Return to the Orchids Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Paphs with rusty-looking spots on leaves

Posted by symbie 7 Texas (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 20, 09 at 13:29

I researched online to figure this out, and I found this website (linked below). The photos on this site are someone else's but the discoloration on their plant in the photo is perfectly identical to what I have on a couple of my own Paphs now. The responses I read there don't seem definitive as to whether it is a fungal or a mite problem.

Does anyone know what this is, and if so, what should I do?

Thank you so much!!

Here is a link that might be useful: spots on Paph leaves

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Paphs with rusty-looking spots on leaves

I don't know for sure but it looks like Rust to me. You should isolate any plants that have any sign of it. I don't know how to get rid of it so maybe someone else could help...

RE: Paphs with rusty-looking spots on leaves

  • Posted by donaldb 5B Worcester, MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 22, 09 at 10:12

The "rust" on the pictured leaves looks like permanent damage to me.

RE: Paphs with rusty-looking spots on leaves

  • Posted by ttkidd Toronto ON (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 23, 09 at 12:45

Watch your plant carefully. It sounds fungal. I had something similar and the plant declined quite quickly. The dusty rust-like look morphed into dead brown spots which quickly spread over a period of a couple weeks. If this starts to happen it's not likely that any home remedies are likely to fix the problem. Even after pulling out the big guns (phyton/thiomyl) the progression only slowed.


RE: Paphs with rusty-looking spots on leaves

A Maryland orchid friend of mine with considerable experience reviewed the fotos. She is convinced that this damage is from spider mites. I am neutral.

Another opinion never hurts.


RE: Paphs with rusty-looking spots on leaves

The affected plants are growing indoors in a light cart, so it is bright and the humidity is on the low side where they live. Yesterday I wiped a leaf with a damp paper towel and saw some faint yellow-orange residue. Does that suggest mites?

Thank you everyone for your comments and suggestions.

RE: Paphs with rusty-looking spots on leaves

Hi Sym,
Spider mites can be seen with a good magnifyer, loup, or stamp glass. They are tiny spider-like critters that scurry when disturbed. Some species, but not all, make fine spiderweb-like strands.

When I periodically wipe my orchids' leaves, the residue is sometimes grayish (dust?)and sometimes more yellowish (air pollution). Unless you see critter specks in the wipe, the residue is probably "normal."

I have one Paph--a mottle-leaved type. Any and all damage to it shows up in rusty orange, so I doubt that the color of your mystery damage is diagnostic by itself. It does, however look extensive and in need of attention.

If it were my paph and I could more or less rule out spider mites with a magnifying glass, I would first isolate the plants from all others, and then start a good anti-fungal treatment right away.


RE: Paphs with rusty-looking spots on leaves

i just came from the light cart. I found a good magnifying glass, got up close to a pitted-orangey leaf and started hunting. After several minutes I was about to give up, but finally I saw tiny red-brown specks moving, and when I understood what to look for, I saw lots of them. I'm glad my daughter was away and didn't hear me!!
They are so very small!
Can anyone recommend a good miticide, or should I just run to HD and get what they have?

Thanks again for everybody's input!

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Orchids Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here