Taking Care of Orchids – How to Diagnose Orchid Problems
When taking care of orchids, it is important to diagnose problems and
identify the best solutions as soon as possible.
Prompt diagnosis of common orchid pests and diseases can increase the
chances of effective treatment and plant survival.
Care of Orchids – Common Pests and Diseases
The best defense against common orchid pests and orchid diseases
is constant vigilance and
and foremost, keep your growing area clean and free of dust and debris.
Remove all dead leaves and flowers from the floor, and clean up any
clutter, such as cardboard boxes and empty bags.
If you notice
that your orchid plants have been infected by some type of orchid pest
or diseases, identify the problem, and deal with it as soon as possible.
Remember, the quicker you deal with the problem, the better chance your
orchid has of surviving.
White cottony masses
appear on leaves.
Cause – Mealybugs
– Isolate the orchid and attempt to remove the mealybugs by hand, using
a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. For preventive care, clean
leaves periodically with a soft, damp cloth.
Flowers develop small,
brown, circular spots.
Cause – A fungal disease called petal blight.
– Remove the flowers that are affected. Improving air
around the plant can prevent occurrence of this problem.
Leaves show unusual
crinkles and blotches – new growth is slow.
Cause – Virus infection. Viruses can be spread by insects or
by humans when plants are handled or repotted.
– Unfortunately, affected plants should be destroyed. Be sure to
sterilize instruments (scissors, knives, etc.) used to repot plants.
This can be done by dipping them in boiling water just before use.
Ragged holes appear along
Cause – Slugs or snails.
– Outdoor plants become easy targets for the pests. Copper tape
fastened to the table or stand upon which the orchids are kept will
deter slugs and snails. Slugs and snails are deterred by copper
Care of Orchids – Temperature, Lighting, Fertilizer, and Watering
is important to provide the best conditions possible for the type of
orchid you are growing. Before purchasing an orchid plant, make sure
you are capable of providing the conditions necessary for the orchid to
Consider contacting a local orchid grower for
tips and advice on how to select the best orchid for the conditions you
Orchid does not bloom.
Causes - The temperature is not within the proper range; too much
fertilizer; not enough light.
Solutions - Be sure to choose orchids that suit the growing conditions
that you can provide. Reduce the amount of fertilizer.
Orchid leaf tips turn
Cause – Applying too much fertilizer can cause fertilizer burn;
improper watering schedule.
– Dilute the plant food to ¼ of the amount recommended on the label. Be
sure you are adhering to the watering requirements of the orchid
species you have chosen.
Leaves turn an unusually
light green color.
Cause – Plant is receiving too much sun.
Solution – Move orchid to a location that receives more shade.
Information Related to Growing Orchids and Orchid Care
to Know the Different Types of Orchids