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  • 1 Post By Brutal_Dreamer

Sticky stuff on buds and blooms?

This is a discussion on Sticky stuff on buds and blooms? within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I know I read about this topic somewhere, but I guess it all slipped out ...

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  1. #1
    mauraec's Avatar
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    Default Sticky stuff on buds and blooms?

    I know I read about this topic somewhere, but I guess it all slipped out of my memory somewhere. I have several fairly healthy plants either in bud, blooming, or just finished blooming, most of which have a few drops here and there of clear sticky stuff on them. Already checked for whitefly, spidermites, aphids, etc - insecticided just for good measure, but no sign of those nasty pests anyway.

    What is this stuff and what does it mean, if anything? Is it a bad sign? Good sign? Neutral sign?

    Not an urgent issue, but it's been bugging me (haha).....

    Maura

  2. #2
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    Hi Maura,
    This could just be normal sap but i have also been told that that it can be caused by scale and mealy bugs and a good start is just to rub it with alcohol.

  3. #3
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    Orchids will often produce this 'sticky stuff' on new growths and buds. It is a good sign. Seems to me someone on this site once even called it 'happy honey'. Supposedly it is sweet, but I've never tasted it.

  4. #4
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    Hi Maura. In the natural habitat many species (not just orchids) produce a sweet substance to attract ants and others as part of a trading deal. So the orchid has recruited bodyguards while the ants get a food source. This could highly likely be the reason and rectify your concern.

  5. #5
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    Ants love it!

  6. #6
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    It sounds like sugardew to me. Nothing to worry about. This is very normal. MY Vanda has the same.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by vandagirl View Post
    It sounds like sugardew to me. Nothing to worry about. This is very normal. MY Vanda has the same.
    I have always called it honeydew. And it is true - ants love the stuff.

    cheers,
    BD

  8. #8
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    Honeydew more commonly refers to the sweet sticky substance produced by aphids and some other insects as the feed heavily on sap. When produced directly by plants it is usually nectar from extrafloral nectaries. It isn't much different than flower nectar, and it attract ants and other predatory insects. Sometimes when plants have an abundant water supply and high humidity it can actually just be sap that is forced from nodes and leaf tips by the internal pressure generated by water uptake by the roots. As long there are no obvious insect pests present it is a sign of an actively growing plant that is at least reasonably healthy.

  9. #9
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    FABULOUS!!!! I think this is the first issue I was worried about that turned out to be something good. I'm having enough orchid emergencies these days and certainly don't need anymore. I'm really getting frustrated at the general carelessness I'm seeing in the retail orchid growers I buy from - seems like every additional plant requires a full 60,000 mile tune-up and I'm starting to feel like I just want a new one - shiny and clean, with low mileage! Guess I'm orchidded out right now - time to find a real book to read (not my orchid encyclopedia) and get into relaxation mode. I'm starting to wonder if orchid-collecting is really a healthy hobby for a severely type-A, OCD personality.....

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