Browning of New Leaves
Below is a picture of a Tobaica x Mirabilis I've had for a few months now. While it has continued to put out now, green, healthy looking leaves, they seem to quickly start to brown and crisp around the edges.
My other plants seem to be doing well in the environment, just under 4 2 ft fluorescents in household humidity.
Any thoughts on what the problem might be?
1.) That is a really crappy picture.
2.) It looks like something similar to nutrient poisoning of some kind. What's the substrate like? Maybe something unwanted accidentally slipped in there.
3.) could be low humidity, or too much light as well.
Humidity & more water!
I paged through your pics, and everything needs far higher humidity and much more frequent watering. I can't grow anything outside an enclosed grow chamber / terrarium. My household humidity, esp. in winter with the heat on, is so dry only succulents can survive on an open shelf system like that. Even regular houseplants like ferns and ficus start hurting in winter.
Also what kinda water are you using when you do water? The plants show signs that could also be from using an inappropriate water source (tap, well or spring water) in addition to the too low humidity and infrequent watering.
Thanks for the advice all.
I use only distilled water, bought by the gallon from a reverse osmosis machine at kroger. As far as humidity, I use an ultrasonic humidifier about every 2 hours for 15 minutes, but that is still with the flap open...so maybe I need to close it up and then run a fan to get excess heat out?
Far as water, I actually feel like I error on the over watering side. I pour water through em to soak as soon as it feels dry to the touch, should I not let em dry out as much?
While I've heard about root rot, I've never experienced it myself, but that is what scares me into letting them dry out first (not bone-dry though)
1) you need to determine what the humidity really is, and adjust accordingly. You should be aiming for 60% minimum. Increase air flow if necessary. Daytime temps can go as high as 85F without problems for most varieties as long as the humidity and air flow are good.
2) the growing media should never get "dry to the touch" between waterings. Remember, many growers maintain an environment moist enough to grow live Sphagnum on the surface of pots. That requires a very moist environment! There's a big difference between moist and wet!
Yeah, they are clearly going too long inbetween watering and exposure to humidity. I shouldn't be able to see the veins in any of those plants. Phalaenopsis orchids don't get pleated leaves unless they are water starved - higher humidity at all times will enable the waterings to last longer.
Heat could be an issue as well but without hard numbers we don't know. You should get a temp & humidity gauge from home depot one unit runs only $2.99 for an old fashioned style fluid thermometer and dial hygrometer in one piece. Knowing what ranges you actually have will help diagnose and fix any environmental problems. In the mean time: water more often!
BTW Distilled water is purified by recondensing boiled water vapor all impurieties are left behind in the boiler, it's not the same process as reverse osmosis which forces the water through a membrane. R/O can still be dirty, especially from grocery store machines depending on how many gallons it's processed since it's last membrane change/service. Machines should have a card which lists the latest date of service where they supposedly test and replace any clogged membranes, obviously try and use the machines that get the most regular service.
I appreciate the help very much! I will go out tonight and get the guage and let you know my conditions. The orchids are my girlfriends, and aren't in the same environ, but I wil lcertianly let her know your advice to water more!
And I do recognize the difference between classic distillation and R/O, I was just using the term i nthe sense of 'purifying the water' through a generic process.
thank you, and I will let you know my temps/humidity soon enough!
With the orchids being phalaenopsis and in a mix with LFS I would be leaning to the over watered side, not under watered. I would un-pot the worst looking one and inspect the roots, phals are pretty accepting of root disturbance.
Drew, since those were taken she has repotted all of them into a much more airy mix and they seem to be doing well! She goes around 9 days or so between waterings, all but one have been growing much better. The last one had lost most of it's roots to rot, but has a few small ones starting to help it I think!
---------- Post added at 04:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:26 PM ----------
So on swords advice I've done something I should have done long ago and installed a cheap thermometer/hygrometer. Currently, with the flap open, it is about 77 inside with 43% humidity or so.
Here is how the setup looks.
I think now I'll zip it up for a few hours and see what the values are like then...
I tried running everything with the front zipped up.
After a few hours, the humidity is about 75% (Only ran humidifier a bit at the beginning)
The temperature seems to have leveled out at about 80F.
I think I need to put in a fan to get some more circulation, but do these numbers sound ok?