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Old 11-13-2009, 07:16 PM
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Oh no, did I burn my Bc. Little Stars x Maikai 'Hawaii'?

Hi,

I just got this last week, and put it under my new plant lights (2 T5 bulbs). My book says brassocattleyas can handle "medium to bright light". But yesterday I found one leaf turning orange and another one turning this morning. Is this sunburn or something else? The first orangish one is also getting a bit wrinkly today.
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Old 11-13-2009, 07:36 PM
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I am not an expert, but I don't think it's a burn. The orangish leaf is not the closest to the light.......
Could be some other issues.....
To be save with the light is to introduce it slowly, a bit closer to it every day, I think.
Looks like a very healthy plant otherwise. It should be fine after you pinpoint the problem.....
Good luck.
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Old 11-13-2009, 08:11 PM
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I don't think it's a burn either. That seems like it'd be a weird place to be getting a burn from the lights. I don't know what would be cuasing it though
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Old 11-13-2009, 08:16 PM
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Thanks for the input! I hope someone will know what's happening to this cute plant!
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Old 11-13-2009, 08:54 PM
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Doesn't look like sunburn to me. I think it's just a dying pb/leaf.

BTW, is that your sunroom? Fabulous!
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Old 11-13-2009, 09:04 PM
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Yep, that's the sunroom! I want to take some better pictures to post on the "My growing space" thread, but haven't had a chance.

As for the leaf, it changed colors literally over night, so I'm still concerned about it. I took it out from under the lights.
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Old 11-13-2009, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koshki View Post
The first orangish one is also getting a bit wrinkly today.
I came back and read your post again, I worry too and I know how you feel.
"Wrinkly" is the word that made me to come back to it. I would check the watering - could be too much or too little. Catts can't take too much water but would rather stay totaly dry in my experience, specially if not in bloom.
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Old 11-13-2009, 09:21 PM
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Hmm. Well I did just give it a good watering the day before. Could it react that quickly? It has three spikes; one is looking like it might open soon. None of the orange leaves is attached to spikes.
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Old 11-13-2009, 09:22 PM
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Definitely not sunburn. As others pointed out it's the shortest leaf but also sunburn on this plant won't turn it yellow.

Did you recently repot this plant?

I've had this happen on two occassions w/2 different plants. My B nodosa did it last year when I repotted it and mangled a bunch of roots...I ended up losing 3 leaves. Lost roots = lost leaves for me. The other time...I bought a plant...your exact plant... that upon unpotting...it had really bad roots and it ended up doing that w/about half the plant.

These guys do shed leaves from time to time but when mine do, it's more of a gradual process rather than seemingly overnight. If you haven't checked the roots on it yet...I would definitely do that.
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Old 11-13-2009, 10:26 PM
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I've only had the plant for a week, and didn't repot it yet, as it is starting to bloom. It does seem quite pot-bound, lots of roots on top and PBs growing off the edge of the pot.

Should I repot it now? I hate to lose the spikes, and I know, better to lose the spikes than the plant, but...!
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Old 11-14-2009, 10:31 AM
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Katherine I can say that have repotted blooming/in bud catts w/no problems whatsoever. I have accidentally broken the spikes but that's just my typical clumsiness. With that said...as we know...any change can cause things to go wrong w/those buds.

I have a friend who won't even move her catts for fear of losing buds. She'd NEVER repot an catt in spike/bud. Everyone has their own way of doing things.

If it were mine...and one more leaf turned...I would definitely soak to loosen up the roots and then I'd unpot carefully to check things out. I'm not saying this is what must be done...but it is what I would do personally.

I remembered another catt that did this...my Binosa. Same thing...leaf loss...then bud blast...when I unpotted...a bunch of dead roots. Funny how a plant can look perfectly healthy when we see it on the shelf and the minute we get it home things can go haywire. It's happened to me more than I care to think about. As a matter of fact, I just bought a bulbo...same thing...top of the plant looked really good. I got it home...went to repot...and not one viable root on the whole damn thing.

I know that's not a definite recipe there but I hope it helps a little bit anyway.

BTW -- these guys love to be pot-bound so I don't think that's the problem.
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Old 11-14-2009, 11:14 AM
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I don't know if I'd call it sunburn, but I do think it's heat/light related.
The bright light and heat associated with the lights will cause the plant to transpire at a higher rate than when the plant is cooler/darker. The back bulbs will be sacrificed for the benefit of the blooming front bulbs.
To grow in bright light conditions you need to really hydrate the plant when you water.
I grow plants like yours in near full sun, and will water the plant as if it's in a tropical down pour.
From what I could see of the media from your photos, it looks good as do the roots on the surface. The plant looks well grown so I would not rush to repot and add one more stress to the plant.
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Old 11-14-2009, 11:24 AM
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T5 cannot burn a brassavola. The maximum out put from T5 is only 2500foot candle at the bulb. Most likely is light from the window or insect problem. Hope this help.
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Old 11-14-2009, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLBob View Post
I don't know if I'd call it sunburn, but I do think it's heat/light related.
The bright light and heat associated with the lights will cause the plant to transpire at a higher rate than when the plant is cooler/darker. The back bulbs will be sacrificed for the benefit of the blooming front bulbs.
To grow in bright light conditions you need to really hydrate the plant when you water.
Not to be disagreeable but... I must disagree. This plant will get a purple tinge/spots when the light is high. If it's exposed to too much light too soon it will get a very reddish-purple casting over the areas being hit by the sudden higher light. And, it will do this quickly. I know because I've done it. Plus, going back to what was said earlier...if were the T5's the taller leaves would be showing signs of heat/light stress. As best as I can tell...I do not see that.

The appearance of the tops roots are not a good/fool-proof indication as to what is going on down inside a pot.

As I said before...these guys do sometimes drop leaves...just normal shedding like any other plant. I'm not saying one should rush to repot but if it were me and one more leaf dropped/turned in that seemingly overnight speed...I'd want to check the roots.

Digital -- The fc's of a T5 are dependent upon the wattage of that T5. My 54 watt T5's register over 3500 fcs at the bulb....a little more when they were newer. A few inches below it drops to 2500. My 24 watt T5's are more in line w/what you're talking about. But you're right...if acclimated properly...even that's not enough to burn a Brassavola. At least not any B. that I have.
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Old 11-14-2009, 12:22 PM
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I grew catts, including brassavolas for three or four years. In my experience, this goldy yellow = a dead leaf/pb. Also, wrinkling leaves are a sign of extended dehydration, which in this case would be coming from poor roots.

Heat stress/excessive light does turn catt leaves "yellow", but it's a chartreusy yellow, easily recognized. And brassavolas don't turn yellow with excess light, they turn red/purple.

I have to agree with digitalgate and Katrina. This is not the result of T5 light. I put new *phals* right under T5's, within app 6-8" of the tubes within two days of getting them, and they don't show any heat/light stress from it. The brassavola is so much taller-- it looks to be at least 12-15" high, there's no way it could have been that close to the lights. So sorry to disagree,but I don't see how that can be light or heat stress from the T5's.

Your brassavola is already under stress of some kind, that's why you have one gold/dead leaf and another turning. I don't see how pulling it out of the pot to see what's underneath will add that much stress. I'm not saying remove all the medium-- just *look* at the root ball if there is one. When I see a pot that looks like that, I always suspect a mess of brown jumble with decayed gunk down there with no root ball at all. IMO, you need to find out.

If you have a good rootball enclosing the medium, just pop it back in the pot. If it's a loose mess of brown jumble in decayed gunk, taking it out of that mess and just plunking it into an empty clay pot will be infinitely better for it. A brassavola can live just fine in an empty clay pot with no medium as long as it's watered daily.

Brassavolas are easy to bring back from the brink as long as they are NOT planted in a bunch of gunk. IMO that's what you have to know. Instead of speculating about the lights, why not find out what's going on with the roots? I would want to know, myself.

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Old 11-14-2009, 12:26 PM
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Want to add this: brassavolas come from Mexico, where they have a very wide range of conditions in which they thrive. This includes very high light. B's can take much more heat and light than many catts, and certainly more than many Slc. But they can't take wet roots.

I've grown B's in St Louis with nearly 100% summer sunlight, and they did turn purple but never yellow and never gold unless the leaves were dying. No way on earth a T5 can begin to approach that kind of heat and light.

Whatever is hurting your B is much more likely to be wet gunk at the roots than the light they are getting.

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Old 11-14-2009, 01:16 PM
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Well I feel properly chastised.
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Old 11-14-2009, 01:51 PM
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Sorry bob...I wasn't trying to chastise you. Simply trying to make sure accurate info is given for the situation and growing conditions. If my words came across as too strong...I apologize profusely.
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Old 11-14-2009, 02:47 PM
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kat it's not just your post but the succession of post following mine.

if you re-read my post you'll find that I was not suggesting that the plant was sunburned, only that it may be reacting to it's new environment by shedding it's back bulb leafs. It's my guess that this plant was growing in someones greenhouse not too long ago. Probably with a bit more humidity and air flow than it's now receiving. It's my experience that plants react to this type of change. They will acclimate to the new environment if the conditions are within their normal tolerances.

After reviewing the photos a number of times I still think that the plant looks to be well grown. It's not my experience that potting mix goes bad in the one weeks time that this plant has been in the new environment. If I can risk making another suggestion, I would remove the white papery sheath covering the back pseudobulbs. It's my experience that scale will live comfortably down under that cover.
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Old 11-14-2009, 02:47 PM
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Thanks everybody for your thoughts. I've got a few things to do outside today (painting while warm!) before I can get to looking at the roots. But I will do that and report back ASAP.

This moving/remodeling stuff is getting old! I wish I could just spend all my free time messing with the 'chids!
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Old 11-14-2009, 02:49 PM
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Bob, this plant just flew in from a grower in Hawaii, so you may be on to something there. It's certainly much less humid in my house!

Back soon,
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Old 11-14-2009, 06:18 PM
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Sorry, FlBob. No chastisement of anyone was intended, and certainly not of you. Your comments are always helpful and welcome.

I hope it wasn't my posts that felt like chastisement. I wasn't even replying to your post, mostly to the original post. I was trying to distinguish between the heat/light stress chartreuse yellow some catts and other orchids show and that gold color which I'm sure is a dying leaf. Also to make clear that T5's themselves are unlikely to be excessive light for a brassavola.

There was no intention to put anyone down or hurt anyone's feelings. However, I did feel the speculation about damage from T5s wasn't particularly helpful either to Koshki or to anyone else interested in using T5s for lighting supplements, and wanted to get my penny's worth in.

Haste makes waste, as me aulde Mither would have said. Very sorry if I should have slowed down and re-edited for a lighter tone

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Old 11-14-2009, 06:54 PM
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I decided to repot

Well, I took a look at the roots and decided to go ahead and repot it. I also removed as much of the papery sheaths on the back bulbs as Bob suggested.

I hope I did the right thing. I was quite surprised to see how the roots encircled the top of the pot, but few were down in the bark.
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:35 PM
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Hi, Koshki. My eyes/trifocals aren't good enough to get the detail in your repot picture. So I just wanted to mention this: make sure the bottom of the (very skinny) pbs, (or if you prefer, the bottom of the leaves) is on *top* of the medium. Don't bury them, or they will rot. B's need to just ride the top of the mix.

And BTW, a few threads of sphag moss on top of the mix encourages new roots to grow - they grow right into the sphag.

And PS, it does look like a very healthy B to me, too.
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Old 11-14-2009, 11:36 PM
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Nuttin' wrong with your eyes, Mehitabel! I just brushed back the medium a bit from the base of the leaves. I was trying to cover the roots to keep them moist, but I think a bit exposed to the air will be fine.

The plant feels really well-hydrated right now, nice firm leaves. I'm going to get some good sphag for a variety of things, and will put a bit on top of this, too.

What did you think of the roots, especially the ring around the top of the pot? I never know what to think of these white roots...are they healthy, should I cut them off? (Newbie!!)
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:17 AM
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Hi,Koshki. I really hope you'll get some replies from other people who have dealt with B's more recently than I. I don't remember what the B roots look like !!!

But I think those winding round the pot roots aren't anything out of the ordinary. I used to use peanuts and little net pots in pots and found the roots stopped going down and started going sideways right where the net pot or the peanuts started. I had some really funny looking root balls. So that could happen from a previous potting with lots of peanuts in the pot. Peanuts in the bottom is really a common form of potting with lots of vendors.

If your leaves are well hydrated, I wouldn't worry. When the roots are gone on a B, the leaves start to get soft and actually fold up sideways. Guess how I found that out! So if your leaves aren't doing that, those are working roots.

Your plant looks great to me. In fact, as I've gained a little experience and confidence, I'm letting the plants themselves tell me when there's trouble. They really do have a glow of health when they're healthy. I call it "looking good". And when they are going downhill, they start looking peaky.

From what I can see, your B is looking good.

Last edited by mehitabel; 11-15-2009 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mehitabel View Post
From what I can see, your B is looking good.
You mean like this?

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Old 11-15-2009, 12:30 AM
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Yeah, like that
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Old 11-15-2009, 07:58 AM
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It's typical for cattleya roots to circle the top of the pot because they are epiphytes and they prefer fresh moist air more than a dark pot with media. The roots that do grow down into the pot will eventually grow through those nice big holes seeking fresh air.

If your white roots are firm, don't cut them they are still providing nutrients to the plant. When a root dies, it will be hollow to the touch.

The next time you repot you might give some consideration to adding inert ingredients to the bottom of the pot to keep the media more shallow and encourage a faster drying time. Catts don't want to grow their roots down into a pot they way a paph or phrag will. A pot that is wider than deep is almost always better for epiphytes - think azalea pot or bulb pan.

Enjoy your blooms and post pics, please.

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Old 11-15-2009, 08:18 AM
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Well Bob...it would seem our discussion is moot at this point because Katherine has gone ahead and unpotted. However, I would like to mention that I do understand what you're saying...change in enviro can cause some ill-effects on the plant. In my experience though, I typically see that change in enviro first hit the buds...they blast.

In spike or not, in bud or not...I will repot as soon as I possibly can...many times the same day I bring the plant home. I do this for 2 reasons...1) I want to see the roots and 2) I want to get the plant into "my" medium. I've never had any trouble by doing this. On the other hand, I have had more than my share of trouble by waiting.

I think we can all agree...diagnosing what's going on w/a plant when it looks healthy...is usually a guessing game. A matter of elimination. For me...that elimination begin at the roots.

Katherine -- your plant looks great! I agree w/Bob in that is looks very well grown. Did you use a pot that's a good deal larger than the original? It sort of looks like that. When using bark or other organic medium that breaks down it's important to try and keep the pot just large enough for one year's growth...because of the moisture retention that can occur in a pot a good deal larger. These guys really want to dry out between waterings and when I used bark mediums I always had trouble w/them when I went too large w/the pot size. I learned a neat trick on Geeks and it's helped immensely. When I don't have the perfect sized pot and I have to use something larger than I'd like...I use p'nut/cork chips/expanded clay in the bottom of the pot to take up space...spread the roots to meet or nearly meet the edges of the pot. This allows the plant a more even drying.

As for your roots on the top. In my experience, Brassavola and B hybrids have roots that like to meander everywhere. Around the top and out of the pot...over the edges...down the sides...everywhere. I try to direct them back into the pot and most will move back in but some still do what they want to do. I don't cover mine w/sphag...just make sure I give them a good watering from time to time and they're fine. I have one hybrid that I set inside another larger pot to contain the crazy roots it's growing. Now those roots are winding around inside the outside pot. If that makes sense.
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Old 11-15-2009, 08:20 AM
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HA! Looks like I was busy replying at the same time Brooke was.

Looks like you and I were thinking the same thing Brooke.
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Old 11-15-2009, 01:26 PM
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I guess I was too busy potting to take many pictures, but this is what I did: I only had that particular size pot on hand, which is slightly wider but not as tall as the original pot. I put plastic foam peices in the bottom...they took up probably half the pot volume, and stuck one up so that it formed a sort of "cone" in the middle. Then I spread the roots around the cone and filled in with some coir, perlite, charcoal and some of the bark from the original pot. Watered thoroughly, then took the picture. I prefer the clear pots so that I can see what's going on inside the pot with the roots. (This has been very helpful with other plants.)

The pot has lots of holes (made with my trusty hot glue gun!) in the sides and the bottom. I checked on it today, and found no more color-changing leaves, but one bud is beginning to open!

Like others here, I guess I feel better knowing what the entire plant looks like, roots and all!
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Old 11-15-2009, 07:35 PM
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Sounds good!

Brooke
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Old 11-15-2009, 08:08 PM
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Yep...sounds good!!

Looking forward to the bloom pics!
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:28 PM
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Bloom!

Two of the three dying leaves have dropped off, but I do believe they are all from older back bulbs. The rest of the plant looks quite healthy, and the first spike is beginning to bloom! I love it!

Thanks everyone for your suggestions.
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