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Old 09-06-2013, 12:21 PM
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dark spots on oncidium leaves

Hi everyone,
Can someone please tell me what the black/brown spots on my oncidium leaves are, and how to treat the problem, please? (Onc. Sharry Baby 'Sweet Fragrance')

I bought it at a big-box store approx. 3 yrs. ago (in a cellophane bag). I had never had an oncidium before, so I just assumed the dark markings were normal for this particular oncidium....until fairly recently when the spots appeared to be a bit larger and two of the three new growths did not have the spots and the third only very, very slightly.

It had never bloomed. I repotted it June 2013 and it started a spike and now has several buds.

I almost forgot to mention that all of the affected areas are not mushy, raised or sunken at all. The plant appears healthy.

I would appreciate your opinions and advice,
Vicki
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Last edited by brit6v; 09-06-2013 at 01:22 PM. Reason: forgot info
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:41 PM
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Those certainly are not the ordinary variety of oncidium spots. I would be concerned for virus, especially since it isn't blooming. Here are some helpful sites:

Orchid Pests, Orchid Diseases
http://www.houstonorchidsociety.org/...ySueBottom.pdf

Two helpful virus sheets, one from Brisbane, the other from Taiwan:
http://www.icogo.org/images/Dr._Chin...id_Viruses.pdf
Orchid Virus
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:42 PM
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Oops, didn't catch that it is spiking now. Hope these sites help!
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:29 PM
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Leafmite

Yes, it is spiking about 9" with several buds. I wasn't expecting this since it has not happened since I've had it.


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Oops, didn't catch that it is spiking now. Hope these sites help!
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:31 PM
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Sharry Babies are notorious for dark spots, but I have not seen that many, nor spots on the pseudobulbs like you have. Were those spotted leaves on the plant when you bought it? And have you changed the growing conditions?

I'd think it's good that the new growth is not spotted, but if more spots appear you have a problem. Also, it will be interesting to see if the blooms come out as expected. Viruses often cause color breaks or other bloom deformities, so that can be another way to tell if the plant might be infected.
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Old 09-06-2013, 01:38 PM
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Leafmite

Oh no...possibly a Critter Creek visit!

Thank you for the links...I plan to check them out as soon as I finish posting here to you.
Vicki


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Originally Posted by Leafmite View Post
Those certainly are not the ordinary variety of oncidium spots. I would be concerned for virus, especially since it isn't blooming. Here are some helpful sites:

Orchid Pests, Orchid Diseases
http://www.houstonorchidsociety.org/...ySueBottom.pdf

Two helpful virus sheets, one from Brisbane, the other from Taiwan:
http://www.icogo.org/images/Dr._Chin...id_Viruses.pdf
Orchid Virus
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Old 09-06-2013, 02:14 PM
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Could be Phyllosticta leaf spot? Google it with respect to Oncidiums. Also, check the St. Augustine Orchid Society pest & disease web page.

If the symptoms fit, treat with a systemic fungicide.
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:15 PM
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Wow! That is a lot of spots all over your plant! Have seen spotting on my Zygo, but not like that. Made me look at my Onc. Sharry Baby..it does have some spots, but just on two leaves by the tip, has not spread elsewhere.

Hope you can find a treatment! But do quarantine your plant in the meantime just to be safe.
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:58 PM
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Catt Mandu

Hi!
I'm wondering if I should think about this a bit longer...maybe until later today or tomorrow at the latest, because I'm afraid that I'll never feel comfortable until I have the plant virus tested, poss. the plants sitting near it, too. I've had two plants tested in the past by Critter Creek, so I'm somewhat familiar with the procedure of sending samples. While googling, the closest photo of my plant that I saw was of Cym MV.

If the problem is a fungus, what systemic fungal treatment would you recommend?

I haven't checked the St. Augustine Orchid Society out yet, but I will shortly.

Thank you very much for your help. As I've said before, I always appreciate your advice.
Vicki

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Could be Phyllosticta leaf spot? Google it with respect to Oncidiums. Also, check the St. Augustine Orchid Society pest & disease web page.

If the symptoms fit, treat with a systemic fungicide.
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Old 09-06-2013, 04:06 PM
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trev

Yes, MANY spots! I could just kick myself for not looking into the spotted areas earlier, but as I said, when I bought the plant, I thought they were 'normal' for this particular onc.

I certainly don't feel qualified to advise you on your spotting problem (especially since my panic attack over my orchid lol (sorta)) so you may want to google it as I did. Best of luck....I hope you don't have a problem.

Thanks for your reply,
Vicki


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Wow! That is a lot of spots all over your plant! Have seen spotting on my Zygo, but not like that. Made me look at my Onc. Sharry Baby..it does have some spots, but just on two leaves by the tip, has not spread elsewhere.

Hope you can find a treatment! But do quarantine your plant in the meantime just to be safe.
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Old 09-06-2013, 04:14 PM
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I included the link in my post above for the St. Augustine Orchid Society site, as well as for the Housten OS site. Both have good pictures to help. Also, two sites on virus in orchids with pictures. I hope it isn't a virus but I have had the larger oncidiums and now a few smaller ones (as well as a couple of zygos and a burr. Nelly Isler) so I was wary. Good luck!
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Old 09-06-2013, 06:39 PM
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Leafmite

Thanks. I've decided that I just wouldn't feel comfortable about the plant until I have it tested, even though it may indeed have solely a fungus infection. I feel like I would always wonder. I definitely have OCD.
Thanks again for your help,
Vicki


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Originally Posted by Leafmite View Post
I included the link in my post above for the St. Augustine Orchid Society site, as well as for the Housten OS site. Both have good pictures to help. Also, two sites on virus in orchids with pictures. I hope it isn't a virus but I have had the larger oncidiums and now a few smaller ones (as well as a couple of zygos and a burr. Nelly Isler) so I was wary. Good luck!
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:38 AM
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Hi, I have grown Sharry Baby many years ago and it seem also to suffer from spotting, i do not know if it virus infected or not.
Mine was not fungal problems and was told by an Oncid grower, seem the plants comes out like this when in stress! (as some viruses tend to do!)
Looking at your older bulbs they are in my humble opinion very dehydrated and badly in need of water and perhaps a good feed as well. The new growth is not too bad but usually the new bulbs should swell up and look like a elongated tennis ball.
So perhaps more food and or water!

Just a few points to consider in working on the problem.
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Old 09-07-2013, 09:20 AM
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If you ever want to see spots on an orchid, buy a Onc. Sharry Baby. That is their trait. Usually the more light they get, the more spots you will see.

I had a Sharry Baby a few years ago, that I sprayed with fungicide monthly to see if the problems of spotting stopped and it did. But it was too much work and I offloaded it. I also did a virus test on it for nil results.

If the plant is flowering then I would check out the flowers and see if there is any colour break before getting too worried and wasting money on a virus test.
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:23 PM
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Ron

Hi Ron,
Thanks...I'm less concerned about my plant now that I know Sharry Baby seems to spot moreso than some others, but I had already sent a sample to Critter Creek earlier this morn. before I read your's and Plucker's posts. I've decided (again just this morn.), after contemplating the poss. virus issue, that if in the future any of you on the board tell me in a thread that I have a plant with poss. or prob. virus markings, or else if I determine that myself, I'm not going to get wound around the axle as long as it grows and blooms well. What do you think? I mainly decided this after reading another thread and replies (also earlier this morn. before I read yours and Pluckers replies to me). What I read in that thread was simply toooo technical for me, and I'm not interested in the techie side of orchid growing. I've had a good dental career, am retired now, and have no desire to learn the very tech. side of orchid growing. I am only an orchid hobbiest, and it will stay that way.

So sorry, what I said about technical stuff has nothing to do with your reply, I guess I just got carried away after having all this on my mind this morn. and got up on my soapbox...again, sorry. I'll get off now.

Yes, the pseudo bulbs are very deflated and dehydrated, but I don't know what else to do other than what I'm doing to plump them up. I'm watering weakly-weekly with MSU for well water and once per month I water with KelpMax, no fert. then. I will try more food and water, as you advise but I don't know what I can change about my regime. Could you suggest an addition?

I very much appreciate your reply and help, as always...
Thanks again,
Vicki





Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron View Post
Hi, I have grown Sharry Baby many years ago and it seem also to suffer from spotting, i do not know if it virus infected or not.
Mine was not fungal problems and was told by an Oncid grower, seem the plants comes out like this when in stress! (as some viruses tend to do!)
Looking at your older bulbs they are in my humble opinion very dehydrated and badly in need of water and perhaps a good feed as well. The new growth is not too bad but usually the new bulbs should swell up and look like a elongated tennis ball.
So perhaps more food and or water!

Just a few points to consider in working on the problem.
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:50 PM
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plucker

Thanks, plucker. I'll know next time if I acquire another Sharry Baby. This one could have easily got more sun, it's been super sunny this summer (on the days it's actually been sunny) and hot, also. So, maybe it's not my imagination that the spots have gotten a bit larger.

At the time you sprayed your Sharry Baby years ago, do you recall the name of the spray you used? Was it a systemic....or not? Is there another spray that you would suggest at this time? (I'm full of questions...sorry).

Now, a question that I'm guessing you might feel is absolutely silly, stupid and I should have picked up in the past that it is common knowledge. I hope you don't mind that I'm asking another: For example, if someone has a virused plant that spreads to another NON-virused plant...in turn causing plant 2 to be virused, as well...will plant 2 appear to grow and/or bloom not quite so well as it did when it was not virus-diseased? Or will it's 'clean and healthy' growing habits stay as they were before virus infected?
I really appreciate your reply and help. All of you teach me so much.
Vicki





QUOTE=plucker;379156]If you ever want to see spots on an orchid, buy a Onc. Sharry Baby. That is their trait. Usually the more light they get, the more spots you will see.

I had a Sharry Baby a few years ago, that I sprayed with fungicide monthly to see if the problems of spotting stopped and it did. But it was too much work and I offloaded it. I also did a virus test on it for nil results.

If the plant is flowering then I would check out the flowers and see if there is any colour break before getting too worried and wasting money on a virus test.[/QUOTE]
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Old 09-07-2013, 03:38 PM
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You know, Vicki, it's hard to answer that question. Sometimes plants will carry a virus for years without showing any definite symptoms. I think that is why virus has gotten to be such a problem throughout the industry. If it were obvious, people would just chuck the infected plants, but instead they (the plants) are maintained and are able to continue spreading the virus. That's why paying attention to plant space, watering practices, and potting sterility is so important to prevent spread of pathogens.
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:18 PM
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I hope you will let us know the results of the test.
I have a dendrobium getting tested right now by an OS member. Sigh. This is why I hate spots on my orchids.
From what I understand, plant viruses need a 'vector', something that spreads the virus. Aphids, mealies,, scale, or tools that humans use to cut into the plant are all 'vectors'. If two leaves rub, a wound needs to allow the virus entrance. I could be wrong but most of my reading seems to imply this. People that use indicator plants, cut into both plants to transfer the infected sap to the new plant.
Good luck!
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:59 PM
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Fishmom

Thank you, I understand what you're saying. Also, I will try to remember to post a picture of the plant when it blooms. You mentioned color breaks, so we'll see.
Vicki




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You know, Vicki, it's hard to answer that question. Sometimes plants will carry a virus for years without showing any definite symptoms. I think that is why virus has gotten to be such a problem throughout the industry. If it were obvious, people would just chuck the infected plants, but instead they (the plants) are maintained and are able to continue spreading the virus. That's why paying attention to plant space, watering practices, and potting sterility is so important to prevent spread of pathogens.
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:04 PM
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Leafmite

I hope you have gotten the results of your test and it is definitely negative.

I'm hoping I will get the results of mine before next week, but only Critter Creek and UPS knows for sure. lol I will let you know what I find out.

Also, thanks for the info. Good to know.
Vicki


Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafmite View Post
I hope you will let us know the results of the test.
I have a dendrobium getting tested right now by an OS member. Sigh. This is why I hate spots on my orchids.
From what I understand, plant viruses need a 'vector', something that spreads the virus. Aphids, mealies,, scale, or tools that humans use to cut into the plant are all 'vectors'. If two leaves rub, a wound needs to allow the virus entrance. I could be wrong but most of my reading seems to imply this. People that use indicator plants, cut into both plants to transfer the infected sap to the new plant.
Good luck!
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:12 PM
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The St. Aug site recommends a couple systemic and preventive fungicides. Virus testing is a reasonable precaution, even if just for peace of mind!

Quote:
Originally Posted by brit6v View Post
Hi!
I'm wondering if I should think about this a bit longer...maybe until later today or tomorrow at the latest, because I'm afraid that I'll never feel comfortable until I have the plant virus tested, poss. the plants sitting near it, too. I've had two plants tested in the past by Critter Creek, so I'm somewhat familiar with the procedure of sending samples. While googling, the closest photo of my plant that I saw was of Cym MV.

If the problem is a fungus, what systemic fungal treatment would you recommend?

I haven't checked the St. Augustine Orchid Society out yet, but I will shortly.

Thank you very much for your help. As I've said before, I always appreciate your advice.
Vicki
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron View Post
Hi, I have grown Sharry Baby many years ago and it seem also to suffer from spotting, i do not know if it virus infected or not.
Mine was not fungal problems and was told by an Oncid grower, seem the plants comes out like this when in stress! (as some viruses tend to do!)
Looking at your older bulbs they are in my humble opinion very dehydrated and badly in need of water and perhaps a good feed as well. The new growth is not too bad but usually the new bulbs should swell up and look like a elongated tennis ball.
So perhaps more food and or water!

Just a few points to consider in working on the problem.
A simple rule is if the mature new bulb is not as fat and big if not bigger than the previous years bulb then you are not tending it enough with fert and water and as Ron said its dehydrated and stressed, you need a fast draining mix that will stay moist, pump the water and food into it, keep the humidity and air movement up and you will be rewarded, bulbs should look like they are going to burst

Steve
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:33 PM
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Catt Mandu

Thank you!
Vicki



Quote:
Originally Posted by Catt Mandu View Post
The St. Aug site recommends a couple systemic and preventive fungicides. Virus testing is a reasonable precaution, even if just for peace of mind!
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:36 PM
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Onleme

Thank you!
Vicki



Quote:
Originally Posted by Onleme View Post
A simple rule is if the mature new bulb is not as fat and big if not bigger than the previous years bulb then you are not tending it enough with fert and water and as Ron said its dehydrated and stressed, you need a fast draining mix that will stay moist, pump the water and food into it, keep the humidity and air movement up and you will be rewarded, bulbs should look like they are going to burst

Steve
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Old 09-19-2013, 03:40 PM
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Leafmite

Hi,
Just letting you know the Critter Creek results....the plant isn't virused. I sent leaf samples from four plants and all but one orchid was negative. The one that was positive (Cym MV) was an orchid that I didn't expect to be. Also an oncidium. It is growing nicely with no visible symptoms...I only sent a sample of it because it was sitting near the one in the photos on my greenhouse bench. It also have a nice spike with several buds, two are already open and the blooms are pretty.

So, from what I have gathered, either my orchid in the photos is fungal or nothing at all is wrong ?? Whatever the case, I plan to treat it with Thiomyl. I ordered it online and it should be here any day.

Thanks again to you and EVERYONE for your help,
Vicki


Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafmite View Post
I hope you will let us know the results of the test.
I have a dendrobium getting tested right now by an OS member. Sigh. This is why I hate spots on my orchids.
From what I understand, plant viruses need a 'vector', something that spreads the virus. Aphids, mealies,, scale, or tools that humans use to cut into the plant are all 'vectors'. If two leaves rub, a wound needs to allow the virus entrance. I could be wrong but most of my reading seems to imply this. People that use indicator plants, cut into both plants to transfer the infected sap to the new plant.
Good luck!
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:40 PM
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It is good to see that this plant is not virused.

This is a good lesson to show that viruses cannot be identified from markings on leaves alone, but these same marks may be used as indicators.
Fungus and bacteria are often mistaken for virus and many plants are destroyed because of this.

Most virus tests only test for a few common virus, yet there is literally hundreds of known viruses.

The real solution is to use good practice including hygene, separation, air circulation, control fungus/bacteria and pest control.

As for the fungicide I used, it was a combination of a few different ones locally available. One was systemic and the others were not. I have now moved to biological control of fungus as opposed to chemical control using fungacide for good results.
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:39 PM
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plucker

Hi Plucker,
I agree, a good lesson. I certainly learned. I was sure that if ANY of the plants that Critter Creek tested for me were virused, it would be the one in question. I hope other members see my post and also learn that a healthy and non-symptomic plant can indeed test virus-positive.

I've tried to use pretty good hygiene practice in the past, but I plan to be more adamant about it now. My main problem with the things you mention is "separation", I have too many orchids for the space available in my 10' x 17' greenhouse. The only solutions that I know for that is either: 1, extend my greenhouse to accommodate the slight overabundance (A VERY GOOD option)- 2, try to project the sad death of a few due to my lack of orchid-knowledge (NOT a good option) or 3, send a few to you and other members lol.

I'm clueless as to what "biological" control is, but I think I'm learning....slow but sure.
Vicki





Quote:
Originally Posted by plucker View Post
It is good to see that this plant is not virused.

This is a good lesson to show that viruses cannot be identified from markings on leaves alone, but these same marks may be used as indicators.
Fungus and bacteria are often mistaken for virus and many plants are destroyed because of this.

Most virus tests only test for a few common virus, yet there is literally hundreds of known viruses.

The real solution is to use good practice including hygene, separation, air circulation, control fungus/bacteria and pest control.

As for the fungicide I used, it was a combination of a few different ones locally available. One was systemic and the others were not. I have now moved to biological control of fungus as opposed to chemical control using fungacide for good results.
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:42 PM
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Interesting results! Thanks for letting us know!
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:30 AM
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Biological control with fungus is growing good fungus that eats the bad fungus. The more bad ones you have the more the good ones eat and then they increase in numbers, until they eat themselves out of food.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:06 PM
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plucker

That's interesting. Thanks for letting me know...
Vicki



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Biological control with fungus is growing good fungus that eats the bad fungus. The more bad ones you have the more the good ones eat and then they increase in numbers, until they eat themselves out of food.
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:28 PM
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I agree with the eventual virus suspicion, else it's a very bad fungus case.

My Sharry Baby (2 plants) are in S/H, and very healthy since their adaptation to S/H. They have very few markings on leaves as they are inside and certainly not sprayed.

The points that bother me the most:
- the spots go onto the PBs themselves, not only the leaves
- the plant doesn't seem that happy, Sharry Baby are more invasive than quiet.

I'm very interested into the organic cure with fungi, I have yet to see it in effect. So i'd be happy to know more.
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