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Dracula rezekiana with "folded" leaves

Discussion in 'Orchid Culture' started by JulienZ, May 21, 2019.

  1. JulienZ

    JulienZ New Member

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    Hello there,
    I have a dracula rezekiana that I try to bring back to life but the new leafs are not straight healthy ones. They are bent, don't seem to extend much and stay folded in two (see photo below).
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    I have been struggling to maintain adequate conditions for draculas. The humidity is a little too low (55%-65%), the temperature is in the upper range (23°C-25°C=68-77F with a 2°C-4F degree drop at night) and about 7500 luxs of lighting. So the plants are stressed and a couple of bacterial/fungus infections due to insufficient air movement forced me to cut back infected leaves. Using hydrogen peroxide to whipe out the infection in the roots almost killed the plant and now I am trying to save it.

    My guess is that the plant suffers from a deficiency but in what element? The watering schedule is once every 3 days with RO water suplemented once a month with 100ppm of "orchid focus grow".

    If any of you have every experienced such leafs formation any pointers would be very much appreciated.
     

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  2. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    I used to have this species for a couple years. They seem to be ok fairly warm, but I vaguely remember that it seemed to be happier with a bit lower temp than what you have. When the plant is stressed, I have seen them making malformed leaves. So I'm not too convinced that it is due to nutrient deficiency.
     
  3. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I water almost every day with 160 ppm fertilizer with RO water. I've been doing this for years and don't have the telltale leaf tip burn on my draculas that would come from too much fertilizer. You need less fertilizer on a windowsill than in a greenhouse, but you are very likely starving your plant.

    I have seen deformed leaves in Dracula species that seem to be associated with a virus of some sort. Not Bean Yellow Mosaic Virus (BYMV) customarily associated with Pleurothallid Alliance, but something else. It would show up as a curve to the side in the mid-line and sometimes curled edges along the length of the leaf and usually some visual texture as well as some pitting. There is a leaf that looks as if it is coming from a plant on the right that has a suspicious mosaic pattern.
     
  4. JulienZ

    JulienZ New Member

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    Thank you both for the feed-back I am still in the learning curve.
    Indeed, the plants might be underfed. Because I can't control the Rh yet in the enclosure, I had reduced the air change/circulation to the point were I got fungus/bacterial diseases. So the air circulation is back on (the Rh back down) and the infected parts of the plants have been removed and I water them more frequently but still the medium dryes out somewhat making me worry about salt burn on an almost rootless plant that is why I went for the almost RO-only diet.
    I will try the daily watering with feed routine.

    Regarding the plant on the right, it is a Drac. Saulii that has some suspicious spots but I refrained from hacking off the suspicious leafs and roots until I get good growing conditions/care routine installed so it will recover from the trimming.
     
  5. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    With more light in the greenhouse, my plants use more fertilizer than yours will in a windowsill. I use 1/4 tsp per gallon of water. You could try 1/2 that and do well. In nature, every time it is raining, the plants have nutrients washing down on them. Seems natural to do the same in culture.

    Be sure when you do cut leaves that you use a sterile blade so that you don't spread disease from one plant to another.

    Before I had a good mister for the orchids, my relative humidity was around 60% during the day. Sometimes more, sometimes a little less. You have problems with the flowers collapsing with low humidity but you can still get good growth.