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Old 03-25-2016, 01:50 PM
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Cool Help - Brown Leaves

Hi everyone....I have several plants that have been in my kitchen (lots of sun and good ventilation/moisture) and all have done very well for years....Recently, my Oncs started developing very dark brown coloring on the tips of the leaves that seems to be spreading further down as time goes by....I am including pics....Does anyone know what this is and how to treat????....It does not seem to be affecting my other orchids -- just the oncidium....It is happening to plants that are next to each other and to those that are located on opposite sides of the room and have no contact with each other....Any ideas????
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Old 03-26-2016, 07:20 AM
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Hi orchidkeeperwannabe,

The first thing I will ask you is to look at your pseudobulbs and describe whether they are smooth and full looking, or shriveled and wrinkly looking. (Taking a picture of them might help.) If they look wrinkly, that would make me think it's a watering issue. Sadly both overwatering and underwatering can have the same results - underwatering because the plants aren't getting enough water from you and overwatering because the plants are getting so much water that the roots are rotting and can't take up any more water.


My next question is - what sort of media are your plants growing in? Because over or underwatering is a function of how often you water and what your plants are growing in. I am going to go out on a limb and suggest overwatering could be the problem just because the plants have been doing well for quite a while and also because I know from personal experience how overwatering kills (lost my first oncidium to overwatering).

If you suspect overwatering, the only thing to do to confirm is to take your plant out of the pot and inspect your roots to see if they're rotten or not!

If the pseudobulbs are full and smooth then the source of the problem is somewhere else.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-26-2016, 11:12 PM
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The first thing that comes to my mind is fertilizer burn or sun burn.
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Old 03-31-2016, 02:25 AM
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A couple of my older oncidiums are experiencing the same issue. I noticed that the browning occurs on older leaves. I'm assuming it's natural for them to drop the oldest leaves but will work on re-potting them soon. Thoughts?
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Old 03-31-2016, 11:28 AM
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I have a colmanara (oncidium type hybrid) that I've had for about 8-9 years now......Yes, you are exactly right. Every year the older leaves start to die off, starting by turning yellow at the tips, and after a month or two the whole leaf turns yellow/brown and drops. Of course they are "replaced" soon by the new growth(s) that are energized by the post bloom growth cycle......
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Old 04-04-2016, 05:04 PM
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Mine has similar browning at tips too. But I don't panic anymore since it is the older batch. As long as it is producing new pseudobulbs, then it will soon form new leaves.

But do observe if there are any new growth, sometimes, I notice the plant redirects its energies, so out with the old leaf, more energy diverted to new growth.
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