Orchid Spots

nickrosesnJuly 21, 2012

I'm totally new to orchids, so I need some help. The orchid has been under my care for a few weeks and for the last maybe week I have noticed black spots on some leaves and a few leaves have yellow tips. The orchid once a week for 30min gets a soak of water, when I say soak I mean I put it in a shallow diss of water. The water goes half way up the pot. It's at the top of the 2nd floor stair case and it has a south facing window.

What is causing the black spots and the yellow.

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I think you need to do more than set it in a shallow pan of water. It needs to be soaked from the top down. If you set it in water, it needs to cover the entire pot. What kind of media is in the pot, it's hard to tell from the picture. Also how close to the window is it placed?


    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 8:57PM
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Darlene (GreenCurls)(6a)

It is hard to say exactly what is causing your yellow and black leaf marking. But i have a couple of guesses.

The yellowing leaf tips may be related to your watering habits. Like Cathy said, your orchid needs more than a soak half way up the pot. You should consider flushing the pot out from the top to water it. Also depending on the orchid, your growing conditions, and the potting mix, you may need to water more often than once a week. It looks like you may have some shriveling pseudobulbs. This along with the yellowing leaf tips could suggest that your orchid is not consistently getting enough water.

The small black spots are likely from sun exposure. Some orchids are predisposed to developing black spots at higher light. These small black spots are not much to worry about. If you are concerned about them, moving the orchid further away from the window should keep new ones from forming.

I am sure more experienced others will also assist you.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 11:24AM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I will change the watering habits. Does anyone know what type of orchid I have? It will be blooming in a few weeks will the flowers help determine what type it is?

Here are some pictures of the location I have the plant at. The window is facing South East and like I said it's on the second floor.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 4:01PM
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Is that the only window you have available for your orchid? If so you might want to get some kind of supplemental lighting. I think it's too far away from the light and it might do good for a while but eventually it will decline. You can use the compact fluorescents that are available anywhere, just get one with enough light lumens, I get the 125 watt or 150 watt. They can go into any light fixture, you could use the kind of fixture like students use on their desks at college, have a flexible neck so it can aim right at the plant. I keep my plants right in the window and the ones that aren't get supplemental lighting. It's worked great now for over 12 years.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 8:58AM
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@Cathy- No that is not the only window. Since I don't know what type of orchid this one is, what is the best location for it? Would this one do ok outside in a non direct sunlight location? I'm in zone 9, San Mateo Ca.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 5:35PM
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I put mine outside for the summer. I have one with leaves and bulbs that look a lot like yours. I keep it partially shaded but in a very bright location. I've done that for two summers and it does fine. It's been really hot here in Michigan this summer and I just made sure to water more often in the heat. About every two to three days this year. I just totally soak the orchids with my garden hose when I water outside.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 11:30PM
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cjwatson(Z8 FL)

You have an Oncidium Alliance hybrid, something like a Sharry Baby or some intergeneric, of which there are thousands of different ones. When it blooms, there is a small chance it can be identified more specifically.

These require bright light, but not direct sun -- with the exception of very early morning sun which won't burn the leaves. Where you are growing it is way too little light. In Zone 9 you can probably keep it outdoors most of the year if that works for you. Looks like it needs repotting, as well -- old media often causes tip burn.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 7:57AM
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