Do you have these exotic beauties on your windowsill at home? Yes, we’re talking about orchids. They’re not difficult to grow, but keep an eye out for diseases nonetheless. Unfortunately, diseases and pests don’t escape orchids either.
Fungal and bacterial diseases are often encountered. You can tell by the grey to brown spots on the leaves that gradually kill the entire leaf of the plant. In the early stages, the disease affects only the leaves, but later it moves on to the roots and shoots, and by then it is usually too late to save the flower. You can tell when the bacteria has damaged the leaves by the black dots and later on the slime.
What about the sick pieces?
Affected plants need to be isolated to prevent the disease from spreading to other plants in the home. Cut off any affected parts and dispose of them immediately. Again, try biological remedies first before trying chemicals for fungal diseases. Garlic decoction contains active ingredients, but these will only help in the early stages.
Thoroughly disinfect your trimming or cutting tools. In case of bacteria, cover the wounds well with charcoal powder. In the room with infected plants, reduce humidity and stop using dew on the plants.
What other diseases do orchids suffer from?
You may occasionally see leaf burn on your exotic beauty. This mainly arises from harsh sunlight. You can get the plant used to the sunny side gradually. Lack of iron and magnesium causes yellowing of the leaves in orchids, called chlorosis. You can prevent this disease by using the right substrate, which should not be too alkaline, and not too hard water when watering.
What causes flower drop?
The flowers fall off after flowering. This is quite natural. When flowers drop on a healthy plant, make sure the plant has the following conditions:
- not in drafts;
- is not under a current of warm air e.g. from a radiator;
- does not suffer from lack of light.
Orchids should be accustomed to the change of location gradually, so that diametrically different light and temperature conditions do not shock the plant.