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HOW do you apply cinnamon powder?

This is a discussion on HOW do you apply cinnamon powder? within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Originally Posted by sciencegal Used carefully the worse thing is can do to you is ...

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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sciencegal View Post
    Used carefully the worse thing is can do to you is cause a mild allergic reaction. It is a jelly like stuff so doesn't spray very well even though it comes as a spray. I dab it on with a Q-tip (which I also use for cinnamon). I haven't died from using it.

    Many orchid enthusiasts that I follow decided that losing valuable orchids by going the biologic control route was not worth it. You will lose your plants.

    Synthetic chemicals are not bad things as long as they are used responsibly.
    No - the worst thing that could happen is some falls on the ground, my dog eats it, dies or gets sick (very very very bad) - and / or my wife figures out I killed the dog. I either have to get rid of my orchids (very bad) or ruin my marriage and live with someone who hates me the rest of my life - since I don't outrank the dog (worst-case scenario). Or don't use toxic pesticides and avoid the whole scenario.

    I ended up losing the plant anyway - and it was bacterial, not fungal. That's why it advanced so rapidly, plant went from fine to fatal in about a week. I didn't lose that plant as a result of not using a toxin. I lost it as a result of culture, got water on it which didn't dry out fast enough. And THAT is a result of my choice to keep as many plants as I can in a limited space (my house) so I can't get to all of them all the time, and something like this happens occasionally. Probably nothing could have saved it, but it provoked the question about how to apply cinnamon powder.

    As to synthetic chemicals not being bad when used responsibly: Let's distinguish between a supposedly inert synthetic chemical like hard plastic on the one hand, and on the other we have xenobiotics and endocrine disruptors. There's no "responsible use" of an endocrine disruptor or most xenobiotics, as there are only acute toxicity studies, not chronic exposure studies; plus there is no way to study how small or even nano-concentrations of these compounds interact in the human body, or how they interact with medications, etc. Don't evaluate its effect on your health by whether you are still breathing. There are other outcomes in which xenobiotics might play a role, but which are impossible to trace back to such exposures.

    Now, take your supposedly inert hard plastic. I use this, and have no choice in the matter really. However, I'm sure you've heard of the Pacific Gyre? All of us who use plastic (everyone!) are in some sense responsible for an island of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean, the size of a small but growing country, just below the surface of the water. Now, I don't say you did that and I didn't. However, I don't say it's harmless. In fact, it's probably not harmless to orchids. If you think environmentally, you can't truly believe that habitat destruction that endangers orchids in the wild is separate and unrelated from the ravages of the petroleum industry - if nothing else, climate change from CO2, etc.

    The rubbing alcohol tincture idea is good. Physan in all water is good, though not exactly environmental . Where I live in Northern California might be more "green" than parts of UK though.

    Finally, at least in the U.S., the pot growers have so many non-petrochemical products. Hard to say how well they work, but their end consumers don't want to be smoking pesticides - just natural carcinogens for them! ---- vendor information removed -see faqs on posting----Worth a try. And, interestingly, most of those products are based on plant volatile oils (like rosemary) which is probably quite similar to effect of cinnamon, rich in volatile oils.

    I guess I fell into the trap I warned about, that I didn't want this thread to become a referendum on synthetic chemicals (uh oh, I used that word in my original post).

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by raybark View Post
    From my "Home Remedies" page:

    Those of you who frequent the internet orchid forums know of my “crusade” for the use of cinnamon as a fungicide. I’ve done a lot of digging, and it turns out that the chemicals in the bark have all sorts of medicinal applications (I’ve even cured athlete’s foot with my alcohol extract!)Choose the consistency that is best for your situation:

    • Powder: Apply normal, household cinnamon powder directly to the affected part of the plant by dusting heavily. This has proven to be a good way to control slime mold and mushrooms in the mulch in my outdoor flower beds, too!
    • Poultice: Mix cinnamon powder with sufficient casein-based glue (Elmer’s) to make a thick, brown paste. Apply to the wound and let dry. The Elmer’s Glue is water soluble, but resists washing-off quite well. This is the preference for mounted plants that get watered or misted frequently. An alternative to the Elmer’s Glue, but just as waterproof and long-lasting is made by mixing cinnamon powder and cooking oil to form a thick paste. (Thanks to John Kawamoto!)
    • Spray: You can prepare a cinnamon spray using either alcohol or water as your solvent. The alcohol infusion is faster to prepare, and offers some insecticidal properties as well. This is my preferred method, and has been effective at eliminating all sorts of fungus problems, including damping-off of deflasked seedlings.

      Put 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of cinnamon powder in a pint (500 ml) of isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Shake well and let stand overnight. Filter the solution to remove the sediment (coffee filters work well), and use the brown liquid as a spray. (While it’s not a big problem for most orchid growers, I’ve heard that this is good for powdery mildew, as well.) or…

      Put the cinnamon powder in hot water. Shake well and let stand for several days. Filter and use as above. (Some feel that the alcohol can be too desiccating when used on seedlings.)

      Or you can simplify the process by using a 1%-2% solution of Cinnamon Vogue cinnamon LEAF oil. The leaves contain eugenol, which is a more powerful fungicide than is the cinnamaldehyde in the bark.
    Ray, I've read that the cinnamon will suppress root development. Is there another spice or natural substance that has the same effect w/o the root suppression?

  3. #13
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    YUG - if cinnamon powder is applied to the entire surface of a healthy root, it will desiccate and kill it. Applied to the wound only, is like cauterizing it, but with a fungicidal treatment, and the root will branch and grow.

    ---------- Post Merged at 09:09 AM ----------

    <soapbox>
    Daniel, in my opinion, your "anti toxic chemical pesticides" stance is out of place, and I might add, misinformed. I'm all for "natural" or "homemade" treatments, but sometimes they are insufficient, and can be even more toxic than commercially available ones.

    For one, all treatments, as Sciencegal stated, are "chemicals." (As are all forms of physical matter.) By definition, all pesticides are intended to be toxic, and there is a whole spectrum to them.

    There are some really toxic insecticides, for example, that degrade almost immediately into totally inert components when exposed to sunlight, or in contact with soil, or are consumed by microorganisms. By contrast, there are some natural plant exudates that make excellent insecticides that are toxic to mammals and persist in the environment for an extended time.

    The vast majority of homemade treatments are topical, including those you mentioned in your last post, meaning that none of them was going to do anything for an internal infection, such as that your plant contracted. There are natural and synthetic systemic treatments that you could have used that might have saved that plant. That's why it's important that we educate ourselves about how things work and what they do, rather than blindly discounting them.

    As an example, I had a very expensive orchid clone contract Erwinia, a very fast-moving, systemic bacterial infection that basically liquifies the plant from the inside out. Had I used any home remedy I had ever heard of, in all likelihood the plant would have been a goner. However, by using a systemic biological treatment, the infection was stopped, dead in its tracks, and the plant survived. Copper treatments might have also been effective, but the plant in question - unlike many others - is sensitive to it, so I avoided it.

    I really hope that your misguided stand on "toxins" only applies to pesticides, or you and your family (including your dog) will have a tough go of it without antibiotics or other medicines, or appropriate clothing when you hike through then NorCal mountains, to name just a couple of examples.

    The bottom line is that EVERYTHING should be used in a knowledgeable, responsible fashion, and that doing so can have far-reaching benefits, rather than being dangerous.
    </soapbox>
    Last edited by raybark; January 21st, 2017 at 08:11 AM.

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    The idea that pesticides are broken down by soil microbes or sunlight and don't persist in the environment is....extremely unlikely, but terribly pleasing to the manufacturers - let's say that. These are xenobiotic chemicals. Saying that all chemicals are chemicals is reductio ad absurdum. By definition a xenobiotic is synthesized and only very rarely will living organisms have randomly developed a capability to break them down. The fact that they don't break down is their sine qua non, and is what allows them to persist in plant tissues and potting media that do, yes, have fungi and bacteria in them - in other words, it's one of the qualities that makes them work.

    Also, I was explaining a) why I don't use them; and b)why I don't believe people should say they are basically harmless. Go ahead and use them but don't claim that they don't persist in the enviroment, or that rosemary volatile oil is same as synthetic pyrethrins. Also, the way I started this thread was "Don't tell me to use synthetic toxic pesticides because I won't do it" which I believe sometimes get read as "please explain to me why they're not harmful and I should really use them."

    I use medicine; my dogs get treated for fleas and ticks; we are all bathing in a soup of xenobiotic chemicals that have health consequences for us and probably much more so for children (pets not quite as much because their life span does not allow accumulation in the same say as long-lived creatures). Go ahead and use them if you wish, but I said I wasn't going to. No matter what you think.

    And - this plant didn't need pesticides. The suggestion that I ought to use them was based on a misdiagnosis. And that is the opposite of responsible use of potentially toxic chemicals.

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    We don't know with any certainty that it was a misdiagnosis.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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    Actually I got confused about which thread I was posting in. This was almost certainly a bacterial rot in a phrag - had it happened to a larger plant, or a valuable one, or if someone had a valuable collection or there was evidence it was spreading to other plants, I would think one would do whatever one could. However, I sent these photos to the highly respected grower and he said "it's probably too late but you can try cinnamon."

    It was too late for this plant, at least for cinnamon. I suppose a good systemic antibacterial might have done the trick but I highly doubt it, because the infection was so far advanced.

    Perhaps Physan in the water would prevent this - it's an interesting thought, though Physan advertises itself for surfaces, not a systemic product. And in a plant with advanced rot, applying liquid anything could make the problem worse.

    Considering I have 150 plants, and I don't use pesticides, and 1/3 of my plants grow outdoors year round, I don't think I'm killing an inordinate percentage. But I dare not shell out hundreds of dollars for highly prized plants either, since I know there's a risk of losing them. Not that I want plants like that, though.

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    I cut away rot flush with hydrogen peroxide then sprinkle cinnamon on wound, it works every time
    Posted via Mobile Device

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeronaut View Post
    I cut away rot flush with hydrogen peroxide then sprinkle cinnamon on wound, it works every time
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Cinnamon works very well for me too. It smells nice and I don't wear gloves or anything when I use it. So as long as the condition of the plant does not call for tougher actions I stick to what I also can eat - cinnamon. I have too many chemicals at work anyway since I have been working as a biochemist for more than 30 years. That's when you want to have a break and not use synthetic chemicals when you come home. With great hesitation, I would, however, consider using synthetic pesticides if absolutely necessary. But I definitely respect anyone that does not want to use them at all.

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    I'm allergic to cinnamon. A good friend makes soap and I have used her soap and only her soap for 12 years. She made a batch of cinnamon soap and I broke out in a horrible rash within an hour after using it.

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