Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Orchid 102: how to get rid of mealybugs?

I got my last orchid as a gift. Luckily, I always put my new flowers far away from other plants until I see that it is healthy.

This one was really nice colored and I was sad when one day I discovered cotton-like parts on her spike.

I immediately started searching on Google for orchid parasites and I found out that those cotton flakes are called mealybugs. They are disgusting and nasty bugs that can move from one plant to another! Oh, the horror!!!

Flower stem with ugly bugs

Said goodbye to that orchid and started with experiment.
I removed every part of orchid infected with bugs and trimmed roots.

When plant was bug free I washed roots in dish washing detergent and sprayed with window cleaning stuff. Mixture of detergent and isopropyl alcohol is used for killing mealybugs. I didnt have that alcohol so I used window cleaner, because it has isopropyl in it.

I rinsed everything and left it in a jar. It stayed there for a month.

Every now and then I sprayed water and orchid food mixture  on her roots hoping that it wont dry out.

And after one month, I saw that plant is still bug free, that was sign that I can replant it again.

And look at it now! It is still weak and sad looking. But it has NEW FLOWER SPIKE growing!!

Also this experiment somehow proved that Phalaenopsis can grow in air for a month if you water it when it needs water.

My orchid will live (for now :D) !