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Pests, Dishsoap and Repotting?

This is a discussion on Pests, Dishsoap and Repotting? within the General Information forums, part of the Frequently Asked Questions category; Hi guys. I did my over-weekly water of my Phal this morning (also when I ...

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  1. #1
    Darren's Avatar
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    Default Pests, Dishsoap and Repotting?

    Hi guys.

    I did my over-weekly water of my Phal this morning (also when I give it a decent check over instead of just admiring its new leaves) and found that the water disturbed a few small white bug-thingies. They moved far faster than any mite would - have been searching on-line all morning as to what they could be and they sound like they aren't going to be doing much harm but are there possibly because of my plant-medium?

    Bumped into a post that got much attention on the matter of pests so thought I'd share it with you and ask if anybody has any advice on either of these matters. The formula was this:

    1/2 tsp cinnamon extract
    5-10 drops phosphate free dishsoap
    1-2 cups tepid water

    apparently could be used as a spray, mist, soak or leaf cleaner. I've not tried it as don't have immediate access to the cinnamon, and have also read it restricts root growth?

    Onto my next bit - I'm not sure if I'm good to re-pot my phal or not, though I feel it looks a little tight in its medium. Its currently in mossy stuff, though have purchased a bark mixture. Any tips? I've browsed many threads and not sure if I've had an answer slap me in the face yet or not. Could only find a clear pot quite a bit bigger than my current one also - something else I've heard should be avoided?

    Thanks for any help, and I hope that formula works for someone - I'm wondering if I should be using it myself. Apologies for banging on, bit new to all this and getting it all off my chest!

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    Hi Darren,

    I recommend using a pesticidal oil (neem oil or sunoil). The dish-soap works, but I am all about taking no prisoners when it comes to pests in my orchids. Do be cautious with the cinnamon as it will be problematic with the orchid roots.

    Most of the DIY / boxstores sell their orchids potted in sphag. This is good for the vendor shipping the orchids because it is lightweight. It is often the death of many Phalaenopsis too because of the amount of water the sphag can hold causing the roots to rot. It is a good habit to repot all of your new orchids to make sure you know 1 - what the root condition is and 2 - that you make sure there are no pest hiding in the medium that could eventually harm the new orchid or your other orchids.

    Pot size does matter, but only because of watering. There are lots of people that grow their orchids in sphag and have no problems with it at all. This is because of how they water. If your orchid is potted in too large of a pot, then most likely it will not dry out fast enough to allow the roots to breath. If, however, your mix is something that doesn't hold much water, then it could dry out faster. It is really all about balance. Phal orchids like to stay moist (not wet). Since, like paphs, they do not have p-bulbs, they have only their leaves to store water. This means water intake and gas exchange through the roots is very important to phals.

    Here are some articles to help:

    How to repot a Phalaenopsis orchid - video demo with instructions

    Growing the Phalaenopsis Orchid (Moth Orchid)

    Phal-a-normal: So What's A Phalaenopsis Supposed to Look Like?

    Cheers,
    BD

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    Thanks for the reply BD - and the handy links. The net seems to be a massive mish-mash of information its good to have somewhere to find everything needed on the one subject, so I appreciate those links also!

    I've read Neem can do funny things as well so I'm really none the wiser. A quick-fix seemed to be using a very brief squirt of a fly-killer - Raid - seemed to do the trick, but I'll get to re-potting and hope to find nothing out of sorts! Is the peroxide advised every time a orchid is re-planted?

    ooh, as a quicky (sorry) - would the dish-soap do anything without the cinnamon, as a general protector or would the cin have been the 'active ingredient' in that concoction?

    thanks for the info BD, the net is such a massive place to be looking for stuff its good to know there's a place to be where I can find, or at least ask, if there's something I'm unsure of. really appreciate the links too!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darren View Post
    ooh, as a quicky (sorry) - would the dish-soap do anything without the cinnamon, as a general protector or would the cin have been the 'active ingredient' in that concoction?
    Yes the dish soap on itself is a good agent. dish soaps are mostly alkalis like NaOH or KOH and their fatty acid salts. The exoskeleton of insects is made of chitin, this chitin dissolves in alkalis, so basically the insect's shell dissolves and the insects die of dessication.

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    ah right - thanks Amey! I guess it can be used without the cinnamon then - perhaps the cinn is more a preventative than a remedy?

    apologies for the jumbled post before, I didn't catch the 'needs to be verified' bit so re-posted in a noob-like fashion...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darren View Post
    ...apologies for the jumbled post before, I didn't catch the 'needs to be verified' bit so re-posted in a noob-like fashion...
    No worries.

    Cheers,
    BD

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    Oh that's is very helpful even for me.

    But now I'm in trouble.......could be dishsoap a "bath in soap"? and what kind of soap if it is so....sorry..... but i'll appreciate if someone could answer.
    i have coconuts soap, could it works on this matter?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamond View Post
    Oh that's is very helpful even for me.

    But now I'm in trouble.......could be dishsoap a "bath in soap"? and what kind of soap if it is so....sorry..... but i'll appreciate if someone could answer.
    i have coconuts soap, could it works on this matter?
    Rosalia you want to use a liquid soap, meant for washing dishes etc. Read the ingredients, it should have the least no. of it, no essences, perfumes and other chemicals (Therefore, the cheaper the better hehe)
    do not use the hard soap cakes that we use, they have many unwanted chemicals and saturated fatty acids that can block the stomata of the leaves.

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    hey Rosa

    the recipe I found originally was written by some people in America - I believe dish-soap would be the stuff you stick in a bowl to get your plates and cutlery sparkly again (Dove and something else was mentioned for their location). I'm not sure what our UK and Brasil counterparts would be though! We get Fairy washing-up liquid here, along with others! So yeah, if there's anybody out there that could clarify that bit for us?

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    should have read this one first before responding to the other post.

    dishsoap...is a liquid dish detergent...only need a few drops...it is used as an emulsifier to help keep the oil in suspension longer

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