them later.

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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

Always difficult if you only have one of a type and especially so if the orchid might not be all that common in cultivation.

I'll have a punt and say that some related orchids do better on a mount or in a very small pot with excellent drainage. Some examples Neofinetia falcata and Sarcochilus ceciliae.

What to do? Hopefully someone will add to this. Maybe Angraecum culture methods would be appropriate.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2010 at 8:45PM
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cjwatson(Z8 FL)

Ramesh, it is sometimes difficult to diagnose an orchid problem just from a photo. So instead of trying to do that, let's just say that this species of orchid comes from the mountains of the Philippines, growing in bright shade, with good air circulation, moderate to high humidity and, obviously, cool temperatures (under 80F).

The heat may be your main problem. Then again, with the new growth being browned, that is not promising -- it could be a symptom of crown rot which would likely doom the plant. Crown rot is usually caused by water remaining in the very top of the plant -- and can be a problem with all monopodial orchids.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 8:42AM
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rames(Zone 7)

Anthurm: I have a Neofinetia falcata near this plant. It is doing better than this plant. I will check the drainage and I will try to put it on a bark as you have mentioned.

Carol: Thanks for the info. I will try to put it in a cooler temperature. Is there anything that can be done for a crown rot? Also I think crown rot is not possible, because I have been watering this plant once is 3 days. Only after the moss has completely dried out.

Leaves losing their nice green color, does that indicate something? Definitely it is not exposed to too much light. Because it has been at the same spot (under fluorescent lights) all the time. Thank you so much for the advice.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 8:29PM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

Ramesh, Mixed information about this orchid, if you google Amesiella monticola you will find some pics of it growing on mounts. Another source (article in Orchids Australia Magazine) says it likes to grow in live "spag" which should be replaced every couple of year. I think Carol's note about cooler temperatures is on the money.

The plant is in serious decline and you will probably lose it but that is part of the adventure of orchid growing.

Would be nice to see a post from someone who has had success with this plant in the USA.

Here is a link that might be useful: Some more information

    Bookmark   July 10, 2010 at 9:20PM
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philohela(z8 Las Vegas)

I grew Amesiella monticola in Fallon, Nevada. Your temperatures seem much too warm for this montane, cloud-forest species - OrchidWiz states that the warmest temperatures this plant gets in the wild are in the low 70s. Your photos show a plant that may also be receiving too much light and might possibly have crown rot; it doesn't take much moisture in the crown for rot to start. Amesiella monticola grows where it is always humid and moist - allowing the sphagnum moss to dry out completely would not be good for it. They like a lot of water, but with excellent drainage, so a different growing medium may be needed in your growing conditions.

You may want to try Amesiella philippinensis, which is a warmer growing species very similar to A monticola. I am growing this species currently in Las Vegas (indoors) successfully.

Best of luck!


    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 9:15PM
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rames(Zone 7)

Thank you folks for all the wonderful info. I pulled the plant out. I think it is planted in sphagnum moss. The roots and stem are very healthy, no signs of rot. I am taking it to my office, where the temperature is 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Let me know, whether I should keep it in the same medium or plant it in a different medium.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 4:30PM
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philohela(z8 Las Vegas)

Seeing your last set of photos, I would take a close look at the plant (with a hend lens if you have one) to look for false spider mites. They'll look like little orange crawlies, no webbing. I had them on my A monticola... If so, spray with a pyrethrin spray (check the ingredients and if the product is labeled to kill mites).

Taking it to your office might be a good idea, as long as it can get the light it wants. Keep it in sphagnum moss, just be careful of your watering - evenly moist, not too soggy, not too crispy.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 12:36AM
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I agree w/philohela - it looks like it has spider mite damage to me also.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 2:31PM
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