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Dear Tess, formerly known as Orchid Killer!!

This is a discussion on Dear Tess, formerly known as Orchid Killer!! within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Dear Tess, May I borrow your screen name please. I am so sad today. I ...

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  1. #1
    eaglssong's Avatar
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    Default Dear Tess, formerly known as Orchid Killer!!

    Dear Tess,

    May I borrow your screen name please. I am so sad today. I posted in another thread about my blc Owen Mendenhall and an ant problem. Decided to treat with a neem oil solution, and repot.

    Well, after removing as much of the old medium as possible (got most, if not all of it), didn't find any more ants, except for one dead one in the soak bowl. Went to get a big pot to repot in s/h and discovered I didn't have one. <sigh> So, decided to use a pot I had another plant in, which doesn't need such a large pot. One huge leaf was hanging literally by a thread...... I kid you not. I think this leaf was actually broken when this plant took that suicide dive off its shelf a few weeks back. So, I proceeded to remove that leaf and treat the cut with cinnamon. That's when I noticed that the beautiful new little growth was floating in the bowl. It had totally come off.

    I hope you'll all whisper a little prayer for this chid!! My heart is breaking at the thought that I may have ended it's life. There is one bright spot perhaps. I think there's another new growth trying to pop out. Hard to see in these photos, but maybe???

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    I guess time will tell if I've become the new O.T. Orchid Killer, huh?

    waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

  2. #2
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    clintdawley is offline Wrapped in metal..wrapped in ivy...
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    Not at all.

    You would be surprised at the number of dormant "eyes" on a division. With your Florida warmth and humidity new growth will come in no time at all. You might want to pull off the dried sheath bracts...pests like to hide in there.

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    Thanks Clint,

    I am just leery of doing any more harm to this poor thing. It's been stressed to the max today. I'll keep a close eye on it, and once I'm sure it's going to be okay, I may consider pulling that stuff off. It has been sprayed and soaked with a neem oil solution. Gave it an hour in the soak bath, so I'm hopful the ants are gone. I also removed all plants from those shelves and used a household bug spray on them, just to play it safe.

    Or, maybe I'll be brave today and just do it. Hey, sure can't do much more damage than I already have. I feel horrible today. I try so hard to be extra careful when handling my babies, so I'm not sure what made that growth come off.

  4. #4
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    It happens, Ann. We've all broken new leads...or worse yet flower spikes!

    You won't hurt the plant at all by removing those dried sheaths.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clintdawley View Post
    It happens, Ann. We've all broken new leads...or worse yet flower spikes!

    You won't hurt the plant at all by removing those dried sheaths.
    Yep... I agree... I wanted to shoot myself when I saw the only spike that I was not supposed to touch broken... the Papilio... I think that happened while I was trying to take a good picture of the bud, but I didn't notice on time... I just noticed that a few days ago when the bud started yellowing and wasn't getting any bigger... Well...... Nothing I can do about it... You will have a new baby before you know it... I won't have another spike for a while...

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    Every once in a while while watering my orchids I find that the ants are swarming out of the mix in a pot or two, with their suitcases (egg sacks ,I think) so they swarm all over the leaves so I take my trusty can of Raid & spray the h**l out of them as well as plant & when things calm down--I re-pot.No--- I haven't noticed any adverse affects by using the Raid.They set up shop when mix gets too dry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by L I Jane View Post
    Every once in a while while watering my orchids I find that the ants are swarming out of the mix in a pot or two, with their suitcases (egg sacks ,I think) so they swarm all over the leaves so I take my trusty can of Raid & spray the h**l out of them as well as plant & when things calm down--I re-pot.No--- I haven't noticed any adverse affects by using the Raid.They set up shop when mix gets too dry.
    Jane, that's interesting. I had read somewhere that it wasn't advisable to use household insect stuff on the orchids. I did however, take all the pots off that book case, and sprayed the he** out of it with Raid. Did around the baseboards and the windows too.

    Can't say my mix was too dry. It was pretty wet when I got it out of the pot.


  8. #8
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    Watch the bottoms of pots when you are shopping for plants. If you stand for a second you will see them in a nice little line coming and going from the pots they've set up homes in. One local big box store was so bad with them for awhile I quit shopping there. If an orchid has ants, usually you also have scale and a couple other things. Ants protect the other little buggies because they produce a sweet sticky goo that sticks to the leaves and ants love to eat it. Basically; avoid plants with pests....i've learned the really really hard way that it'll cost you your healthy plants.
    Now that you have them...I hear ant traps sat around your plants helps keep them down. I'd never heard the raid thing...may have to try it on my shelves from time to time. On here you learn something new everyday!

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    I hope everything will be just fine. just don't stop believing it and fighting for it!!!

  10. #10
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    Thank you Jovi. So far, so good with the ant problem. Haven't seen any today. But there's sad news too. My very first orchid purchase (big box phal Baldan's Kaleidoscope) had a major mealie bug problem. It looked like it was solved, but today I found some more (big ones too) on her, and one of the two remaining blooms is done. I don't know what else I can do to save this poor little one, and sadly, I think it's time for the bin. I don't want to go that route, but I can't endanger all my others too. Right now, I have her in isolation in another room. Maybe I'll give the neem soak one more try, but it seems hopeless right now. They're hiding somewhere in that plant, and I don't know where.


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