Diseases orchids

Diseases orchids


The orchid plant is a plant native to the tropical and sub-tropical climate areas of the American and Asian continents; we are therefore talking about a plant family that has roots almost all over the world, and which has taken on very different characteristics and peculiarities also thanks to this wide geographical spread. To this we must also add that the Orchidaceae family has something like 650 genera to which more than twenty-five thousand different species belong! These are impressive numbers, which derive from but also which justify such varied origins; not only that, all this also leads to a series of distinct differentiations in several characteristics between the various different types of orchid.

Orchid and diseases

The Orchid appears as an epiphytic plant in most species, and to this it associates an aspect that in some way recalls thinness and delicacy; in reality we can assure you that this plant is not weak at all, indeed to spread and adapt to many places on the planet it means that it has great adaptability and therefore it is very strong. The problem is that in domestic cultivation there are conditions that are too different and too "at risk", also given that usually the Orchid has grown in the apartment and therefore there could be kitchen vapors, the dry heat of the radiators, and many other things . The Orchid needs precise behaviors, which if satisfied, guarantee a long and satisfactory life of the plant; the diseases he gets can be real diseases or viral attacks, but most of the time they are behavioral errors, which create not pathologies but non-parasitic diseases.

Non-parasitic diseases

The non-parasitic diseases that affect the orchid and also other plants are those that do not derive from attacks by bacteria, insects, mites or viruses, but only those that are caused by incorrect behavior of us human beings, for example in the arrangement of the plant. sun exposure or ventilation, excesses in fertilization, excesses or deficiencies in irrigation, and many other small errors which, however, become serious problems for the plant. Given this origin, many of these diseases can only be cured by changing the wrong behaviors.

Parasitic diseases, insects and mites

The first parasitic diseases that affect the orchid and which we will talk about briefly are those caused by attacks by insects and mites. Unfortunately, as we all know, there are positive and negative insects, that is, those that help or at least do not disturb the plant and those that attack it. Among the latter we can find the cochineal and the red spider; Fortunately, both of these phenomena can be effectively eliminated by physical removal (often with a cotton swab and alcohol) together with a specific product easily available for sale in good florists or nurserymen. When it comes to mites, however, we very often speak of aphids: in this case, physical removal is more difficult due to the very small size, while chemical removal is very common, always with dedicated products.

Diseases of orchids: Parasitic diseases, fungi

In addition to insects and mites, to attack our Orchid there could be fungi; they, even for man, are often a serious problem. One thing must be said immediately: fungal diseases are often caused by errors in the care of the plant such as excessive humidity and water stagnation in the substrate (which does little to dispose of them), poor ventilation and even errors in irrigation; in fact, by correcting these errors, the plant will be practically invulnerable to fungi which will therefore very difficultly attack it. However, when this happens, let's see which are the most frequent phenomenologies and how to solve them. When we notice a classic black rot made up of black spots surrounded by a kind of yellow halo, well then we are under attack by the Phytophthora fungus, which if it manages to get to the roots or pseudobulbs of our orchid can also quickly lead to death; the treatment is done with specific products, but the cause to be careful in the future is excessive humidity at low temperatures. If, on the other hand, we notice an equally widespread rot on the whole plant, the parts of which are "mushy", then it is the work of the Botrytis fungus, a fungus also facilitated by humidity with little ventilation at low temperatures and which can seriously damage the Orchid. A very common disease in Orchids is caused by the Gromerella fungus is Anthracnose: it presents with very small brown spots, slightly collapsed and distinct from the healthier parts of the plant; the only cure is to clearly remove the already infected parts, hoping that the remaining healthy ones will resist. The converging spots of the Fusarium fungus, on the other hand, are fought by keeping the plant dry.

Brassavola - Brassavola orchids

Brassavola is an easy orchid to grow outdoors, in pots and in hanging baskets.

  • General characteristics of Brassavola
  • Flowering
  • Cultivation of Brassavola
  • Exposure
  • Ground
  • Watering
  • Fertilization
  • Brassavola: cultivation in pots
  • Repotting
  • Multiplication of Brassavola
  • Propagation by division of the bulbs
  • Sowing
  • Pruning
  • Brassavola parasites and diseases
  • Cures and treatments
  • Variety of Brassavola
  • Brassavola acaulis
  • Brassavola cucullata
  • Brassavola nodosa
  • Brassavola tubercolata
  • Brassavola glauca
  • Uses
  • Curiosity
  • Photo gallery Orchids

Eliminating cochineal from orchids: 7 tips for prevention

In most cases the presence of diseases on the Orchids it is related to bad care. We can summarize 7 fundamental rules:

  1. do not cause injury to the plant
  2. avoid that the aerial part of the plant remains wet for a long time
  3. do not moisten the plant during the hottest hours
  4. use environmental humidifiers if necessary
  5. promote good ventilation
  6. promptly eliminate all parts of the substrate, bark fragments or other, which are moldy or rotten
  7. diseases can pass from one plant to another even through the tools we use. Always sterilize scissors before using them on a plant.

There Cochineal is a phytophagous insect of various colors, in the case of Orchids it is usually white or gray. It is covered with a waxy shield, which in some examples looks like a bow. It settles along the ribs or on the branches, where it pricks the plant to suck the sap. Normally they attack leaves but do not disdain the stems as well.

We can easily identify them due to the presence on the leaves of brown or white corpuscles, easily removable with the passage of the nail. They are very feared, because it is not easy to eliminate them permanently and often reappear after a while.

We can solve the problem by intervening with a systemic insecticide for ornamental plants. It is ready to use and just spray it on the leaves, after reading the instructions for use. If theOrchid is in a pot with a normal substrate, we can insert an insecticide bastocin in the ground that protects the plant for 3 months from the main parasites.

Diseases orchids

Apart from virus infections and bacterial diseases, most of the diseases of orchids, are attributable to the characteristics of the dwelling, such as light, heat, humidity, ventilation, drafts, direct sunlight, and incorrect cultivation practices, with regard to watering, fertilization, repotting, pruning and cleaning of the leaves.

Let's start by saying that the Orchids, although species that prefer a somewhat humid substratum, fear the pathology of the root rot, an event related to poorly draining soil or to the abundance of watering in terms of frequency and intensity. Root rot which among the fungal diseases is certainly the most serious, an adversity to which is added the potential attack by various animal parasites, such as caterpillars, aphids, mealybugs, red spider, while there is no lack of insects that attack the roots.

Like other living things, Orchids are potentially the object of bacteria and viruses.

The bacterial infections they manifest themselves with small lesions of the leaves to extend, in the absence of suitable interventions, to the rest of the plant leading it to death. It is necessary to intervene by eliminating the parts affected by the infection with sterile tools, followed by treatments based on antibiotics.

The most dangerous pathologies, difficult to eradicate, are the viral infections, which last over time, gradually weakening the affected plant until it dies. As a virus disease, the greatest risk is that the disease can pass from plant to plant. Faced with such a drawback, to avoid contagion to other plants it is advisable to destroy the diseased plant.

As for the root rot, a pathology characterized by yellowing of the leaves, an alarm bell, the first thing to do is to suspend the watering interventions and take the plant to an airy dwelling. At this point, it is necessary to try to establish the causes of the event, certainly connected to a substrate that is not able to ensure good drainage. Even if it is not the best period, if still in time, all that remains is to repot the plant, removing the roots and the remaining parts that are particularly compromised, replacing the soil, as well as treating the plant with a specific fungicide.

The roots can also be affected by the so-called black rot, which can start from the leaves. Similarly, root rot starting from the roots can affect the aerial part of the plant, from the collar to the leaves. Flowers can also be affected by fungal diseases, which manifest themselves as small spots. Also in this circumstance, it is necessary to intervene, removing the affected parts, moving the plant to a dwelling with better ventilation, dealing with fungicide appropriate.

For prevent or fight the attack of common insects, which attack the aerial part of the plant, of which we have said, you can opt for interventions, respectively, preventive or concomitant in the presence of unwanted guests, with specific insecticides. Interventions to be repeated after days, as reported in the instructions attached to the package, alongside patients and delicate manual interventions with which to remove the tiny insects with which the plant is infested, also in consideration of the fact that in the long run the pesticides of sure they are not appreciated by the plant, while it is not certain that they always ensure the desired result.

The same observations to some extent apply to i fungicide, especially about their effectiveness. As always, the best cure is prevention, which in this case is achieved, as already mentioned, ensuring the plant a home with the right characteristics, good hygiene, maintenance interventions calibrated to the needs of the Orchids. Much less simple, at least from an operational point of view, is to identify and combat the presence of insects that undermine the roots.

Returning to cultivation practices, we can certainly say that interventions must be supported by adequate information and a pinch of common sense. In short we say that:

  • all plants fear excess more than lack of water
  • it is better not to abound with fertilizations, especially with extreme climatic conditions and during flowering
  • it is necessary to try to repot in the right period, end of vegetative period / beginning of spring, using appropriate and quality pot and soil
  • it is necessary to use appropriate and sterilized tools for pruning
  • it is not necessary to water during the hot hours of the summer season and during the winter frosts
  • watering must be suspended for a few days after repotting
  • dust the leaves frequently and gently
  • protect the roots with mulch during periods of extreme climatic conditions, both hot and cold
  • the aerial part of the Orchid should not be sprayed in the absence of a dry climate and sufficient ventilation.

It fears infestations by the red spider when the air is very hot and dry. The presence of this parasite is detected by the formation of cobwebs under the underside of the leaves and must be removed with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol.

On the contrary, excessive humidity and low temperatures cause rot at the base of the plant and dark spots on the leaves. Aphids and mealybugs are equally fearsome.

Language of flowers

The orchid symbolizes grace, elegance and sensuality.

Diseases orchids - garden

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Phalaenopsis orchid blooms are always beautiful.

They are not difficult and as you have already been told better to keep them drier than wet.
Keep in mind that they grow on trees. So they love to have moist air around the roots.
One who grows them told me that they should be soaked by immersing them in demineralized water at room temperature for 5-10 minutes then they are drained and left dry until the roots are still dry. Then they dry out between waterings.
As anemone says well until the roots are clear. Generally not earlier than a week which can even reach 10-15 days in the cold period.

It is good that it is kept on expanded clay or wet gravel (I use the one for aquariums) but not in contact with the wet. Fertilize very sparingly and with doses halved compared to those indicated, in the period of active vegetation.
Never direct sunlight, but always shielded or north facing.

If the one in the photo and your orchid was really artificially colored and at the next bloom it will probably be white.
Mine neglected flowers bloom regularly.

Video: Bacterial and fungal diseases afecting our orchid leaves - How do we take actions