Orchid Problems – Pests and Disease
In order to help your orchids maintain their optimal health, it is important that you closely monitor any orchid problems that may crop up unexpectedly. Without the correct humidity and air circulation around your orchids, your plants are a lot more susceptible to a nasty pest or disease that can quickly destroy your entire collection.
Keep Them Healthy
You should be certain that you are doing your part to avoid orchid problems and to keep your orchids in tip-top shape by providing them with the correct amount of light, water, and circulated air to help prevent an attack by a pest or debilitating disease.
Harmful pests and plant diseases tend to be more likely to afflict unhealthy plants, so it is vital that you do everything to keep your orchids in peak condition. However, despite your best efforts, you may still find that your orchids have been afflicted by a common plant pest or disease.
Knowing what signs to look for will help you catch any potential orchid problems in their initial stages and resolve them before they completely destroy your plants and potentially move on to causing damage to more of your orchids.
- Spots on the flowers or leaves. If you have noticed brown or pink spots on your orchid’s leaves then you may have an issue with a fungus settling in.
- Sunken spots on the leaves. This is likely to be the result of a fungus settling in from an over watering situation.
- Punctures or damage to the leaves. Any damage to your orchid’s leaves is likely to be the result of a pest making a meal out of your orchid’s juicy leaves.
- White sticky areas on the undersides of the leaves.
- Mealy bugs are another common pest that simply love the juicy leaves of your orchids.
It can be difficult to differentiate between a viral and fungal infection on an orchid; however, it is best to keep your suspected viral-struck plant separated from your others until you can make a more solid determination.
Unfortunately, if your treatments for fungus are failing then it is very likely that your orchid problems stem from a viral infection; there is no way to cure your orchid once it has been infected. To avoid infection of your other orchids it is generally best to remove and destroy the infected plant.
When it comes to the effective treatment of orchid problems it is best to try to limit your use of artificial and potentially toxic chemicals. Using chemical pesticides is more than an eco un-friendly method; it can also prove to be a dangerous practice if your plants are located in a home with pets and small children.
- Consider purchasing a “green” option pesticide from your local home and garden center.
- Create a mild soapy water solution using household dish soap mixed in a spray bottle with water; the soap binds to the insects and destroys them by hampering their ability to move or breath. Be certain that you carefully rise your plants with fresh water after thirty minutes to remove any soap residue.
- Household rubbing alcohol is a safe and effective course of treatment for many types of plant pests; just be certain that you rinse the leaves with clean water to avoid potentially burning the leaves.
- Cinnamon is more than a great addition to your oatmeal raisin cookie recipe; it is also a very effective bactericide and fungicide that is harmless to humans and pets. Sprinkle it on your orchids if you suspect a bacterial or fungal infection.
Always be certain that your orchid problems are not stemming from a problem with over watering, under watering or overfeeding; your orchids should never be allowed to sit in water and you should always ensure that there is an adequate breeze flowing through your plants!