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Something is killing my only Cattleya, Help!

This is a discussion on Something is killing my only Cattleya, Help! within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I have no idea what is killing my cattleya. I have taken the best pictures ...

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  1. #1
    desertgal's Avatar
    desertgal is offline Senior Member
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    Default Something is killing my only Cattleya, Help!

    I have no idea what is killing my cattleya. I have taken the best pictures that I can. There is something piling up like a white powder and there are little white spots on the leaves that easily come off. The leaf that is dead had it very bad about a month ago. I cleaned the plant with alcohol and thought it had taken care of things, but the leaf died and the white things are back. I've isolated the plant and am counting on the forum to help me.
    It seem to be worse at the base of the leaves. The plant is planted in lava rock.

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  2. #2
    Joan's Avatar
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    Looks to me as if your catt has a case of mealie bugs. I've never had them on my orchids but have had them on other plants.
    If I'm correct then you will have to keep applying the alcohol at first signs of new white areas or maybe weekly or daily before anything new appears to be sure you wipe them out. You might want to repot to make sure your medium is not infected. I'm sure more experienced growers will be able to offer more.

  3. #3
    Ania's Avatar
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    You have mealy bugs. You need to bring out the big guns or they will spread to other plants. I would take the whole plant out of the pot, wash off all the white stuff, pull off the dry sheets covering pbs (there will be more bugs hiding there), and spray the whole plant with systemic pesticide of your choice. After that, re pot your Catt in new pot and new bark. You will need to spray it 2 more times in weekly intervals. For the rest of your plants keep using alcohol with soap, or neem oil and keep close eye for any more of these bandits. So, that is my advice. I am sure there will be more from others. I am sorry this is happening to your poor Catt.

  4. #4
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    I recently had a paph with mealy bugs. My first infestation, and my paph got a little floppy but recovered. Those nasty white looking things! And bugs don't creep me out normally, I think the white fluff is the part thats creepy. I saw some big ones crawling in the white powder.

    Anyways I picked them with a stick/cotton swab and rubbing alcohol and I'm keeping a eye on my plants. I rubbed all the white fluffs off with my cotton swab and rubbing alcohol. They are controlled for now at least and are quite easy to kill, when I compare them to scale bugs or aphids(on a bonsai tree). They don't divide as fast as aphids and they are more sensitive than scale bugs.

    I would do what Ania suggested. I think spraying a pesticide will be more effective than picking every bug off the plant with alcohol. Your plant is much bigger than my single growth paph, so it's easy to miss some bugs. I would have sprayed all my plants with neem oil if I could find my bottle. Good Luck, I'm confident your plant will get well!

  5. #5
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    I can not add to the good info. above , except I would not repot it for a couple of weeks after treating it .Leaving them no place to hide .. Check your other plants often . Air from fans can spread them . Gin

  6. #6
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    Neem Oil or sun oil and follow the advice above. This happens and it is always frustrating, but you can save the plant and kill the little buggers doing the damage. Good luck Katie!


  7. #7
    Piper's Avatar
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    Hi Katie,

    I use Neem oil for critters PM me if you need a source and I'll use a higher concentration in water to soak the pot. That way you can avoid repotting. Spray the leaves and soak the pot once a week for two or three weeks and you should be fine.

    Mealies like to hide in inaccessible dark places, so peel back any sheaths from the psuedo bulbs and be sure to spray there as well.


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