Posts Tagged ‘Pests’

Orchid Care Tips: Non-Toxic Insecticide

To spray your orchid plants to deter insects – in place of more toxic chemicals.

4 cups canola oil or vegetable oil
7 table spoon eucalyptus oil
2 cups water
2 teaspoon dish soap

Mix together & shake well. To use add 3 tablespoon of mixture to 4 cups of water and spray.

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

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Orchid Care & Ice Cubes :Why You Should Not Use Ice To Water Your Orchids…

There is a big debate going on out there in the world of orchid care. The topic? Orchid care and ice cubes.

I know this method works for some, but most AOS orchid growers I’ve spoken to live by the drench and drain method. (You can read my post on watering orchids if you haven’t already read it: Orchid Care: How to Water An Orchid.)

So, what’s so wrong about watering your orchid with ice?

Officially….nothing. I couldn’t find any hard evidence that proved watering your orchid with ice would cause serious damage to your plant.

Why should you not use ice to water your orchids?

There are a host of reasons….

1. Most experienced orchid growers will tell you that the first major reason would be the sudden change in temperature. A rapid change in temperature can cause orchid bud blast, that’s why I recommend watering orchids with room temperature water.

2. Cold and wet roots can invite pests and diseases. These problems can spread from plant to plant.

3. Overwatering Orchid/Underwatering Orchid issues. Ice cubes vary in size and the environment varies from one windowsill/counter/shelf to another.  So, using 3 ice cubes every other day might be too little for one orchid and too much for another.

My orchids have been happy for years using the drench and drain method.  I’ve watched them bloom year after year and have had few (if any) water related problems.

What do you think about using ice cubes to water your orchids?  Does it work for you?

Of course, everything you need to know to about orchid care is covered in Ryan’s Orchids Made Easy book. (Including a few VERY important things you need to watch out for involving watering and temperature— and one thing even experienced growers often overlook.)  Sign up for his Free Orchid Care newsletter HERE.

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

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Quick Orchid Care Home Remedy For You: Listerine??

Today’s Quick Orchid Care post is courtesy of Ryan from Orchids Made Easy.  Hope you enjoy it! :-)

I have a quick home remedy for you today……..and it comes straight from our medicine
cabinet.

Today’s secret is Listerine…

Orchid Care, Home Remedy, How to Take Care of Orchids, Orchid PestsListerine has anti-fungal properties, and the
alcohol content also makes it effective against
bugs!

This “2-in-1″ home remedy can be used as a spray
at full strength for short periods (about 2-3
consecutive days is okay) as a preventative
measure on your orchids.

Simply spray your plant lightly once a week or
so, and you’ll have yourself a quick and easy way
to keep away unwanted pests and disease, and
ensure your plant stays healthy.

Just be sure to ONLY use the original (gold
colored) version, because the flavored versions
have added substances that are not 100% orchid-
friendly :-)

To healthy vibrant blooms!

Ryan “The Orchid Guy”

P.S. Wannna learn MORE great home remedies
like this one?

….I’ve included ALL my little home remedies
like this in our book, which you can learn more
about by clicking on the link below:

Growing Orchids Tips

How’s that for a great Orchid Care Secret!   Thanks a bunch to Ryan for a wonderful guest post!  :-)

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

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How to Care for Orchids – Pests and Diseases : Mealybugs

Growing Orchids, Orchid Care, Orchid Pests, Orchid Diseases, Mealybugs on Orchids

Question: What is that white stuff on my orchids?

Answer: Mealybugs! :-(

Mealybugs are serious pests of orchids and next to scale insects are probably the most difficult to control pests of orchids.   Most definitely, they need to be dealt with immediately upon discovery.

DAMAGE CAUSED:
The damage done to plants by mealybugs is considerable, causing a loss of vigor and a weakening and loss of leaves, buds, and flowers through their feeding. In addition, mealybugs create copious amounts of honeydew which make plant parts sticky and attracts ants.  (Want to get rid of ants?  Check out the other posts in my How to Care for Orchids – Pests and Disease series.)

REMEDY:
Probably the most popular home remedy against mealybugs is to swab and daub plants with a cotton-Orchid Care, Growing Orchids, Orchid Pests, Orchid Diseasestipped swab or ball of cotton dipped in isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. On hard-leaved plants, gentle rubbing with the fingers, a cotton ball, cotton-tipped swab, or a soft infants toothbrush is effective. Remove all mealybugs, large and small. Afterwards, you will still need to repeat the alcohol treatment to remove the tiny yellowish spots which are the recently hatched crawlers. Pay particular attention to the folds, crotches, branch bases, midrib areas, and roots. Spraying the alcohol with a misting bottle or small pump sprayer is effective, but dribbling alcohol into tight areas is necessary as eggs are often well hidden, hence the need for thoroughness and repititon.

Many home growers will mix with alcohol a small amount of mild liquid dish detergent, and sometimes mineral oil, neem concentrate, or horticultural oil. Vegetable oils will work, too, but in sunlight they can turn rancid quickly, and become smelly and lose effectiveness. One recipe for a 1.5 liter spray bottle is to mix a 50:50 solution of isopropyl and water, with a few drops to about a teaspoon of liquid soap to act as a spreader, and a teaspoon of one of the oils.

ps. Don’t forget to check out Ryan’s Free Growing Orchids Tips. He offers incredible advice all about Orchid Pests & Diseases!

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Orchid Care, Orchids, Orchids Care, Growing Orchids

+ Courtesy of South Dakota State University

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Growing Orchids Indoors for Beginners : Bringing Your New Orchid Home

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post (Growing Orchids : Selecting a Healthy Orchid, read it here), today I’ll be sharing a tip I learned from Ryan’s Orchid Care email tips that saved my entire orchid collection from death!

I don’t want to keep you in suspense too long–especially since I know it will help save your orchids too!

Now, this orchid care tip is incredibly simple, but I can’t emphasize how important it is to follow.

Growing Orchids, orchid care, growing orchids for beginners, growing orchids indoors, orchid care and maintenanceALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS quarantine your new orchids from your existing plants for at least 3 weeks.  I don’t care if you bought it from the most reputable orchid dealer in the world!  NEVER place a new orchid near your other indoor/outdoor orchid plants.  Separating your plants for at least 3 weeks will help you inspect them for any signs of orchid pests or diseases that might not have been visible when the plant first arrived in your home.  Remember to pay close attention to the underside of the leaves, 3 weeks is just enough time to see if any insect eggs have hatched.

If you’ve ever dealt with orchid diseases and orchid pests you will realize how frustrating and difficult it can sometimes be to have to care for orchids that are “sick”.  Keep your orchids healthy by providing them the ideal care environments : temperature, humidity, light, water, etc.  AND REMEMBER, always quarantine your new orchids!

For more detailed information, I recommend you read Chapter 2 in Ryan’s book Orchids Made Easy.

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :-)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

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Orchid Problems : Overwatering Your Orchid

One of the most common orchid care problems beginner orchid growers typically face is overwatering.

Here’s a question I received via email from Bev :

I have a Phalaenopsis Orchid. I think I have over watered it and now all the blooms have fallen off except one.  It’s in a plastic pot with moss and it is damp. What should I do?  Look forward to hearing from you.  Regards, Bev L.

Here’s a photograph of an overwatered phalaenopsis :

Orchid Care, Orchid Problems, How to Care for Orchids, Orchid Care and Maintenance

Orchids can become sick and even be killed when overwatered. Therefore, it is extremely important to determine whether improper watering is damaging your orchid. Don’t know if you are watering your orchid plant correctly? Check out my special Orchid Care and Maintenance post to learn how to water your orchid.

Diagnose

What are the signs of  an overwatered orchid?

Pleated, soft, yellow leaves are a sign of overwatering. Your orchid may also suffer bud blast (all of the buds fall off before they open). When examined out of the pot, orchid roots may be soggy, mushy and black.

Troubleshooting

What should I do if my orchid has been overwatered?

If the damage on the roots in limited, you can simply repot your orchid in a clay pot and fresh orchid potting mix (bark based if possible) and adjust the frequency of your watering schedule—making sure to water only in the mornings. Don’t forget to adjust temperature and humidity levels if necessary.

On the other hand, if the damage of the roots is severe, you will need to remove the diseased portions of the roots with a sterilized blade and carefully repot the plant in a clay pot and bark potting mix (otherwise you rise losing your orchid.) I recommend you refer to Ryan’s “My orchid has been over/underwatered. Now what do I do?” section in his book Orchids Made Easy, for detailed information.

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

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