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Aphids!!

This is a discussion on Aphids!! within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hello everyone, I am new to the board and have been growing orchids for a ...

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  1. #1
    PhalPhreak's Avatar
    PhalPhreak is offline Junior Member
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    Default Aphids!!

    Hello everyone,

    I am new to the board and have been growing orchids for a couple of years now. I have never had a major problem with bugs of any kind, until yesterday. I noticed that some brand new flowers were dropping off of my Oncidium Sharry Baby. Upon further inspection, I saw that the rest of the flowers on the spike were covered with Aphids!! I immediately took it outside and cut off the spike and thoroughly hosed the plant down. I still have 3 spikes with flowers remaining. I still see a few aphids, but nothing like the first spike. Can these be saved, or should I just cut my losses, and get rid of the spikes and treat the plant? Fortunately I had this plant quarantined from my others!!

    Also, I have heard that aphids are not really interested in orchid plants, just the flower spikes. Is there any truth in that?

    Thanks!
    Martha

  2. #2
    Forrest is offline Senior Member
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    Dont cut the spikes! Aphids are the wusses of the orchid pests, look at them funny and they die. I suggest you spend a little time and pick them off by hand and squish them. Another option would be to take the plant outside and give it a good stiff watering, this will knock the aphids off, carefull not to have such high pressure that you damage the plant.

  3. #3
    orchidaddict789's Avatar
    orchidaddict789 is offline Senior Member
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    Aphids are horrible bugs, but your fingers can kill them very quickly ! Once I found a few on my dend flowers, and I went squish, squish, squish (yeah, sort of gross, but what's more important--orchid or gross?). I killed them all after a few days of the "bug combat" and only a few flowers were a little damaged.

    I wonder if some bug sprays work also...

  4. #4
    Heather is offline Banned
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    When I worked at the nursery, we always used Safer insecticidal soap, too. But that was on regular plants. I hate aphids. I didn't buy nasturtiums this year because they always are aphid magnets at my house, and tho I love eating the blossoms in my salads, I did not want to risk the little nasties finding their way *indoors* and sniffing out the orchids! I even tossed a head of native lettuce a few weeks ago because it was FULL of aphids and I wanted it out of the house ASAP! I know, I am crazy. NO BUGS ALLOWED!!!

  5. #5
    Cinderella is offline Senior Member
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    Wow, I had no idea that nasturtiums draw aphids. They are so easy to germinate from seed. What other outdoor plants attract specific bugs? I know peonies attract ants to open them.

  6. #6
    PhalPhreak's Avatar
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    Default I guess I will give it a try...

    Thanks to all for your suggestions!! I think it will take me DAYS (literally) to pick all of these little buggers off. My Sharry has over 100 open, and opening blooms on it.

    I feel the same way about bugs too Heather! I totally freaked yesterday when I realized what was happening!! I immediately took it outside and hosed it off. I felt like I had aphids crawling all over me too!!

    Does anyone know if they will continue to attack the plant after the blooms are gone?

    Thanks,
    Martha

  7. #7
    Heather is offline Banned
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    Sharry is hard, because they tend to be larger plants, lots of places to hide, lots of leaf bracts, and those itty bitty flowers (mine's just opening too, first time for me!)

    Try some safer, if you have it, also as an extra measure, because it is totally possible that despite your picking and squishing efforts you won't find them all. Not trying to be a defeatist, just looking at my Sharry and imagining the nasty possibillities...

    Good luck!

  8. #8
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Aphids and ants seem to go hand in hand. Be on the look out for ants. Heck, they may have carried the aphids to the Sharry Baby. The ants love the juice the aphids produce from doing their thing to the flowers.

    BTW, WELCOME TO THE FORUM! I am glad to meet you!

    Cheers!
    Brutal_Dreamer

  9. #9
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    Hi I'm new to the forum, but I read that rubbing alcohol can work and I tried it on my Nun orchid that's badly infested today. If you spray the bug directly it dies quickly. I read about this in William Cullina's Understanding Orchids book. I'm squishing them too and took the plant into the shower (it's still cold in Michigan) to rinse off as many as I could. The alcohol doesn't seem to have done any damage to the plant, though it did some to the table that it was on so I recommend spraying in in the sink or tub.

  10. #10
    Daethen is offline Senior Member
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    I have been fighting aphids on one onc. twinkle for 6 weeks now. I have treated with malathion, a home made mix and my fingers and they just keep coming. Time for a repot I think. Luckily it is quarentined!! I had less trouble with scale!!!!!

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