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Newbie: Clear Sticky Droplets on Phal Spikes

This is a discussion on Newbie: Clear Sticky Droplets on Phal Spikes within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Hello all. One of my Phals has tiny little sticky droplets on the spike and ...

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  1. #1
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    Question Newbie: Clear Sticky Droplets on Phal Spikes

    Hello all. One of my Phals has tiny little sticky droplets on the spike and the other has one huge droplet of clear sticky liquid. They are in very good health as far as I know... Is this a symptom of something or is it normal? Should I wipe it off?

    Thanks in advance

    Andrea

  2. #2
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    They are in VERY good health. We call this 'orchid honey'. If you taste this sap, it is sweet. I'm not sure why the plants exude this sticky treat, perhaps to draw pollinators?

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    Ive always noticed it around new buds and flower spikes, so maybe its to trap any crawling beetles etc that, in the wild, would normally eat and destroy the buds/spikes?

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    It's normal. I think its primary function is to attract pollinators but then it also attracts the wrong kind of insects

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    Thanks for the replies! I was very surprised to see it on two of them at one time and thought I was doing something wrong. Jordan - you are right - the drops do appear around the new buds on each plant, that is an interesting theory. Thank you!!

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    If you feed and water Phals. heavily you can get the stoma on the underside of the leaves to simply cover the bottom of the leaf with droplets. The problem is every mealybug within a huge radius will also find them.

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    You've made your plants very happy! As stated above, it's a sign of good health. Congrats!

    Any tips on removing this stuff from leaves? I've tried wiping down with a warm wet paper towel but there's still a lot left behind and just smeared around.

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    Hi Ali,

    Thanks! I used a small piece of gauze dampened with warm water. It did a great job at removing all of the residue as the gauze was very absorbent and the texture helped.

    Andrea

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    Thanks, I'll have to try that next

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    This 'orchid nectar' is pretty common on many orchids and unfortunately, this also encourages a number of insects and ants in particular. They then also bring their pets like aphids and scale to the banquet. Bees are also regular visitors and use this nectar source when they are being starved for lack of wild flowers and general blossoms. For cleaning I use a gauze or Q-tip infused in warm water with liquid dish washing soap.

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