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I had several small plants in the office (two orchids and a small cactus) that died. In a short time they began to dry.

Now a third orchid is beginning with similar symptoms and I wanted to ask what the reason could be:

enter image description here

The grey/black spot at bottom grows, the leaves becomes soft/burned and the the leaves fall off.

Looking at the picture I also noticed something that could be a small dead spider in the top left corner. Detail:

enter image description here

Could this be the reason? Do spiders harm my plants? What should I do?

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In a word, no. Spiders of that size will not harm plants. They will look for shelter in the leaves and roots.

That is a pretty healthy looking orchid. What has changed to cause the change in the roots? I might assume that the watering schedule has changed. That might cause the changes you see.

  • Are spiders harmless to all plants? My garden bed has a ton of spiders because I caged it off and the spiders must find it easy to cast webs on the mesh cage. I've never been able to tell how they affect my plants. Could they actually be helping by eating other bugs? – JoJo Mar 28 '15 at 7:17
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    @JoJo why not make that a new question? – kevinsky Mar 28 '15 at 11:29
  • I've never heard any spider/plant problems. Spiders are always the good guys...with very few exceptions. That is a spider 'suit' you've got, not a dead spider. Spiders molt! I didn't know this and found a second Rosy Toed Tarantula in my terrarium! Just a perfect little spider suit, intact. You WANT spiders hanging with your plants. They are a 'beneficial' in the garden!! – stormy Mar 31 '15 at 22:11
  • I've never seen spiders harm plants but some mites do which are of the same class as spiders – Deirdra Strangio May 3 '15 at 21:17

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