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Old 09-22-2008, 07:49 PM
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Virus...What a crappy day...

First I find out that my seed capsules are probably no good, and then I go to check out my Lc. Mini Purple var. coerulea 'Sato' to see if it's open, and look what I find! It must be a virus, right? I've only seen pictures. It sure looks bad- I'll throw out the plant, but how do I know if it's spread? I'm on the verge of tears.
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:57 PM
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Oh Patti! That looks like color break for sure, and with the deformity of the flower. I'm so sorry. Have you contacted the vendor yet to let them know?
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:06 PM
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Jenny...I haven't- It's an e-bay vender that doesn't have the best track record. I've only bought from him a few times, and that was months ago. His prices are cheap. Now I know why. I only buy from reputable growers now. I'm praying that it hasn't spread to any others.
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:08 PM
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Is that what a virused bloom looks like? So sorry Patti. Why are the pods no good?
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:14 PM
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Is that what a virused bloom looks like? So sorry Patti. Why are the pods no good?
Yea, I'm afraid that that's a great example of a virused bloom. I have the explaination for the seed pods in my thread "Not great news on capsule #3"

I'm in such a downer now. On a better note, Cindy, my Angraecum magdalenae has a new little leaf starting! The other little one hasn't died or grown. I'm hoping it will root.
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:20 PM
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I read the other thread. Sorry about the capsule. Hope the other two will be good. Hope the rest of your orchids are OK. Good Luck.

Glad the Angraecum is doing well. Mine hasn't done anything yet. It's just sitting there. No new roots or leaves.
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:36 PM
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Patti
I would still get in-touch with the vendor regarding this.
I would also take this up with the ebay officials
I am so sorry that this has happened to you

can you also please post a pic of the leaves of the orchid as well
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:41 PM
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Agreed. Ebay can still do something about this, despite the length of time. Especially reguarding plants that are being sold virused to customers.

Can you imagine all the buyers that got virused plants and don't know it?!!!
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patticake View Post
First I find out that my seed capsules are probably no good, and then I go to check out my Lc. Mini Purple var. coerulea 'Sato' to see if it's open, and look what I find! It must be a virus, right? I've only seen pictures. It sure looks bad- I'll throw out the plant, but how do I know if it's spread? I'm on the verge of tears.
That's terrible. I'm so sorry.
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:50 PM
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Is this the only flower that has come out like this? Are there any signs of virus in the plant itself (mottled leaves, deformities)? While viruses do produce colour breaks, other things can too. Not every colour break is caused by a virus.
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:58 PM
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Kevin, It's the first time it's bloomed for me. The leaves have never looked quite "right"- I've cared for it the same as my others, and they look a lot better. I would post pics of the rest of the plant, but it's already in the dumpster! I sure hope none of my other plants are affected. The deformed bloom on top of the coloring sure looked like the pictures that I've seen. I didn't want to take any chances- It's a gone-er!
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:05 PM
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Oh Patti that is a shame that you could not get a pic of the leaves for us because I was thinking on the same lines as Kevin.
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:11 PM
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Well, what's done is done- when I saw how stunted the petals were, I said, I'll take a picture and then- goodbye. It's had very good culture. It wasn't neglected or anything. Babied is more like it. I have a small one of the same plant (but not from the same plant) It's growing in a room away from the other plants, so we'll see what happens with that one. That one is just a baby however.
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:16 PM
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Aphids can also cause this discoloring of flowers if its not to late pull the plant out of the dumpster and post some pic of the leaves. Are there any other buds on the plant that haven't opened yet you may want to wait till they open as well.
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:31 PM
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Oh well, I do agree it's probably better to be safe than sorry, especially if there were deformities in the plant that raised your suspicions.

This might be a good time to make a point about orchid viruses though. While it is important to be midful of orchid viruses and to take precautions to avoid infections (prevention is best), it's also worth keeping in mind that orchid viruses aren't the highly contagious, rampant, plague-like diseases we sometimes make them out to be. It's entirely possible to have two plants next to eachother on a bench, one infected, one not, and never have the clean plant get infected, provided you exercise the basic precautions (sterile tools when making cuts of any kind, not reusing run off water from one orchid to water another, etc). Sometimes viruses don't readily express themselves so some of us might have a virused plant for years and years and never know it. In spite of this we don't usually find that the rest of our collection has become infected. Viruses are not transmitted through the air, through normal plant-to-plant contact like leaves brushing against one another, or through normal handling of plants. We do need to exercise caution when cutting anything on an orchid, sterile tools should be used when doing this (and when pinching off a spent inflorescence wiht one's fingernails, fingernails count as a tool), and when watering.

Please don't read anything other than some basic info into the the content or timing of my post. I'm not implying that Patti is panicking or taking unwarranted action regarding her suspicious plant, nor am I implying that we keep virused plants. I avoid them. But since the topic has come up I'm just pointing out that we need not be freaked out by viruses or overly concerned that they're going to wipe out our collections as long as we exercise some sensible basic prevention and precautions.
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:31 PM
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I'm fairly new to orchids, but I've grown plants for many years. (inside and out) I know aphids, trust me! I know spider mites, mealy bugs, thrips...I know them all too well. There were no insects or insect damage on this plant at all. That's why I'm relatively sure it's virused. I'm not going dumpster diving, no matter how much I love my fellow geeks! If I have this happen again, (God, I hope not!) I'll make sure to completely document with photos first. Sorry.

Kevin, You were posting as I was-Thanks, you answered some of the questions I had. One other- Can I re-use the container that it was in? It's one of my favorites. I would wash it of course, but would soaking it in bleach be the right course of action?
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Old 09-22-2008, 10:08 PM
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Hi Patti.
I am sorry to here of the virus problem, I agree with your action of dumping it.
As Fred suggested take it up with the seller and if no action on his part take it up with ebay.
Some small part time growers will dump their crook/virused stock on the public.
Best of luck with the rest of the the plants.
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Old 09-22-2008, 10:11 PM
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Bleach will kill just about anything. I would soak it in a bleach solution for sure.
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Old 09-22-2008, 10:24 PM
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Thanks, Solay- I'll do that.

Ron, The trouble with this is that I bought the plant back in December of last year. I don't know if I could prove that it was infected when I got it. He has a pretty substantial business. I didn't pay more than 6 or 7 dollars for it. Live and learn. I'll stick with the growers that I know well...
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Old 09-23-2008, 12:29 AM
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Aww Patti, I am so sorry!!! I hope that the other pods are okay!!!!
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Old 09-23-2008, 12:41 AM
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i don't think the virus will spread to the seed. Provided it is harvested dry. I have
a pod that the mother plant has Tobacco mosaic virus. But it did not spread to the seed.
Beside other people told me virus cannot spread from dry seed. So go ahead and wait for
the seed pod to burst and harvest the seed.
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:16 AM
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I also heard this at the seminar we had at one of our orchid society meetings. You should have a good chance.
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:31 AM
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The plant with the virus, and the plant with the seed pods are 2 different plants. The first of the seedpods is a dud, which is why I'm bummed, and the bloom from another plant entirely, was virused, which is why I am doubly bummed.
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:48 AM
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Patti , I'm sorry to hear about your orchid troubles
I've read somewhere that you can sterilize your container that you like by baking in a 350 degree oven for an hour or so... but that's only if the container is ceramic... probably wouldn't work if its plastic
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Old 09-23-2008, 01:54 AM
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Hi patti.
One problem with outlaw sellers is they know the plants are viruses and give them a good dose of Epsom Salts (magnesiam) thus greening up the leaves etc.
trouble is when the effects wear of and it is usually the stress of flowering and winter or cooler weather show up the problems
many months have gone by since you bought it, and it is a hard problem to prove

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Old 09-23-2008, 05:31 AM
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Viruses appear differently in different plants...and many times show no symptoms whatsoever. Accordingly, it's highly risky for me (or anyone else) to be diagnosing viruses by pictures on a forum. With that disclaimer I jump into deep water.

My view of the picture indicates brown (necrotic) areas on the flower, not color breaks. If that's wrong then forget anything else I put here. In spite of the good intentions of everyone here to console you and, in some cases, confirm your diagnosis, I don't see anything in the picture that looks like a color break caused by virus. Certainly there is nothing that screams virus. Your flower appears to have necrotic spots (areas) typical of damage from thrips or other bud sucking (or egg laying )insects, but they could also come from water getting into the bud or even physical damage. I know you said you did not see insects, but thrips are extremely hard to see with the naked eye especially if you have never seen them before. If I remember correctly you have some plants (this one?) outdoors. Thrips thrive in hot, dry conditions. They inhabit areas like hay fields and the such. They will attack flower buds preferentially by ruining one plant and ignoring the one next door. I don't mean to focus entirely on thrips, but bud damage is their specialty (and that includes deformity). Color breaks caused by virus will be lighter or darker areas of the flower in the same color as the base flower. So, dark lavender spots or streaks on a light lavender flower for example, but not whole areas of change and not necrotic brown spots.

A virused plant can be successfully kept if desired, although I choose not to do so. In spite of that, you must be aware that every plant should be considered virused because of the slow nature of virus infection and the lack of symptoms in many plants. Your most dangerous plant is the one that you consider virus free. Strict ( and time consuming) sanitary measures are a must for orchid collections.

There is now a cheap home kit available for TMV and CMV testing. You should test your plant just to see if you could have spread virus from it. Search AGDIA.

Risky or not, I'm betting what you see is not a virus, but the plant may still have a virus. Never buy from purely commercial, mass sources if you plan long term orchid collections and never fail in your sanitary practices. If you suspected that your foliage looked strange, that's when you needed to investigate further to see if the plant was diseased and should be isolated. Don't wait to close the barn door or you'll just lock the horse outside.

Go get your plant and test it...not for the value of that plant...but for the value of all the others. Please folks, consider every orchid to be virused and act accordingly. Only buy from sources that you know try to be careful (and even that isn't much protection but it's better than nothing).
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:16 AM
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Oh, JLu- Thank you so much for your response. It may well not be a virus, but I'm certain it isn't thrips. I grew African Violets for years and won major awards on all levels. I once had an entire collection wiped out by thrips. I was young, and just starting with them and only had about 50 or so, but by the time I realized what I had, well... let's just say it was a learning experience. After that I kept my violets totally disbudded until 6-8 weeks before a show. This helped bloom numbers for show, and didn't give thrips a chance if they happened to be in a bud when I got the plant. At one point, I had hundreds of violets as well as Streptocarpus. I could spot a thrip at 20 paces, and know full well what their damage looks like. They actually chew (scrape) the surface and pigment right off as they go merrily along! I was in charge of inspections at our local and state shows.

I litterally threw this orchid into a huge dumpster behind the business where we live in front of. I would have to get in from a ladder and go fishing through the debris! While that's funny on sitcoms, I'm not up for that kind of laugh!

The picture was taken in darkish lighting in my kitchen using a tri-pod. The breaks on the sepals and especially on the 2 side petals, were definitely white. The coloring in the picture is deceiving. (chalk that up to crummy photography!) The side petals are also very distorted.

I only had my Myrmecophila thomsoniana outside for a short period this past spring, and it came back in to my dining room which is no where near where the infected plant was. I live in the Northeast of NY, and I live on a busy highway, surrounded by lots of businesses, and asphault. My plants are grown indoors only. Mainly for the reasons you stated! While I realize that it could have brought the little buggers in with it when it arrived, I think I would have noticed something out of sorts between last December and now. The leaves on this particular orchid just didn't have the shiny "healthy" look of my others. There were no splotches of any kind. I know what thrip and mite damage look like, I guarantee you. The coloring was still very even, just lacked luster.

I really appreciate your response, and I'll be more careful to check out plants that I'm suspicious of in the future. Getting opinions from all that I admire, is what I love so much about this forum.
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Old 09-23-2008, 09:44 AM
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Patti, I am sure you answered this already but have you actually tested the plant?
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by FLaCo View Post
Patti, I am sure you answered this already but have you actually tested the plant?
No, I wasn't going to spend more testing it than I paid for it in the first place. I have several plants that mean a lot to me and were pretty pricey. Those I would test. This one was cheap, and it sure looked like photos that I've seen of virused plants, so out it went...
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Old 10-08-2008, 06:26 PM
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Question Who was the seller?

SRSLY who?
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:02 PM
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Im sorry to hear about your child.This year a Plantain bought a dreadful virus to my home.Thank God it was kept in my kitchen garden.It was growing vigorously.My grandmother warned me about the virus calling it some kind of disease.But I neglected.Then it spread to the nearby papaya .After that I got to beleave in her.And as she told I cut the plants,dug its roots and burned that dig with fallen leaves and disposed the plants in a far away place.She told me that if the soil was not burned with something the cause of disease will stay alive in that soil waiting for the next plant.
Any ways my plants(other than orchids) used to produce deformed flowers when they are over fertilized or if the fertilizers of coconut tree accidentally falls on them or stung by insects when they are a bud.
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:26 PM
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My first thought when I looked at your photo was that you had a typical flower from a very young plant that was stressed by heat or insects.

I would have told you it would probably flower just fine next time.

I did a thread about a year ago about 'what a difference a year makes' showing the flower change of Cattleya on their second flowering from the first. The better growers do not sell first flowering plants instead cutting the buds and waiting another year.

Especially this hybrid. It is a miro-clone. I know the growers. If it has a virus then millions around the country would have it and I have not heard anything about their being a problem with this plant. A miro-cloned plant from a virus parent will carry the virus to the seedlings.

Seed grow plants from even two diseased parents will be virus free. There is a natural immunity against viruses in the seeding process.

Mini Purple has been a problem growing for me. It seems to be a little weaker than other Cattleya hybrids and the coerulea line is weaker still.
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:59 PM
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If that's the case, I still have a much smaller one from a different shipment. The plant wasn't exposed to insects or extreme anything. It's been babied for several months. Who knows. It was an older plant, and what happened to it before I got it- who knows. It's a done deal- time to move on. Thanks for your input however.
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