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what is eating my plants?

This is a discussion on what is eating my plants? within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I bought this phal in September. As I was re-potting it, I noticed a tiny ...

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  1. #1
    Ania's Avatar
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    Default what is eating my plants?

    I bought this phal in September. As I was re-potting it, I noticed a tiny little round snail, and I killed it on the spot. Then months later, the phal was growing two flower spikes, and one night something came and bit the tips of the spikes off.

    The weird thing is that the severed parts of the spikes were still there hanging by a thread or lying on top of the pot. Who???? I took my phal out of the pot, gave it a soap and neem bath, and re-potted it in a new pot and mix.

    Now, two weeks later, one of the spikes was trying to recover when the evildoer struck again. Not only did it bite off the tip of the spike again, but it also took a big chunk out of my little paph bellatum that was sitting next to the phal!

    I assumed that it was a snail, but I couldn't find it. Also, why would it bite it off, but not eat it? Maybe it's my cat?

    Any ideas on how to prevent this from happening again?
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    It looks like Slug/snail damage...poor plant....I think spraying with neem oil will make the plants less attractive to most pests generally. I believe there are pellet like bait products available to kill slugs too but some are toxic, so not good for your cat. Putting beer out for them attracts them for a drink and kills them. I know this is silly but putting things on/around the pot can help keep them out like hair, lubricant on pot rims, crushed egg shells, diatomaceous earth because they can't climb on them and they may die.

    It looks a lot like pet bird damage too. I'm not that smart with pest control though...

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    My thought was that your cat chewed on it. Spike damage is pretty specialized. If you had pests you'd see other evidence of it. A spike is about cat height, and could appear inviting to nosh on.

    McJulie

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    My husband came up with an idea to sprinkle flour on the table where the the plants are to see if some one leaves foot prints. He is quite the detective! My cat has never had the taste for orchids, but you never know. If it's not the cat, and not the snails then maybe mice? This is very misterious....

    Just in case it was a snail, I gave my orchids a coffee bath, which was one of the recommended non toxic remedies. Next thing I know there will be a hyper snail (or cat) cruising around the orchid table.

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    Bugs don't go that deep at precisely that height - I know cat teeth when I see them!

    Sprinkle the flour!!!

    McSherlock

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    Thats true...I had a phal outside that got slugs....they don't go that deep.

    The phal spike reminds me of a cat toy now that I think of it

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    That bite mark on the leaves looks just like the scar on one of my phals from a naughty kitten...

    I sprinkled heaps on cayenne pepper around the pots and that helped a little bit.

  8. #8
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    My cat has never shown interest in eating any orchids, but I would think that cayenne pepper, or szechuan pepper oil put on the plant would discourage a cat. diatomacous earth is good for indoor snails, you can get it at pet shops.

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    Not a mouse munching your Cids. I know what that looks like ,caught one doing it in my other green house , the damage was nibbled out half circles . Bet it is the kitties doing it, in the one photo it looks like puncture marks in the damaged area . Gin

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    Thank you guys for your input. It had to be my kitty, probably getting back on me for not paying enough attention to her. J/K. She is lucky I didn't use Orthene for a while, or she would have serious indigestion or worse. This phal was suppose to be beautiful orange flower... Why, kitty? Tell me why?

    A

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