What's happening to my babies?

frank325December 14, 2008

Compare the color of the ones on the left to the ones on the right. They are yellowing, and I'm noticing a couple spots on some leaves that look like they've been damaged. I don't know if it's a coincidence, but a week ago I brought home an orchid that I'm trying to rescue, and it's under the same lights. The ones on the left are closer to it, the ones on the right are on the opposite end of the lights. Have I just doomed my babies with some kind of pest or disease????

You might notice the plastic... I've attempted to increase the humidity for everything under my lights by surrounding them with window insulation plastic.

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From what it looks like the plants maybe getting to much light. Try moving them a little further away from where they are now. The yellowing is probably from too much light and is bleaching the leaves. They should return to their normal color in a short period of time.

The damage on the leaf could be heat related from the lights being too close. Or it could be you accidentally brushed the leaf against something without realizing it.

I do not believe the orchid is the culprit here. I believe it is too much light.


    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 8:41PM
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But they've been in this same setup for months. Would that change your diagnosis?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 9:17PM
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Wait, I lied, sorry! I DID actually lower the lights about an inch or two when I put the orchid in there. Do you think one inch will do that?

    Bookmark   December 15, 2008 at 6:21AM
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Light intensity increases and decreases with the square of the distance. This is more than most people expect.

Here is a link that might be useful: Inverse square law for light intensity

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 7:22PM
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larius, while I appreciate the scientific answer... this graphic may have been more suited for me to get the idea ;-)

    Bookmark   December 16, 2008 at 8:41PM
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    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 9:58AM
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irina_co(z5 CO)

Here here!!!


    Bookmark   December 17, 2008 at 12:16PM
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Diagnosis seems to be confirmed. Try moving the light back to the original position.

What type of orchid are you growing? If it is a Phalaenopsis they grow in the same amount of light as an African Violet. Too close will result in yellowing leaves or burning of the orchid as well. Orchids will take a little lower light if the humidity is sufficient. With the violets sharing the same area, there is no need to increase the humidity.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 10:02PM
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without the plastic, humidity was too low -- 35-40% I'd say. With the plastic, it's typically no lower than 50, so it helps a little.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2008 at 9:01AM
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