Orchid Culture - Questions & Answers from This Month

by Sue Bottom, from the St. Augustine Orchid Society Newsletter. Email us with any orchid question. If we can't answer it, we'll find someone who can! Send photographs too!
 
Phal Leaf Yellowing

Phal Leaf Yellowing

Q. The leaves on my phals are suddenly turning yellow starting at the outer edges, what gives?
A. It looks like you are getting some sun bleaching, is that getting more light than it used to, with the longer days and increasing sun angle? And is it getting enough water and magnesium? Ursula responded saying that the changing sun angle was causing the yellowing, problem solved!  (May-20)
 
 
White Cottony Stuff on Vanda
White Cottony Stuff on Vanda

White Cottony Stuff on Vanda

Q. Could this be scale on my vanda?
A. That looks a lot like the tent caterpillars we get in our trees. The caterpillars weave a silken tent around them to protect them from bird predators while they devour surrounding leaves. I suppose it is just one of the hazards of growing plants outdoors. You should remove and destroy the nest and give the vanda a good wash with your hose end sprayer, and perhaps spray it with isopropyl alcohol. That is one healthy vanda you have! (May-20)
 
 
Clowesia Repotting

Clowesia Repotting

Q. This Clowesia is way in need of moving on to a bigger pot. Should I get rid of some of the old roots or just break them apart a bit?
A. Those roots look past their prime. I would cut them all away and then repot. Fill the bottom third of the pot with styrofoam and then interlayer time release fertrilizer with your potting media. Don't water until the new roots reach the bottom of the pot and the top growth is about 5 inches tall and unfurled. (May-20)