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#230616 - 02/09/10 05:56 AM How do I get shining leaves on my orchids?
devilx Offline
Catt-lover

Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 534
Loc: Singapore
Hi Guys

Do you have any tricks to get shining leaves on your orchids without using leaf-shine? I'm currently struggling to get clean shining leaves on my phals. I'm currently just using water with a nice soft cloth to clean them but it just does not have the nice shine. Any ideas or tricks? Any help is greatly appreciated in advanced.

Cheers
Sean
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#230620 - 02/09/10 06:00 AM Re: How do I get shining leaves on my orchids? [Re: devilx]
jojo in minnesota Offline
Good grief!

Registered: 02/13/04
Posts: 13788
Loc: Minnesota
I've used lemon juice in the past, until I had way to many orchids to "polish" on a routine basis.
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#230625 - 02/09/10 06:25 AM Re: How do I get shining leaves on my orchids? [Re: jojo in minnesota]
devilx Offline
Catt-lover

Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 534
Loc: Singapore
Originally Posted By: jojo in minnesota
I've used lemon juice in the past, until I had way to many orchids to "polish" on a routine basis.


Hi Jojo

Thank you! So is it pure lemon juice or is it watered down? Does lime juice work too?

Cheers
Sean
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#230636 - 02/09/10 07:32 AM Re: How do I get shining leaves on my orchids? [Re: devilx]
Pook Offline
Google Queen

Registered: 05/08/03
Posts: 14157
Loc: Golden Isles of GA
Milk works great. Doesn't matter what fat%. Gives the leaves a nice realistic shine.
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#230638 - 02/09/10 07:59 AM Re: How do I get shining leaves on my orchids? [Re: Pook]
jojo in minnesota Offline
Good grief!

Registered: 02/13/04
Posts: 13788
Loc: Minnesota
Just straight. I'd forgotten about the milk, too, Pook.
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It is dangerous to be sincere if you are also stupid - GBS

To put it mildly, the world is a mess. Madeleine Albright

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#230639 - 02/09/10 08:08 AM Re: How do I get shining leaves on my orchids? [Re: jojo in minnesota]
Chris-MD Offline
fast and loose

Registered: 04/14/04
Posts: 2953
Loc: MD/DC z7
I know I went through this once when I first started. In the immortal words of TZ (wish he still came around): The only shiny leaves on plants in my collection are the new leaves that are currently growing.

And its true, only new leaves are ACTUALLY going to have the nice reflective shine. Clean leaves have a nice shine all their own, but it'll never be that "new leaf" shine without using leaf shine, which to me looks fake and horrible.

Frankly, I wouldn't worry about whether the leaves are shiny or not. Shiny leaves are purely an aesthetic issue. Unless it makes you feel better doing it, of course. As long as the plant is healthy and growing, how shiny the leaves are is irrelevant.


Edited by Chris-MD (02/09/10 08:09 AM)
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#230649 - 02/09/10 09:09 AM Re: How do I get shining leaves on my orchids? [Re: Chris-MD]
Ray Offline
Orchid Iconoclast

Registered: 05/12/03
Posts: 2142
Loc: Buckingham PA
Rise & Shine - soon to be available as wipes.
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#230659 - 02/09/10 09:48 AM Re: How do I get shining leaves on my orchids? [Re: Ray]
Rich Offline
emphyein

Registered: 05/09/03
Posts: 20529
Loc: .....once Upon a Time
my Organic insecticidal spray will do the job:

1tsp Neem Oil - pure
1/8 tsp Clear Dish soap -( DishMate- Almond works well)
2 C warm Water
2 C Isopropyl Alcohol

Not only keeps pest at bay but does a glorious job as a leaf shine too. Dancin
* comes in handy for not picking up hitchhikers when lending plants out for society displays*

-Shake often to keep oil emulsified
-Don't use in direct sun, or over 90F
,,,, especially on thin leaf species
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#230675 - 02/09/10 11:32 AM Re: How do I get shining leaves on my orchids? [Re: Rich]
jojo in minnesota Offline
Good grief!

Registered: 02/13/04
Posts: 13788
Loc: Minnesota
Quote:
The only shiny leaves on plants in my collection are the new leaves that are currently growing.


Devilx - just remember NOT to try to clean those by hand. They are very fragile when first growing, and I've torn them before.

I really like the look of "clean" leaves, but it sometimes becomes cumbersome if you have a whole bunch of plants. Catts don't "shine" like phals. Others don't, either. Phals, for some reason, look spotty quickly. And some rip when you do them by hand. And - just remember that these plants "breath" from the underside their leaves, if that is a concern. Mother Nature certainly protects them in that respect, most certainly from us messy housekeepers - as well as from Mother Nature herself.
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#230678 - 02/09/10 12:16 PM Re: How do I get shining leaves on my orchids? [Re: devilx]
Wendy Offline
Just me!

Registered: 05/08/03
Posts: 8273
Loc: Ontario
Horticultural oil....10-15ml of oil in 1 litre of water. Apply with a small sprayer and wipe.

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#230682 - 02/09/10 12:47 PM Re: How do I get shining leaves on my orchids? [Re: Wendy]
Rich Offline
emphyein

Registered: 05/09/03
Posts: 20529
Loc: .....once Upon a Time
Wait a sec, you wipe?
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#230690 - 02/09/10 01:33 PM Re: How do I get shining leaves on my orchids? [Re: Rich]
Chris-MD Offline
fast and loose

Registered: 04/14/04
Posts: 2953
Loc: MD/DC z7
Careful with the oil! This very use was discussed at my old work at a meeting once. Hort oil can inhibit transpiration through the leaves; it IS meant to smother, after all. Its not recommended for that purpose.
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#230708 - 02/09/10 04:31 PM Re: How do I get shining leaves on my orchids? [Re: Chris-MD]
MrCym Offline
OSF Platinum Member

Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 6588
Loc: Salinas
Nobody has discussed why new growths are normally shiny and then become matte as they mature. The reason is that when the new growth is only partially formed, there is an advantage in repelling water and protecting the developing growth from water which could be trapped there and lead to rot. As the growth matures the leaf becomes much more absorbent. Now this may not be backed up by any scientific study but I was taught this by a master Japanese grower many years ago and I have always found the explanation plausible. That is also why when spraying you need to make sure you have a good wetting agent so that all plants of the plant can become totally covered with spray (i.e. it breaks down the surface tension on immature growths).

When I used to submit plants for judging I mixed milk and a little paraffinic oil and cleaned them with a paper towel dipped in that solution. As a judge I used to always believe that a cleanly-presented plant always scored a couple of extra points!

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#230752 - 02/09/10 10:09 PM Re: How do I get shining leaves on my orchids? [Re: MrCym]
devilx Offline
Catt-lover

Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 534
Loc: Singapore
Hi Everyone

Thank you for all the neat tricks. I think I'll either try the milk or lemon juice as I plan to submit one of my phals for judging soon as starting to give out multiple spikes. In the past, it had beautiful formed coerulea blooms. Just needed to give the leaves alittle clean natural shine to them when the time comes.

Cheers
Sean
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green fingers and thumbs do the walking...

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#230814 - 02/10/10 07:51 AM Re: How do I get shining leaves on my orchids? [Re: Chris-MD]
Wendy Offline
Just me!

Registered: 05/08/03
Posts: 8273
Loc: Ontario
Chris....I have used this method for years...as have a lot of other good growers that I know. It works just fine. The oil is not used full strength. I don't understand why you would be so quick to condemn something that works? Have you ever tried it? Your comments go directly against something I like to teach new growers....there is no set rule to growing and caring for orchids...it is whatever works for you!

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#230818 - 02/10/10 08:26 AM Re: How do I get shining leaves on my orchids? [Re: Chris-MD]
John M Offline
OSF Platinum Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 7720
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Chris-MD
Careful with the oil! This very use was discussed at my old work at a meeting once. Hort oil can inhibit transpiration through the leaves; it IS meant to smother, after all. Its not recommended for that purpose.


I use Horticultural oil (15 ml per litre water), ALL the time on my plants to give the plants a nice, natural-looking shine. It is a very, very refined grade of mineral oil: 97%, mixed with 3% emulsifier to that it will readily mix with water...and wash off with a clean water spray later on. Horticultural oil is also excellent as a spider mite spray. Spray to cover all surfaces of the foliage. Other than Sobralia flowers, which are VERY delicate, I've never had any problems with spraying this mixture directly on flowers. I have treated thousands and thousands of plants with this product and it works wonderfully for me. It is important however, to use horticultural oil, which DOES say on the label that it CAN be applied during the growing season as a foliar spray. 'Don't know what kind of oil you're talking about Chris; but, that info just doesn't apply to what Wendy suggested.
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#230869 - 02/10/10 01:55 PM Re: How do I get shining leaves on my orchids? [Re: John M]
Tom--Orchidghost Offline
OSF Platinum Member

Registered: 01/19/06
Posts: 13062
In general, agriculture oil should be okay for Cattleya, Vanda, Phal and Paph if you apply it accordingly, however, it can be deadly for some Dendrobium species(especially for some PNG Dendrobium like Den. cuthbertsonii), and some Pleurothallids


Edited by Tom--Orchidghost (02/10/10 01:57 PM)
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#231684 - 02/16/10 07:04 AM Re: How do I get shining leaves on my orchids? [Re: devilx]
devilx Offline
Catt-lover

Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 534
Loc: Singapore
I've used Neem Oil mixture to spray the leaves and undersides on my Catts to control mites and other creepy crawlies. Would that be a problem in the long run? Mixture is 1 teaspoon of Neem Oil to 1 litre of water.

Cheers
Sean
_________________________
green fingers and thumbs do the walking...

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