Bacteria or Virus??

by Holly Cacciapaglia
(San Mateo, CA, USA)

I bought a phalaenopsis a few months ago from a Farmer's Market (in Ca). The blooms soon started to wilt, I repotted it to find a mangled smaller plastic cup inside the plastic cup it was in (the roots had grown out of the slits in the smaller cup it was originally planted in). After this the leaves started to get some yellow-ish spots on them. I have looked at many sites on-line and am still having trouble diagnosing her. The other phals and other orchids I have are doing quite well under the same conditions. Help! Do I need to give up on the poor girl??
Attached are current pics of her leaves, and of her before she went south....

Comments for Bacteria or Virus??

Average Rating starstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Aug 23, 2016
Looks like sun damage NEW
by: Marin Orchid Novice

Phalaenopsis generally prefer low light. If getting direct light can acclimate them to it gradually; and, if in a window, remove them on hot days. I am also in Northern California and my Phals and Cymbidium have burned on hot late summer days.

Sep 14, 2011
Cable's Reply
by: Cable Thompson

This is definitely not a virus, and it doesn't look like a bacterial infection either. I think it's simply a result of the plant not being happy for some reason. It's not time to give up on this one: figure out what's wrong and it will be possible to make it healthy again.

Were most of the roots healthy when you repotted it? If a lot of them were brown and mushy, or otherwise dead, one possible cause is overwatering. Another would be if its old potting mix had broken down somewhat. In either of these cases, repotting will have helped a lot. Getting it out of that old multi-pot arrangement is good, too!

Since the symptoms started after repotting, if the roots seemed healthy, then my best guess is that it wants more water. Is the potting mix more freely draining than what you have your other phals in? Also, fresh potting mix is sometimes really dry and needs a good soak before it will start to hold moisture normally; try setting the plant in a bucket for 15 minutes if you think that might be the case.

It's also possible that this is damage from overheating (could that have happened?) or mild sunburn, but both of those seem unlikely since there's another Phal sitting next to it. It may also be worth looking closely for pests.

Please use the comment link to reply again if you still have questions.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Orchid Disease.

Share This Page:

Like this page? Please pay it forward! Here's how…