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Neem oil!!?

This is a discussion on Neem oil!!? within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Originally Posted by OrchidAddict I have similar damage on leaves of my plants... they're all ...

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  1. #21
    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrchidAddict View Post
    I have similar damage on leaves of my plants... they're all indoor plants... I've never seen any other pest appear besides the odd stink bug (and we ruled him out), but after running the gamut of everything that could POSSIBLY be chewing on my leaves, I had to conclude it was the fungus gnats. (The adult ones, that is... at one point I had a full-blown infestation, and my plants' leaves started looking particularly beaten and battered at that point.)

    I think the larvae eat the decaying bark, but I've seen adult ones landing on my leaves, and I'm pretty sure that after some nibbling they can inflict the type of damage we're seeing here in this thread. The damage to my leaves has been cut down CONSIDERABLY since I started using the traps, and I suspect it will stop altogether once I start with the gnat treatment stuff.

    I think fungus gnats can inflict more damage than they are originally given credit for. When the edges of your leaves are getting slowly nibbled on, over time you wonder what the heck is going on, especially when you've confirmed there are absolutely NO other pests present.

    Anyway, I'm not ruling out that it could be something else... I just happened to notice that she said she thought she had a gnat problem... which would suggest she'd seen gnats... which would suggest she has fungus gnats... which is a problem that should probably be treated anyway, so it might be best to start there and see if it does any good. Then, if the damage continues, she can pursue other possibilities... but at least the gnats will be gone!

    That's just my humble opinion. But from what I've seen fungus gnats do, over time and in groups they can really mess up those leaves, especially around the edges where they're easiest to chew.

    I have damage from my gnats that looks just like what I see here. So if that pest has already been identified, why not go after it first?
    She might as well treat for them if they are around. It is my understanding that the adults do not feed. I have never had a major issue with them so I am no expert when it comes to them.

  2. #22
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    OK, when I have a problem like this, I empty the pot of all its contents, give the neem oil treatment all over the plant and roots. Spread out the medium on the ground and spray neem oil/detergent on it too, would be nice if you have sun to dry this for a day or two. Then put them all back together and my plants start looking happy and grow beautifully. This has been my experience so far. You might want to try it. Good luck!

  3. #23
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    Well guys, it's safe to say I HATE BUGS! I don't care what kind they are, they're all horrible! Upon further inspection I noticed that some of my succulents had small white bugs that had laid eggs all over it! So I spent 2 hours picking off all of the bugs and their spawn, then sprayed with neem oil and then Safers...so hopefully I got them! And I had identified the plant that was infested with the fungus gnats. It was my kaffir lily, so I sprayed the bark with neem and then put it outside to dry out a bit! Hopefully the infestation ends now!! It's getting annoying to treat for these things daily!!

  4. #24
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    Along with those pests, I've found out that my mealy bug infestation did not go away either!! So I re-potted the plants I found with them, drenched them in neem, and now all I have to do is wait...DOES IT EVER END!?

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by kerri.rock View Post
    Along with those pests, I've found out that my mealy bug infestation did not go away either!! So I re-potted the plants I found with them, drenched them in neem, and now all I have to do is wait...DOES IT EVER END!?
    From what I understand, neem does not kill the larvae of the pests... just the adult versions, so you need to make repeat treatments. And I'm not sure it works on fungus gnats at all (at least it didn't work on mine). I believe the pest has to be sort of "hanging out" on the leaf when you spray/wipe down the leaf with neem, and my gnats certainly didn't just "hang out" on the leaves, waiting to be sprayed.

    I did recently buy a Bayer systemic treatment that you can supposedly just water your plants with... it's supposed to work on hundreds of insects, while also feeding your plants. Supposedly it works for 12 months before you need to re-treat. I haven't tried it yet, though... I want to do it outside because I'm pretty sure there's some nasty chemicals in it that I'd rather not risk spilling on my carpet.

    But anyway, it IS supposed to kill all bugs that munch on your plants, as well as pests and larvae that lurk in the bark. I'll let you know if I see a difference when I finally use it. I think I'm going to try the stuff I mentioned earlier that's specifically targeted at gnats first, though, since it's non-toxic to people (I think). Apparently it combats the pests by introducing one of their natural enemies into their environment ... it's some sort of larvae I think. But anyway, it's supposed to be fine for us, but terrible for the insects.

    I do hope your solution worked, though. I have hundreds of orchids, so unfortunately doing a mass dumping and spraying and drying out is somewhat impractical....

    Keep us posted!

  6. #26
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    Thank you Jenn! I hope it works too, I could deal with the little gnats, but not those darn mealy bugs! I HATE THEM! I can't get them to die (I thought I had, but I found some smaller ones today!) They are already on all of the plants they are near, so I had to do a sweep of my plants and kill all that I saw and then drench in neem oil...on top of that, my succulent garden was riddled with aphids! I hope my oil solution works! I didn't have a wetting agent, so I did without...however, I've got an order of Safers, Safers sticky traps, and an organic wetting agent on the way!!

  7. #27
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    If you're very careful and you follow directions and dilute it significantly, I have actually used triazicide on my orchids - mostly for mealybugs. It's an extreme response and you have to be very careful not to damage the plant, but it KILLS the bugs dead. And I absolutely WILL NOT have bugs in my house.

  8. #28
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    You must be very cautious with any new chemical treatment. Orchids are sufficiently different from other plants for it to be unsafe to make assumptions.
    Older growers will remember Malathion which is a superb bug killer, and maybe harmless with sympodial orchids but fatal to some monopodials, in particular phalaenopsis - it caused the growing point to turn into a flower bud, so that the treated plant never grew another leaf...
    And then there was the infamous Benlate - cured fungal infections, but killed so many young orchids that du Pont ended up with 7 figure payouts ( not to me or you, of course, but to the big producers of orchid seedlings ). and tge effects became visible only some time after absorption into the plant tissues, making it diffucult to pin-point as the cause.
    So beware using the new wonder mass murderer of all pests until it has been tested, and trsted again and time has passed...
    Personally with rather more than hundreds of orchids of very many kinds and genera, I find mass treatments expensive and unsatisfactory. Spot treatment - when I see a pest I stop what I. Am doing to deal with it - and for most things a quick spray with alcohol/warer 50-50, and mabe a sweep with a clean artists paint brush kept on every bench for the purpose, to get the stuff unto the nooks and crannies and sweep away any debris or eggs/nymphs. If is is scale, then the Neem mix instead, but actually, the alcohol works with them too to some extent.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorsetman View Post
    You must be very cautious with any new chemical treatment. Orchids are sufficiently different from other plants for it to be unsafe to make assumptions.
    Older growers will remember Malathion which is a superb bug killer, and maybe harmless with sympodial orchids but fatal to some monopodials, in particular phalaenopsis - it caused the growing point to turn into a flower bud, so that the treated plant never grew another leaf...
    And then there was the infamous Benlate - cured fungal infections, but killed so many young orchids that du Pont ended up with 7 figure payouts ( not to me or you, of course, but to the big producers of orchid seedlings ). and tge effects became visible only some time after absorption into the plant tissues, making it diffucult to pin-point as the cause.
    So beware using the new wonder mass murderer of all pests until it has been tested, and trsted again and time has passed...
    Personally with rather more than hundreds of orchids of very many kinds and genera, I find mass treatments expensive and unsatisfactory. Spot treatment - when I see a pest I stop what I. Am doing to deal with it - and for most things a quick spray with alcohol/warer 50-50, and mabe a sweep with a clean artists paint brush kept on every bench for the purpose, to get the stuff unto the nooks and crannies and sweep away any debris or eggs/nymphs. If is is scale, then the Neem mix instead, but actually, the alcohol works with them too to some extent.
    I agree with you, Geoff, that one has to be terribly careful. Triazicide has been around for awhile and is advised as a treatment for all sorts of bonsais. Granted, they're trees and not orchids, but I first tested it out - extremely diluted - on an orchid that was in the throes of death from mealy bugs and nothing else had worked. I would caution that I always wear gloves, I apply it outside, and it's a last resort. I usually use the preventive strategy of mixing a bit of Physan about once a month when I water. I find neem oil to be messy and ineffective by the time I see something on my orchids that needs taking care of - I do use it mixed with lemon juice to clean the leaves before a show.

  10. #30
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    If you can find a highly diluted (16%) rubbing alcohol wipe this on the leaves gently. Change out your soil. See if that helps. I am actually least likely to reccommend Neem and think alot of people over-rely on this. Some of the best treatments I know are found around the home. If you find any snails pluck and shuck them away from plant and then set up a beer trap to keep them from returning.

    ---------- Post Merged at 02:42 PM ----------

    Trust me I've encountered all of these as well as white flies, thrips, you name it working in the nursery.

    ---------- Post Merged at 03:04 PM ----------

    Take the plant (out of pot) and shower it in luke warm water. If you can find a highly diluted (16%) rubbing alcohol wipe this on the leaves gently. Change out your soil. Then clean the station it sets on with a mild (or diluted) bleach. Keep plant away from heat and sun until dry. See if that helps. I am actually least likely to reccommend Neem and think alot of people over-rely on this. The problem isn't that it is harmful to plants but that there can be issues with the person handling it. Cold Pressed straight from seeds have proven non harmful. Problem arises when you buy over the counter without knowing all the additives involved. Just cause a product says organic doesn't mean its 100%.

    Some of the best treatments I know are found around the home. If you find any snails pluck and shuck them away from plant and then set up a beer trap to keep them from returning.

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