Brown Tips on my Orchid leaves

topic posted Wed, September 5, 2007 - 2:24 AM by  Annabel
I have an indoor potted orchid and the small booklet tells me to keep it moist and once a week to submerge it in water. The tips of the leaves have started to go brown and I am not sure why this it - can any one help?
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  • Unsu...

    Re: Brown Tips on my Orchid leaves

    Wed, September 5, 2007 - 9:41 AM
    It's hard to say what is causing the leaves to go brown without looking at a picture of the species, but I have some orchids and the leaf tips usually go brown when the air around the plant is too dry. One technique would be to put your orchid onto a plate with small rocks or pebbles in the bottom and make sure you keep water in the rocks. This will increase the moisture around your plant and should reduce the number of brown tips.

    Good Luck, Amy
    • Re: Brown Tips on my Orchid leaves

      Wed, September 5, 2007 - 11:23 PM
      Thank you,
      I am afraid the problem in that case will get worse as we are about to have a very cold winter I suspect, and we live in on one hand, a very nice 'block', it is very old and has a central heating system so we have no control over the heat and the place gets very hot but also quite damp. We do have a wonderfully long hall with glass along the whole of one side - would you advise using a humidifier or de humidifier?
      • Unsu...

        Re: Brown Tips on my Orchid leaves

        Thu, September 6, 2007 - 8:45 AM
        Oh, most certainly a humidifier. When my orchid collection was at it's finest, I had all the orchids in their pots, sitting on a table next to a window. I then had a small humidifier positioned at the base of the table, so the moist air would rise up to the table and shower the orchids with tiny water drops. The plants loved it. So it sounds like you have the perfect place for the orchids and you just need to get the area set-up with a humidifier.

        You don't want to keep the roots of the plants sitting in water, but the entire plant likes to be in a highly humid environment. Remember, many of the orchids used as houseplants were originally from rainforest environments where the humidity is high and the temperatures are mild.

        Good luck! I absolutely love orchids!
  • Re: Brown Tips on my Orchid leaves

    Sun, November 25, 2007 - 5:50 AM
    One of the things that can cause this is the result of guttation. Most plant leaves have small glands at the end of the leaves where the plant guttates. When it is taking up more water than can be gotten rid of by evaporation, it exudes drops there. These are often seen in the morning hanging on leaf tips. Then this water evaporates. Naturally this water contains small amounts of soluable salts. The salts build up each day until they reach a concentration that can burn the leaf tips. Make sure when the plant is watered that the whole plant is rinsed off to remove said salts like natural rain usually does.
  • Re: Brown Tips on my Orchid leaves

    Sun, November 25, 2007 - 8:31 AM
    Although oprchids like humidity, they also require excellent air circulation. The brown leaf tips may be due to chlorine or flouride in the water. WHe you submerge the plant in water, try to just submerge the pot and roots. Standing water on the leaves may cause the brown spots. These are my best guesses without seeing the plant. Good luck.
    • Re: Brown Tips on my Orchid leaves

      Sun, November 25, 2007 - 8:54 AM
      I grew up in Hawaii where orchids grow wild and naturally, but since moving to the mainland, I've had a difficult time with trying to grow orchids indoors.

      One solution I've found that seems to make my orchid thrive is to get a bowl filled with marbles and florist gel beads. I set the roots of the plant into the marbles, then fill the bowl with water, which makes the beads expand and help set the roots in place. It keeps the plant moist and allows the uptake of water from the beads without smothering the roots entirely. Then I just have to water it every couple weeks, enough to re-expand the beads.

      Now even in the winter when my windows are shut and the heat on, my plant still stays moist and happy.

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