Phalaenopsis orchid: getting rid of diseases and pests

 Phalaenopsis orchid: getting rid of diseases and pests

Looking at the photo of the Phalaenopsis orchid, few growers will remain indifferent to this spectacular flower. In addition, these plants are relatively unpretentious to care for. However, they can also be affected by a dangerous disease or harmful insects. In this case, the life of the orchid depends on the correct treatment.

What conditions are required for the Phalaenopsis orchid

Most often, the leaves of the orchid signal the poor health of the orchid: they begin to turn yellow, wither, dry out. This does not always indicate an illness. Novice amateur flower growers are faced, rather, with a violation of the rules of care.

With good care, the Phalaenopsis orchid will delight you with abundant flowering

Orchid owners should be mindful of the natural aging of the flower. Phalaenopsis loses one or two lower leaves every year.

The yellowing of the leaves of the Phalaenopsis orchid may be due to natural processes in the plant.

Required lighting level

Phalaenopsis orchids do not tolerate direct sunlight, but they love good lighting. Therefore, the best place to place them would be a window sill on the east or west side of the room.

On the southern window, an orchid of this species must be shaded, moving away from the glass or covering it with a screen from a source of direct light.

Do not forget that correct growth and healthy development are possible with 12-15 hours of daylight hours. From mid-autumn and throughout the winter, install additional lighting over the orchids, for example, a phytolamp. This light source is the best option, it does not damage the leaves. The only rule is that the lamp should be at least 20 cm from the plant.

If the leaves have darkened, become soft and elongated, then this signals a lack of light.

Install additional lighting for orchids for the winter.

External factors: indoor temperature and humidity

Orchids are tropical flowers and need warmth. For Phalaenopsis, you need to keep the room temperature between 20-25 ° C. The minimum permissible for an orchid (and even then in certain cases, for example, during a dormant period) is not lower than 12 ° C.

The ideal moisture level for this type of plant is 70–80%. It is difficult to achieve such an indicator in the whole room, moreover, it is not very useful for people. The best option would be to regularly ventilate the room (but do it carefully, Phalaenopsis do not tolerate cold drafts) and increase the humidity in the air in one of the following ways.

  1. Spray the orchid with a spray bottle three times a day, without touching the buds and flowers. Note that the moisture on the leaves should dry out by nightfall. If there is a risk of direct sunlight, move the orchid pot to a shaded area, otherwise the water droplets will work as a lens, causing burns to the leaves of the plant.

    Spray the orchids with a spray bottle to maintain the correct moisture level

  2. Place a pallet of pebbles under the orchid pot. Add water to it constantly. Evaporating, it will moisturize the flower in the required amount. It is very important that the roots do not end up in this water: they can get wet, undergo fungal diseases and rot.
  3. If you have an aquarium at home, place a Phalaenopsis orchid next to it. It looks organic and provides the right moisture.

Proper watering

For the Phalaenopsis orchid, it is better to use water:

  • rain;
  • settled for at least a day;
  • boiled;
  • passed through a household filter.

If you wrap 10 g of peat in cheesecloth, lower this bag in 10 liters of water and leave it for a day, this will soften the water.

Watering rules:

  1. Remember that cold water can rot orchid roots. Preheat water to 30–40 ° C.
  2. To avoid overflowing the plant, only moisten the substrate after it dries. At the same time, the pot should be light, without condensation on the inner sides of the walls. Excess water should immediately drain out of the container through the holes in the bottom.

    Water the orchid after the substrate is dry

  3. Water your orchid in the morning so that it can use up all the moisture until the evening. In summer this should be done every 2-3 days, in winter no more than 1-2 times a week.

If the problem is clearly out of range, and is not related to aging or mistakes in care, you will have to look for the cause in the disease and exposure to pests.

Video: about the rules for caring for orchids

Table: diseases and pests characteristic of Phalaenopsis orchids

Name of the disease or pestExternal symptoms
Powdery mildewLeaves and buds are covered from the base with a white bloom, which rises higher over time.
SpottingThe leaves are covered with spots in the form of mosaics, circles or stripes.
Brown rotLight brown watery spots on young leaves and shoots.
Root rotThe leaves turn brown, the roots soften and rot.
Gray rotGray fluffy bloom on leaves and shoots, brown spots and small spots on flowers.
AnthracosisSmall black spots of a round shape that increase over time and merge into a large area.
RustLight spots on the underside of the leaf, eventually becoming covered with a red tinge.
Fusarium rotLeaves lose turgor, soften, curl; a pink coating appears.
AphidOn flowers, shoots and on the back of young leaves, small green or black insects are visible. The leaves lose their shape, become covered with a sticky coating.
WhitefliesA mass of white small insects appears on the plant. The leaves turn yellow and take on a motley color. The plant sheds foliage quickly.
ThripsThe leaves change color. Small dots and strokes are visible on the surface of the leaf plates. A silvery film appears on all parts of the plant.
ShieldsThe leaves are covered with small, but clearly visible growths and tubercles, under which insects live.
MitesThin cobweb on any part of the orchid. Yellow spots on the plant. Leaves curl and dry out.
MealybugWhite bloom, similar to cotton wool, on the leaves, substrate, roots and walls of the pot.

Table: how to diagnose by external signs

SymptomCare errorsDiseasePest
The lower leaves turn yellow
  • natural aging of the orchid;
  • insufficient watering;
  • incorrect content during the rest period.
Yellow spots appear on the leaves
  • powdery mildew;
  • fusarium rot.
  • spider mite;
  • red flat tick;
  • whitefly.
Leaves become lethargicBacterial spotting.
  • aphid;
  • spider mite.
Sticky spots appear on the leavesBacterial spotting.Aphid.
Leaves are covered with a white sticky coating
  • bacterial spotting;
  • powdery mildew.
Leaves are covered with black spotsSpraying orchids in cold and poorly ventilated conditions.Black rot.Spider mite.
White spots or dots on the leaves
  • too low temperature in the room;
  • frostbite of leaves under the influence of cold;
  • in autumn and winter, the orchid is placed on a cold windowsill.
Powdery mildew.
  • mealybug;
  • spider mite;
  • thrips.
The leaf loses its turgor (becomes soft and wrinkled)
  • insufficient watering;
  • low air humidity;
  • lack of light;
  • untimely watering in summer.
  • bacterial spotting;
  • fusarium rot.
  • red flat tick;
  • aphid;
  • whitefly.
Leaves are rotting
  • too frequent or heavy watering;
  • cold, unstable water is used for irrigation.
Fusarium rot.
Leaves dry
  • insufficient watering;
  • low air humidity.
  • whitefly;
  • aphid;
  • scabbards.
Leaves turn red
  • excessive watering at low temperatures;
  • water hitting the leaves at low temperatures.
Fusarium rot.
  • thrips;
  • whitefly.
Leaf burn
  • direct exposure to sunlight;
  • low air humidity in the room;
  • the room temperature is higher than it should be
Leaves curlFusarium rot.
  • red flat tick;
  • spider mite.
The edges of the leaves turn blackBacterial spotting.
Mold on the surface of the leavesHigh air humidity in an unventilated room.
  • whitefly;
  • aphid.
Silvery coating on the leaves
  • low air temperature in combination with high humidity;
  • excess fertilizers containing nitrogen.
  • powdery mildew;
  • gray rot.
  • spider mite;
  • mealybug;
  • thrips.
White bugs on the leaves
  • mealybug;
  • whitefly.
Fungus on the leaves
  • too frequent watering;
  • high air humidity.
  • aphid;
  • whitefly.

Fight against diseases of the Phalaenopsis orchid

Most often, the appearance of the Phalaenopsis orchid suffers from improper care. If you notice this in time and begin to correct the situation, the plant will quickly get stronger and take on a healthy appearance. But if time is lost, then fungal, viral and bacterial diseases will attack the weakened flower, which can very quickly destroy the orchid.

Consequences of violation of watering rules: why leaves become lethargic and fall off

Phalaenopsis orchids are used to high indoor humidity. Many novice growers try to compensate for the lack of moisture with frequent and abundant watering. This is fundamentally wrong: in Phalaenopsis, from this attitude, the leaves lose their turgor and crumble.

If this happened during a hot season, do the following:

  • wait for the substrate to dry and continue to water the flower every 2-3 days;
  • maintain the required air humidity;
  • in the middle of the day, use a fan, placing it 2–3 m away from the plants and turning it on at low power.

In winter, water Phalaenopsis no more than 2 times a week, and ventilate by opening the windows daily for 30 minutes. It is advisable to do this in not too windy weather.

Edema: which can cause the root system to rot

Low room temperature, abundant watering and water ingress on the leaf plate can lead to the development of edema on the leaves of Phalaenopsis. Because of this, over time, the roots begin to rot. In the cold season, move orchid pots away from windowsills, reduce watering, and remember to remove excess water from the pan.

Swelling of the leaves may appear due to prolonged contact with water.

Exposure to low temperatures: why do dark spots appear

In the winter season, Phalaenopsis orchids need special care, since they are not cold-resistant. Provide the plant with warmth (at least 16 ° C) and regular ventilation, exclude spraying. Otherwise, the leaves will be covered with dark spots of fungal origin.

Phalaenopsis orchid leaves may die from exposure to low temperatures

If you bought a Phalaenopsis orchid from a store and brought it home during the fall-winter period, you may encounter another problem. The flower is difficult to adapt in cold weather, its leaves are frostbitten and covered with white spots. Cut the affected areas to healthy tissue and sprinkle the slices with crushed activated charcoal.

Fungal diseases: why rot or white plaque appears on the plant

Most often, the development of fungal diseases on the orchid is due to improper watering, non-observance of the temperature regime and excessive humidity. Most of all, Phalaenopsis is susceptible to powdery mildew, anthracnose, gray rot, and less often to rust.

  1. High temperature and humidity can cause powdery mildew damage. As soon as you notice the first signs of the disease, water the orchid well, and after 2 hours, treat with a solution of colloidal sulfur using a spray bottle. Another good remedy is Fitosporin; spray it on the leaves of the plant 3-4 times every 10 days.
  2. Due to high humidity and stagnant water, the orchid is affected by anthracnose. To get rid of it, cut the problem areas down to healthy tissue by sprinkling ash on the sections. If the lesion is large, complete treatment with Mikosan will help. The orchid needs to be moved to a drier room and the water from the sump is regularly drained.
  3. Gray rot occurs due to irrigation and temperature disturbances. Having found a lesion, treat the entire plant with Immunocytophyte from the base of the trunks and leaves to the very tops.

    Rot affects the orchid due to improper watering

  4. Infection with rare but dangerous rust is caused by regular maintenance mistakes, due to which the plant weakens. Orchid leaves usually suffer. Cut out the diseased areas, sprinkle with crushed activated carbon. A 20% alcohol solution can be used as a disinfectant. If the lesion is too extensive, treatment with Mikosan, Skor or Ridomil will help.

Bacterial diseases: why the leaves turn yellow or darken

Of this type of disease, the Phalaenopsis orchid is most often affected by brown spot. As soon as you notice yellowing, darkening or softening of the leaves, the appearance of ulcers with a sticky liquid, immediately cut out the infected areas completely. Lubricate the edges with iodine.

Viral diseases: is it possible to save the plant

Phalaenopsis orchids are not resistant enough to viruses, and if they are already infected, then it is very difficult to cure them. Most likely, the diseased plant will have to be destroyed, since there are no 100% effective drugs and methods, and the virus can easily spread to neighboring flowers. If you see spots on the leaves that look like mosaics, circles and stripes, show the orchid to a specialist who will confirm or deny the diagnosis.

Mosaic spots on the Phalaenopsis leaf indicate a viral disease

Photo gallery: diseases characteristic of the Phalaenopsis orchid

Video: care errors that cause orchid diseases

Phalaenopsis pest control methods

Having purchased an orchid in a store, do not rush to immediately put it on the window, where there are already other flowers. Insects can be found on the plant and in the substrate, and they are often dangerous.

  1. Dip the pot with the orchid into the water above the "shoulders", leave for 10 minutes. If insects are hiding in the substrate, the flood will drive them out. These can be spiders, millipedes, and wood lice.
  2. Examine the entire orchid, especially the inside of the leaves, buds, roots. Most often, you can get rid of the pests found by wiping the plant with soapy water.

    Many insect pests can hide in the substrate, damaging the root system.

Phalaenopsis orchid pests can infect the plant itself or the root system.

Thrips: who leaves light paths

Since Phalaenopsis is thermophilic, it is most often grown in a room with a high temperature. Tiny thrips (their size is no more than 2.5 mm) also love warmth, so they gladly settle on almost all types of orchids. The problem is that insects are difficult to spot: they usually hide in the substrate. Their presence is indicated by black dots and silvery paths on the leaves.

Thrips destroy the entire plant: juices are sucked out of leaves and stems, larvae are laid in the roots.

Having found traces of thrips activity, carry out the following activities:

  1. Treat the orchid, substrate and all nearby plants with Actellik or Fitoverm solution.
  2. Repeat the treatment 3 times every 7-10 days.

Shields and false shields: where did the sticky spots come from?

As soon as you see characteristic brown or yellowish tubercles on the stems and leaves of an orchid, you should know: the plant is affected by a false scutellum. Such plaques are not always immediately noticeable, but they are the “house” of an adult female insect.

The larva of the false shield crawls over the plant in search of a suitable place, after which it sticks to it, drawing out the juices, and eventually becomes covered with a brown film-shield.

Larvae and adults feed on flower juices and leave behind a sticky liquid, which becomes a good environment for the development of fungi and rot.

The scale insect is also often found on Phalaenopsis. Its carapace cover is denser than that of the false shield, rounded-convex and covered with a wax coating. The impact on the plant is practically the same.

Shields and false shields are similar to each other, and affect orchids in the same way.

Ways to solve the problem

  • wash the plant thoroughly with soapy water;
  • remove the remaining pests;
  • treat the plant and substrate with Actellik or Fitoverm solution;
  • spray again after 7-10 days;
  • transplant the flower into a new substrate.

Mealybugs: what is the reason for withering leaves

Phalaenopsis orchids can be significantly affected by mealybugs, as this pest is not easy to detect. A small white insect with an oblong body covered with a downy, hides at the roots, bases of leaves and at their junctions. The worm sucks the juice out of the plant, leaving behind a powdery liquid. You can definitely notice them when the leaves of the flower dry up.

What to do to get rid of the mealybug

  • completely remove dry leaves and roots from the orchid;
  • carefully examine all hidden areas of the plant, select all found pests using toothpicks;
  • inspect the orchid every day for new worms;
  • regularly wipe all affected areas with soapy water;
  • treat the substrate 2-3 times with a weekly interval with Fitoverm;
  • Examine the orchid all month. If you don’t find any new specimens, then the problem is solved.

Whiteflies: why the leaves have dried up

Phalaenopsis orchids are harmed by the tiny white butterflies themselves and their larvae. Due to their effect, the flower weakens, the leaves dry. Adults lay larvae in roots and on leaves.

To fix the problem, you need:

  • rinse the orchid and substrate with soapy water;
  • spray the plant with Fitoverma solution, repeat after a week.

Aphids: because of whom it is difficult for the plant to breathe

The tiny insects themselves are not so much dangerous to the orchid as their excrement. The secretions cover the leaf with a sticky layer, blocking the plant's respiration and becoming a convenient environment for bacteria and fungi.

The remedy is as follows:

  • wash the plant with soapy water;
  • treat the plant and substrate with Fitoverm solution.

Ticks: who entangled the buds with cobwebs

An orchid can become infected with ticks both at home and in a greenhouse. There are 3 types of spider mites. In fact, they are almost identical and affect the plant in the same way: they make numerous punctures in the leaves through which they suck out the juice. These traces are clearly visible on the leaf plates, which begin to dry, turn white and discolor. The buds fall off.

Elimination of spider mites

  • collect all the ticks from the orchid by hand;
  • thoroughly wash the flowerpot and the windowsill under it;
  • treat the entire orchid and substrate with Fitoverm solution. Repeat the treatment a week later.

Nematodes: what is the reason for stunting

Very small nematode worms no more than 2 mm in size penetrate the stems and roots of the orchid, feed on its juices and poison the products of their vital activity. The orchid stops growing, rots.

Measures to eliminate

  • spill the substrate with Levimizil or Dekaris (1 tablet of the drug per 1 liter of water);
  • remove the plant from the soil and soak in the same solution;
  • Since nematodes are killed by hot water, heat the orchid for 30 minutes at 40 ° C.

Video tutorial: how to get rid of parasites

Photo gallery: Phalaenopsis orchid pests

How to repair a damaged Phalaenopsis orchid

If your orchid almost died, and only roots or leaves are left, you can still revive it in several ways.

Resuscitation of a flower without roots

You can simply build up the roots from the neck of the sheet. To do this, you need a nutrient fluid consisting of:

  • boiled and chilled water;
  • activated carbon;
  • means for the development of roots - Epin, Zircon or Kornevin.

    Even a single orchid leaf can be used to restore a plant.

Step by step process

  1. Carefully cut off the top of the orchid with the growing point with a knife. Put the cutting in a warm, shaded place for two hours to tighten the cut.

    Set aside orchid cuttings in the shade

  2. Prepare the nutrient liquid by diluting the root former according to the instructions. When the cut on the cutting dries up, soak it in this solution for 20 minutes.
  3. Pour water into a small vessel, throw 1 tablet of activated carbon. Place the cutting there, place in a warm place with diffused lighting at a temperature of 23-25 ​​° C.

    Place the sprout in water and place in a warm place with diffused light.

  4. Ventilate the area in which the cutting is located regularly. Wipe its leaves with sweetened water (3-4 teaspoons of sugar in 1 tbsp. Water) and occasionally sprinkle with a foliar dressing, for example, Doctor Foley Orchid.
  5. The moisture in the vessel is constantly evaporating, so add water if necessary. In principle, the roots will grow back even if the cut is a few millimeters above the water, but it is better to be submerged.

    Roots can appear even if the cut of the sprout is not in contact with water

  6. After 2 months, the roots will reach a length of 5-7 cm. At this time, it is already possible to transplant the orchid into the ground. It is better to use sphagnum moss for this, which is a component of the substrate.

    A sprout with strong roots can be transplanted into a substrate

  7. When the roots have grown and fully adapted, transplant the Phalaenopsis Orchid into pine bark or soil of your choice.

Resuscitation after insufficient watering

With a lack of moisture, the roots of the orchid begin to dry, and the leaves wither. If improving the watering regime did not help, you need to use the following method. You will need:

  • sphagnum moss;
  • a plastic bag of the required volume, preferably with a horizontal lock;
  • boiled water at room temperature;
  • any B vitamins (succinic acid can be used).

Process description

  1. Dilute 1 ml of vitamins in 1 liter of water, hold the plant in this solution for 30 minutes. The orchid will be saturated with the right amount of moisture. Remove it from the solution and soak the sphagnum in it for 2 minutes. Wait for excess liquid to drain from it - the moss should be slightly damp.

    Sphagnum moss and orchid must be kept in a vitamin solution

  2. Cover the bottom of the bag with sphagnum, and put an orchid on top. Close the bag and place in a warm, shaded place with a temperature of 22-25 ° C. The condensate protruding on the walls of the package will be enough to saturate the flower with moisture, restore the turgor of the leaves and build up the roots.
  3. Open the greenhouse several times a day to ventilate for 30 minutes. Make sure that the condensation does not evaporate completely.

    Ventilate your orchid greenhouse regularly

  4. In a month or a little more, the Phalaenopsis orchid will fully recover its strength and prepare for transplantation into the substrate. After planting, you need to cover the flower with the top of a plastic bottle for some time, because the plant will have to get used to the dry air after the greenhouse. Do this every day for 5 hours. For adaptation, 1 month will be enough.

Video: orchid resuscitation

In order to keep Phalaenopsis orchids healthy and blooming, proper care and care of the flower is enough. The necessary temperature regime, competent watering and good lighting are all that a plant needs.

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Diseases of pear: description with photos and methods of treatment

Diseases and pests of the pear can destroy the plant in a short time and leave the gardener without a crop. To prevent this from happening, you need to give preference to resistant varieties. And it is also useful to know how to treat a pear for diseases.

Fungi and viruses can affect both the trunk and leaves, as well as ripening fruits. For the most part, the diseases of pear and apple are identical. And the fight against them comes down to proper care, regular preventive spraying and timely treatment when the first signs of the disease are detected.

To know from what and how to save a tree, you need to correctly identify the disease by symptoms. In our material, we will describe the most dangerous pear diseases and their treatment.

Phalaenopsis in the wild

The phalaenopsis that we see on store shelves are artificially bred hybrids whose distant wild ancestors grow in the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia. The genus phalaenopsis (which means "similar to a butterfly") has about 40 wild-growing species and many man-made hybrids. The name of these orchids was given by the director of the Leiden Botanical Garden Karl Blume in 1825. Being on one of the islands of the Malay archipelago, at dusk he examined the jungle through binoculars and mistook a cloud of white orchid flowers swaying in the wind for a flock of flying moths.

In the wild, Phalaenopsis prefer humid, shaded areas above swamps, streams and rivers with a consistently warm temperature of 19 to 27 degrees without significant differences between winter and summer. They live on the branches and trunks of trees, braiding them with their tenacious aerial roots. Water is obtained thanks to the same aerial roots, absorbing it from rains, morning fogs and very humid air. The nutrients for phalaenopsis are rotted plant residues stuck in the bark. Orchids do not parasitize trees, do not drink juices from them and do not harm them - the tree is only a support for the orchid, which enables it to rise higher into the light in a dense tropical forest. Epiphytic (tree-living) plants are not only orchids, but also, for example, bromeliads, which are popular in indoor floriculture.

Where do our orchids come from?

For this delightful flower to be in our home, the whole industry has been working for several years. First, under laboratory conditions, microscopic orchid seeds or pieces of their tissues during mericlonal propagation are placed in sterile glass flasks with a nutrient medium. It is inside these containers that the miracle of the birth of tiny orchid seedlings takes place. Plants spend in flasks from several months to a year, after which they are transplanted onto a special substrate and grown in greenhouses. It takes years and several transplants to get a full blooming orchid from a tiny seedling.

The vast majority of phalaenopsis for the European market is grown in Holland - often from flasks imported from Southeast Asian countries (Taiwan and Thailand).

How long will it hurt?

The duration of the quarantine depends on various factors:

  • degree of defeat:
    • more than half - resuscitation is difficult or impossible
    • third part - up to 4 weeks
  • the nature of the infection:
    • fungal disease - at least 10 days
    • viral infection is incurable
  • plant age, etc.

Any disease is easier to prevent than to cure. In order not to have to part with a tropical beauty, it is necessary to regularly inspect the plant and strictly observe agricultural techniques.

How to deal with drought?

  1. If the leaves turn yellow, wilted and begin to dry out, then you need to pay attention to the root system. Do the roots change color and become thinner? This means that a drying orchid must be moved to a cooler space, watered and sprayed, looked after for several days, and monitored the temperature regime so that there is no overheating.
  2. If the leaves are lethargic, the plant has dried up and the roots have begun to rot, possibly overwatering. It is necessary to reduce watering of the plant, make sure that the soil is dry. If it becomes crumbly on top, you can water the plant again.
  3. If the roots have dried out and the plant has lost some of the leaves, this is a lack of watering. It is necessary to restore the water balance. If condensation remains on the walls of the pot, water it early (watch for 7-10 days).
  4. An orchid can dry out from the wrong selection of fertilizers, namely, their excessive use. With an overdose of nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium fertilizers, the orchid withers. To cure a plant, you need to change the substrate and follow the fertilization instructions carefully.

Most often, the flower can be saved with drought symptoms. The main thing is to start rehabilitation on time.

Pests and fight

Tick ​​colonies can be one of the factors the appearance of sluggish leaves in the orchid... Among these parasites, the most common are red flat and spider mites. Sucking the juices from the cells, they reduce the turgor in the cells, which leads to the appearance of soft leaves, often with a discoloration.

Attention. As soon as mites are found on the orchid, the flower is immediately isolated in another room to prevent the spread of the disease.

Then you need to spend complex of measures:

  • Leaves are wiped with soapy water
  • Sprayed with insecticide Aktelik, Fitoverm or others.

Orchid pest control is a very time consuming process.
The treatment is repeated after ten days., since the drug acts only on adults and does not kill tick eggs.

As a preventive measure, all plants once a month washed under a stream of warm shower, having previously covered the ground with polyethylene.

Watch the video: How to treat a bacterial infection on an Orchid leaf