Saturday, August 14, 2010

The perils of excessive heat and sunlight for cool growing orchids

It's been a hot and humid summer here in Toronto.

Last month, during a particularly intense run of hot and humid weather, one of my cool growing orchids suffered some possibly irreparable damage. Pleurothallids are normally cool-growing. This one was in my upstairs studio / orchid room. Temps on the upper floor of our house probably hit over 35C / 100F during a four or five day period. We weren't using the AC consistently over that time, and even if we were, the upstairs stays quite warm. I forgot about the face that I had some particularly sensitive and cool-growing orchids up in that room, namely two species of Pleurothallids: a restrepioides and a phallangifera.

The restrepioides seemed fine and as soon as I realized the danger / damage, I moved it to a cooler, less bright spot on the main floor. But the damage was already done to the phallangifera. It lost most of its 30 leaves the day I discovered it. There were a couple green ones left, but its last leaf feel off a few days ago. It had at least 30 leaves, and they turned, within the space of just a day or so, various shades of yellow and brown. Unfortunately I don't have a picture of the plant before it was damaged! Below are pictures of the progressive loss of leaves. I'm hoping that once the plant gets over the shock and hopefully recovers, it might start growing some new leaves again.



8 Comments:

At 9:54 AM, Anonymous John said...

I didn't realize some orchids could suffer that much damage in a couple of days. I always though they we tough plants. Let us know if the plant seems to recover quickly. Thanks for the post.

 
At 11:53 PM, Anonymous flower Philippines said...

Now,I will be more tender and loving for the orchids. Anyway,thank you so much for this blog so informative. Keep posting!

vittom

 
At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Janet said...

I continually hear from people as well that are struggling to manage yellow leaves and other types of visible damage to their orchids. Great post.

Jan

 
At 5:38 PM, Anonymous Mary Ann the Orchid Care Zone Publisher said...

Wow! Great pictures and a great reminder for us all. It's easy to forget how much damage the heat can do. It certainly didn't take much time to do such long-lasting damage. It is such an easy mistake to make. Don't beat yourself up too much. I should probably focus more on that in the article I wrote about phalaenopsis orchids also. Keep us updated on its recovery please - would love to see pictures of the healing process!

 
At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Grace C said...

This is a good reminder to everyone growing orchids that too much sunlight, specially for orchids that originally grow in cooler climate, is not good. I myself forgot sometimes and its always too late when you realize it. But not bad at all because you were still able to save them. :)

 
At 10:52 AM, Blogger Naomi @ WCOE said...

An update: the Pleurothallis that lost all of its leaves to sun damage is not yet showing any new signs of growth! So I'm not sure if it will recover ... I might have to wait until spring.

 
At 7:08 AM, Blogger zXc said...

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