Orchid Culture Questions and Answers
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Orchid Culture - Questions & Answers from This Month
by Sue Bottom, from the St. Augustine Orchid Society Newsletter
Email us with any orchid question, if we can't answer it we'll find someone who can! Send photographs too!
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Buds Brown and Shrivel
Buds Brown and Shrivel

 

Flower Buds Brown and Shrivel

Q. This winter most of my phals, growing outside in Miami, put out new shoots. They looked great and formed buds and then the bud just got brown and shriveled before they bloomed. This happened with most but not all my phals. My vandas recently put out a shoot and similar to what happened with phals, it browned, shriveled and never flowered.  

A. I think the thrips got to your buds and sucked the life out of them. Thrips are really insidious, they fly so they can escape your attempts to control them, they burrow into flowers so they're beyond your reach, they have various life forms and might be pupating in your soil, and they are attracted to many plants that might be in your landscape like citrus and gardenias. There are different things you can do. One of the most effective is a weekly or twice a week spraying of all buds and flowers using a pump up sprayer with chemicals like Orthene or Avid. You can also try periodic drenches with Orthene. Scroll down to the discussion of thrips for some more ideas.   (Aug-18)


Keikis on Vanda

 

Keikis on Vanda

Q. This vanda has two keikis. What should I do next?  

A. I wouldn't do anything except let it grow and flower. You'll have more flowers per square foot of growing area if you let the keikis rock and roll on the mother plant.   (Aug-18)


New Growth on Cattleya Falling Over

 

New Growth on Cattleya Falling Over

Q. This newly purchased Bc. Fladosa has 2 brown shoots, two new shoots and two good shoots. In the four days since this photo was taken, the green shoot has fallen over. Any ideas?  

A. That looks like black rot, it looks like it might have infected all the growths except possibly the two new leads, and it looks like it moved up from the rhizome into the pseudobulb and then the leaf. It's very fast moving, so if there's a chance to save the plant, you have to act now. Pull the plant out of the pot and start by cutting off the back three bulbs. Then look and feel what is left. If the growth behind the new lead is browning and feels soft, you might as well discard the plant because you won't be able to save it. If it's still hard and green, first pour hydrogen peroxide over everything and then set it in an empty clay pot. Keep it dry, but you can mist daily until you see new root growth. One of the heavy duty fungicides like Subdue, Aliette or Banrot would also help. Our hot humid summers are a boon to the water molds that cause black rot.   (Aug-18)


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