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Environmental Issues

DehydrationDisease is not the only issue that can cause your plants to look bad or become weak. Being able to identify when your plants are under watered, over fertilized, sunburnt or perfectly healthy is important. The images in this section are to show you what some of these conditions might look like. Remember, that pests and pestilence affect weak plants, so if you see any signs of unhappiness, pests and disease may soon follow.

Mesophyll collapseDifferent orchids have different needs so learn as much as you can about your particular orchid. If you see it showing any signs of unhappiness, change what you’re doing. Dehydration obviously means you need to keep your plant wetter. Browning tips of leaves could mean that the plant is getting too close to your supplemental lighting (if that’s what you have). If you don’t have supplemental lighting you may be dealing with salts which could come from your tap water or from over-fertilizing your plant. Cold temperature, especially when coupled with wet conditions, can lead to a collapsing of the cell walls in the plant called mesophyll collapse.

Sunburn or salt/fertilizer accumulationMany of these conditions take time to develop. Mesophyll Collapse, for example, can show up several weeks after the event that caused it and dehydrated leaves like the one in the picture above were probably formed when the leaves were newly growing. Still, when any of these symptoms show up it is wise to determine if the causes are still present and make appropriate changes if they are.