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HELP!!! My paph is being eaten!

This is a discussion on HELP!!! My paph is being eaten! within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; My most beautiful and luxuriant green fairreanum paph seems to have bugs, at the very ...

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  1. #1
    mauraec's Avatar
    mauraec is offline Senior Member
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    Default HELP!!! My paph is being eaten!

    My most beautiful and luxuriant green fairreanum paph seems to have bugs, at the very least, and I've never seen this before. It's a Maudiae alba with very light but mottled green leaves and the texture of it is kind of tender. It has been putting out all kinds of new growth, but the bottom leaves seemed to be languishing, so I pulled it out to look.

    I saw one black critter, sort of long and beetlish, about the length of a pencil eraser - maybe a little smaller, but look at what's going on! It seems to have bugs and some kind of leaf fungus. What do I do? I was inspecting my paphs extra carefully before sending them for a month in an orchid friend's greenhouse. Now I'm afraid this will infest HER plants. UGHHHH! I NEED HELP QUICK!!!!

    This is what I'm seeing:

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    These are the closest shots I could get without using my macro lens.

    Thanks for ANY help!

    Maura

  2. #2
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    Default

    I have seen something similar on some of my paphs. I believed it to be fungus. Maybe anthacnose? Treated mine with a fungicide and haven't noticed the problem spread. Are those rust colored areas a bit sunken looking?
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  3. #3
    mauraec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cakedaddy View Post
    I have seen something similar on some of my paphs. I believed it to be fungus. Maybe anthacnose? Treated mine with a fungicide and haven't noticed the problem spread. Are those rust colored areas a bit sunken looking?
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Thanks for the response - the rust colored areas under the big leaves are a bit sunken but mostly not. The rusty-edged areas around the very bottom of the leaves, and mostly on new growth, looks like it's been eaten away - I did uncover 2 small, longish black beetle things when I pulled the paph out. I don't recognize them as the usual pests - I've soaked it in insecticide and fungicide and am hoping for the best while I'm away. I don't see the same stuff on my 14 other paphs, but now I'm starting to imagine scale, mealybugs, crown rot, root rot and you-name -it on everything. I guess I'll just spray the others with insecticide and fungicide, just in case, but this is really disturbing me. I'm wondering if my paph medium is right for them, if they're staying too damp between waterings - I don't know - I guess leaving them for a month has me really overwhelmed by this.

  4. #4
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    Maura..I don't know paphs but that sort of looks like some sort of sucking insect. Use a systemic insecticide and also you can try a systemic fungicide....you will probably be ok. Don't stress and try and have a good time!!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdayinflorida View Post
    Maura..I don't know paphs but that sort of looks like some sort of sucking insect. Use a systemic insecticide and also you can try a systemic fungicide....you will probably be ok. Don't stress and try and have a good time!!
    Thanks Cathy - I've come across 2 more of those small black beetles since last night - I know they may have come in on my rescue catts, but they're not eating those - and those get quarantined and practically sterilized before they're allowed anywhere near another plant. I've had orchids in my living room and on my deck since February and not seen any sign of a bug or fungus until last night. These things came in pretty recently, and whatever they came in on, they settled into my green and white Maudiae paphs and chewed up the base of the leaves on those. All my other paphs and orchids show no signe of them, but I have spent the last 24 hours spraying and dousing all my plants with serious insecticide and fungicide for good measure. If anything lived through my chemical war, it is stronger than 180 other insects the stuff I used will kill instantly - including eggs - so I'm hopeful I'll have something left when I get back.

    Have you seen or heard about this type of insect? I scoured all my orchid books and couldn't find a thing on them. I'd like to know what they are so I can have a proper memorial service for them.

    Off to Maine tomorrow night - driving - not my favorite part of the trip, but we'll take our time so I don't get too worn out. Of course, I'll have my Mac with me, so I will hardly be out of touch -

    Again, thanks for the help -

  6. #6
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    I have had this happened to my paphs too and i believe it its some type of fungus. It usually happens when temperatures are low and the leaves are wet. Treat it with a fungicide and it will stop spreading.

  7. #7
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    Hmmmm a gentle air circulation may help if fungus is the culprit, regarding the insects, you did the right thing by spraying all your plants with insecticide to prevent breakout.

  8. #8
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    To both Byron and Jeffrey - Thanks tons for the advice - unfortunately, whether it was insects, or a fungus (or both, as I suspect), I couldn't save the green fairrieanum paph - heartbreaking since it was one of the most beautiful I've seen. However, the insects at least had started to spread to my other Maudia paphs - they didn't touch the vinicolors - just the coloratums and albas - strange. So..... I've had a total blast (pun ironically intended) fungiciding, insecticiding and repotting about 25 orchids that were either near the fairrieanum, or seemed to have some of the same conditions. I have hope that those will survive - all in all, I've lost 3 plants to this episode, so I suppose I should be grateful, although I'm not feeling particularly that way at this moment. Since I've heard everyone goes through something like this when they're a novice grower, I hope this suffices for my own special experience. This is the first to happen to me in 10 months of growing and 50+ orchids, so I suppose I have been fortunate. Ugghhhhh.....

  9. #9
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    Hey Maura, don't worry about beetles - they are mostly carnivorous - the adult things . True the larvae can be vegetarians , but black beetles feed on slugs and snaul eggs, among other things .
    Of course I must hasten to admit that I don't know your beetles - only my beetles. Someone ( Darwin ? ) once observed that the almighty must really love beetles, since he made more of them( different kinds) than any other crittur - estimates are for hundreds of thousands of species , so it might just be that there is one out there which eats fairrieanum for its dinner, and Maudiae for its breakfast - but its not one known to paph growers in UK at least.
    Don't fret too much about those brown marks on the leaves - if that is what is worrying you - its a fungal rot. Exrtremely difficult to get rid of, but very very slow to spread. Use a disinfectant in your water EVERY time you water anything - like Physan - quite weak, like 1` teaspoon in a gallon or two. I always do , have done for years. It keeps all kinds of nasties under control, keeps the water sweet too, and is also a surfactant - like a wetting agent , makes sure your water penetrates to every corner. I have a few hundred paphs - once they were the UK National Collection ( I gave that up when their ( the UK National Collection organisers) bureaucracy made me very cross - but I have very few plants which are absolutely perfect , not a mark on a leaf anywhere - its an aspiration - but no more than that in this real world.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorsetman View Post
    Hey Maura, don't worry about beetles - they are mostly carnivorous - the adult things . True the larvae can be vegetarians , but black beetles feed on slugs and snaul eggs, among other things .
    Of course I must hasten to admit that I don't know your beetles - only my beetles. Someone ( Darwin ? ) once observed that the almighty must really love beetles, since he made more of them( different kinds) than any other crittur - estimates are for hundreds of thousands of species , so it might just be that there is one out there which eats fairrieanum for its dinner, and Maudiae for its breakfast - but its not one known to paph growers in UK at least.
    Don't fret too much about those brown marks on the leaves - if that is what is worrying you - its a fungal rot. Exrtremely difficult to get rid of, but very very slow to spread. Use a disinfectant in your water EVERY time you water anything - like Physan - quite weak, like 1` teaspoon in a gallon or two. I always do , have done for years. It keeps all kinds of nasties under control, keeps the water sweet too, and is also a surfactant - like a wetting agent , makes sure your water penetrates to every corner. I have a few hundred paphs - once they were the UK National Collection ( I gave that up when their ( the UK National Collection organisers) bureaucracy made me very cross - but I have very few plants which are absolutely perfect , not a mark on a leaf anywhere - its an aspiration - but no more than that in this real world.
    Dear Geoff -

    I am extremely grateful for your advice, encouragement, and reminder that we are mere mortals - and, therefore, doomed to imperfection from the start. I can only hope that Atlanta black beetles are as similar to the UK's as possible. I have discovered a few more on other plants near the now-deceased fairrieanum and have had to suppress the urge to throw out ALL my orchids, sterilize every surface in my home, and MAYBE start over again. But, in the end, I had not the heart to give up any of my precious and hard-fought-for orchids. In particular, I have about 11 "vinnies" as you call them, two of which have received Atlanta Orchid Society Firsts (my HCC/AOS is a Miltassia Royal Robe, now called 'Abby's Wonder' - and whether a photo of it shall ever appear properly in the archives is in question for reasons that enrage me, so I will leave it at that) - and I am very fond of them. "A few HUNDRED paphs"! And once the UK National Collection! It is enough to make me overcome my flying phobia and insist on seeing them for myself. Until then, I hope you don't regret having disclosed your expertise in paphs - because I shall turn to you when (not "if") I run into further problems with them. I was told by several of the AOS judges that the two vinicolored paphs that won local firsts were highly likely to earn AOS awards next blooming; thus, they are rather more special to me than my others - and I intend to care for them as well as I am able.

    Imperfect as you are, you continue to astound me with your wealth of orchid experience and success and your willingness to help us lesser beings along. Thank you.

    Maura

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