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Orchid crown rot
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julio 24, 2014
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This serious disease is caused by fungal infection and can kill your orchid. It appears when water deposits form in the crown of the plant (where the leaves join forming kind of a cup that holds water in it), there’s poor air movement and the temperature is low. The symptoms are a rapid change in the leaves, withering and turning yellow, and then turning black, until they fall off.  This process can happen almost over night.

The genus most affected by this disease are Phalaenopsis, Phragmapedium y Paphiopedilum, but it could also happen to any orchid in which their leaves form a crown, when the new leaves emerge between the old ones:

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The older leaves, the ones in the bottom will yellow, wither and fall off.  This is normal!!  The issue becomes clear when all the leaves are going through this process and you start to see black tissue on the base of the leaves.

prevention: please read our article “How should I water my orchids?“!!  Crown rot can be easily avoided if we water our plants correctly.

treatment: you have to cut and cauterize all the affected parts, sometimes including part of the crown.  You should apply Hydrogen Peroxide undiluted and freely daily during the first week of treatment and let your orchid dry outside the pot and any growing media, bare root.  Repeat until the Hydrogen Peroxide stops bubbling (bubbles are a sign of infection) and repot whatever is left of the plant and resume normal care.

Most of the times, once the infection has reached the core of the crown, the damage is too much and the plant will die.  But if it is detected on time, there is hope!!  Remember to always inspect your orchids and act fast at the first sign that something is not ok!!

If you rather bring out the big guns from the start, you can apply chemical fungicides such as: Phyton 27, Subdue Maxx, Cleary…

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