Please help I have Bumps on my orchid leaf

Discussion in 'Orchidaceae (orchids)' started by Orchidgirl, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. Orchidgirl

    Orchidgirl Member

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    Hello,

    I was wondering if anyone could help me? I have raised transparent bumps on one of my orchid leaves. I was wondering what caused these bumps and how it will affect my orchid?
    The orchid afffected is healthy and is about to flower, so it cant be life threatening.

    Does anyone have any ideas as to what it could be? (could it be the plant is repairing itself from some kind of trama?)

    Thank you.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 11, 2007
  2. everlasting

    everlasting Active Member

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    It may be caused by a insect borer of some kind. Most plants can be attacked by insects if they are unhealthy like your orchid. The cheapest and safest kind of insect repellant is a healthy plant. Once the orchid gets sick, it can easily be attacked by any organism.
     
  3. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    I ran across an article on this some years ago. I just can't figure out "where" right now!

    The article said it is due to a defect in the cloning of the orchid. Almost all orchids now sold are actually clones, usually called mericlones. They did not begin from seeds. A small amount of tissue is taken from the tip of a leaf of the parent plant and and is used in a lab to creat "tissue" which is then used to grow many baby plants. It cuts several years off the growing process, thus making orchids cheaper to buy. It is possible for a cloned species to pick up a defect as a result of the lab process. Similar defects are what prevent addict "plant nuts" from buying rare plants that were grown from tissue cultures.

    According to what I read, this is one of the things that may happen to a leaf. As you likely have seen, it does not happen to all the leaves. It does not harm the plant and is not treatable, unless you call chopping of the leaf a "treatment". But some people really don't like the look and resort to chopping it off. It may, or many not, return on future leaves. Probably best not to worry about it unless the entire plant continues to produce the defect. If that happens, the only "cure" is to destroy the plant. And believe me, I hate doing that!

    I'll dig through some old material and see if I can uncover the source material.
     
  4. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Just checked a couple of botanical sources, didn't find the article I'm looking for. But one did remind me there is a condition known as "pleated leaf". This may be the beginning of that condition, but possibly not.

    Pleated leaf is when the leaf begins to develop creases in the surface of the blade that may appear to be pleats in the leaf. It is a sign the plant is begging for more water.

    One thing orchid keepers often do is underwater their plants for fear they may harm them. Many also refuse to allow water to touch a leaf or a flower. Absolutely an "old wives" tale. If you do a bit of research you'll find these are rain forest plants. It is just about impossible to over water them! But is very easy to under water an orchid.

    Almost every major orchid grower I've ever visited in South Florida (and there a many)has their orchids watered on a timer. Some give them water as many as 5 times a day for 5 minutes at at time. And you should see all the blooms!

    The best orchid rain forest in the world I am personally aware of is in Panama. That one is above the cloud line and is constantly muddy, it rains almost daily for hours at a time with the exception of the dry season which is brief. Orchid blooms are on virtually every tree! And I guarantee, nature has not figured out a way to keep the water off the leaf blades and the blooms!

    Now, is this your problem? I can't say for certain. Only you know how often you water the plant. But give that some consideration as well. If there is a possibility that may be the source of your problem, just give it water much more frequently.

    One thing to check first. Make sure the potting media is fresh and not beginning to rot. That can damage the plant very quickly. Change it once each year.
     
  5. Orchidgirl

    Orchidgirl Member

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    Dear Photopro,
    Thank you so much for you reply. It was very interesting to find that it could be a defect due to cloning. Im definately not going to cut the leaf off as the plant is very health and is about to flower. I dont really care what the leaves look like as long as the plant is healthy and happy.

    It was also very suprising to learn that many orchid growers underwater their orchids. This is something I have read about a few times. Orchids are native to rain forests and as you say recieve rain water many times a day. Also it was interesting to hear you say that many major orchid grower have their orchids on timers and get watered upto five times a day!

    I have changed all my orchid potting media this year, so it cannot be rotting, which is causing the problem.

    I use medium sized bark, with nothing else (e.g. no sphagnum) and water once a week. Do you think it could be that the potting medium is not holding any water and thus the orchid is becoming dehydrated very easily?

    Just out of interest how often do you water your orchids and what are they pottted in?

    Thank you
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2007
  6. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Try sticking your finger into the mix at least an inch. You are trying to see if the mix is dried out down below the surface. I wanted to suggest just dump all the potting media out and check it thoroughly, but if the plant is in spike that is not a great idea.

    Orchid growers approach the care of their plants from many different angles. Some prefer only bark. Some prefer only volcanic rock. Some prefer a mixture containing charcoal. And others prefer ground coconut husk mixed with charcoal, a bit of rock and a few other additives. Numerous large Hawaiian growers are now using the "coconut" mix. I elected to change to that about one year ago and have had good results. However, the coconut husk needs to have water added much more frequently than once a week. All of these appear to work, so there is obviously no single "perfect" way to grow orchids. It just depends on how well the orchid grower takes care of their plant.

    I always recommend to give orchids water more frequently than once per week, normally daily if possible. But many people do very well with 3 to 4 days a week. It just depends on how much you wish to mimic the rain forest environment. As for me, I water daily with the exception of during winter when I drop back to a couple of days a week. That is similar to the way rain falls in a tropical forest.

    Just keep your eye on the plant. If the leaf continues to wrinkle that is likely an indication it is "thirsty". It is possible this could be an infection as Everlasting suggested. But if other leaves aren't showing the malady don't panic too quickly. However, a good orchid fungicide spray will do not harm as a "just in case".

    Hope it works out for you.
     
  7. Orchidgirl

    Orchidgirl Member

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    Thank you photopro and everlasting for both your suggestions.
     
  8. arcticshaun

    arcticshaun Active Member

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    I haven't seen that type of defect in an Phal leaf before but unless it is spreading I wouldn't worry about it at this point but keep an eye on it. I just realized that my first Phal has to be destroyed due to viral infection (it has never been all that healthy and I've nursed it along for 8 years). With Phalaenopsis watering has to be balanced against light availability as well (stronger light = more frequent watering). I've always considered Phals a great beginners orchid as long as you can provide bright light (eastern exposure is best, more shade if exposure is more to south) and keep roots moist but not soaking wet. Keep fertilizer on the weak side and repot in new orchid media every 1-2 years. Lots of information available on the internet, keep reading and good luck.

    Shaun
     
  9. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Shaun, you're my kind of grower!
     
  10. Orchidgirl

    Orchidgirl Member

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    Thank you all for your responses.
    I have an update on the orchid. Most of its leaves went yellow and died except for the leaf with the bumps in the picture and a newly grown leaf. The plant does not seem to be suffering and is due to come into flower. My other orchids which sit next to it havent had any problems at all. I think it may be a genetic problem as it is a spotted orchid (harlequin phal)
     
  11. photopro

    photopro Well-Known Member

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    Some yellowing of leaves is a normal event and should not be a matter of great concern. Only when the entire plant begins to yellow is there obviously something wrong. Hopefully, your phal will bloom again and again.
     

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