Orchid diseases and how to fight them

orchids

Orchids are stunning flowers that can make any interior beautiful. However, even these splendid plants can be attacked by a variety of diseases and pests. In this article, we shall introduce the most common diseases and help you to fight them.

Sticky drops

If you find sticky drops on stems and leaves then you can be sure that your plant has been attacked by small sucking pests. They are very small, so you can easily miss them but if you use a magnifying glass you should be able to see them. These may be various spider mites and pets called Parthenolecanium . Spider mites sometimes create white cobwebs on leaves. To get rid of them, wash the plant with soft water that has been sitting for while and then you may use an insecticide against sucking insects. If you keep your plants moist enough you can prevent spider mites.

Yellow spots on the leaves

Yellow spots usually indicate a fungal disease (they will darken over time). You may mainly encounter this problem in winter but also during early spring. The problem may be caused by too low temperatures. To avoid this problem try not to water leaves and remove damaged leaves (if a large number of the leaves are damaged, then remove the damaged parts only) and sprinkle the cuts with crushed charcoal powder.

Black flies in soil

If you notice small flies around your orchids and you see their larvae in the soil, then most probably you have fungus gnats (Sciaridae). Flies are rather harmless, but they are really annoying and do not improve the look of your flowers. But their larvae may be a problem because they multiply fast and can eat the roots of your plants. You can catch these flies using regular yellow glue boards but to get rid of larvae you need to use an insecticide – add it to water and pour it over the soil.

You can also “deploy” the natural enemy of spider mites – a nematode, commonly known as roundworm (Steinemema feltiae). And guess what? After they eat all the larvae, nematodes magically disappear and they are not even dangerous to other plants or to your interior.

Photo: Pixabay

Radek Štěpán

Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.

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