Thread: den. cane rot
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Old 11-15-2014, 10:43 PM
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I am sorry I have been so terrible about replying. It has been a crazy, busy day.
I am not sure how many years that you have been growing plants and what your experience level is. Even though you are young, you may have begun early. I started collecting and caring for plants somewhere before I was five and have been doing so ever since. I had many family members who grew stuff to help me out from the very start. Since I do not know your experience level, I will just try to give you some very basic plant tips to get you thinking. Growing plants is often very much like science, especially if you grow the more exotic and rare things. You have expressed an interest in this so....
The basics of plants are rather simple. They all need, in some degree, light, water, fertilizer, temperature, air movement, humidity and medium regulated to suit their environment. Flowering plants tend to need higher light than non-flowering plants. The care you give a plant should reflect the environment from which they come. Researching the environment of a particular plant is very important so one can understand how to adapt one's environment to suit the plant. More heat/light = more water/fertilizer. The opposite is true, also. pH for soil/medium is an important consideration as it affects nutrient absorption. Surprisingly, very few plants need extra humidity in a home and most of those plants also like warmer conditions and require extra air movement. The exceptions are cloud forest plants (plants that grow at high elevations in the clouds = cool and humid) and temperate rain forest plants. Spraying plants with water in cooler conditions with less air movement and less light encourages fungus and bacterial infections. Water that is cooler than room temperature can even shock a plant. Light in a home is much less than light outside. Even a south-facing window offers dimmer light than the shade outdoors. If you are unsure if you have enough light, it is best to get a light meter and check. Lastly, if you fertilize plants indoors, you must be certain to flush your medium now and then to get rid of what your plants do not use so that this doesn't become too concentrated and harm the roots. Outside, the rain does this.

So, then, here is what I think....
I think your dens need more light. I kept mine about six to eight inches from a south facing window (double sliding glass door) so it had plenty of direct light. Phal-type dens bloom and grow so much better in Cattleya light.
Secondly, I would stop misting the orchids. Even though there is some debate about pebble trays, that would be a better option than misting. As you like exotic plants, a banana plant or two would be really great for humidity. Any other tropical/rainforest tree works just as well.
As for why one of your dends suffered and the others did not? Each plant is an individual, just as each creature is. Even clones can be different due to what genes are turned on and off. That is why some plants are more vulnerable to fungus and bacterial infection while others are very resistant.
The other thing that causes some plants to be vulnerable is stress. Many things can stress a plant and these things are not always easily apparent. The better the culture, the less stress and the healthier your plants will be. Healthy plants are usually able to resist fungus/bacteria and pests much better than an orchid that is unhappy. It is more difficult to tell whether orchids are suffering than other plants. Other plants immediately will drop leaves or, at least, show signs in the leaves. Orchids often react much more slowly. They are pretty tough compared to most plants.
I hope this helps you a bit. If you knew all of this, please don't be insulted. My goal is to do what I can to make the hobby fun and easy. I am always hoping that everyone will enjoy growing plants as much as I do. Good luck!
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