Orchid Care Part 4
Diseases of the Roots

On other pages we have looked at various factors in orchid care. Our final part in orchid care part 4 is about the roots of the plant. This is the heart and soul of the plant. If these are not healthy then the whole plant will show the effects.

Loss Of Roots

Orchid care now turns our attention to the roots. Roots disease is difficult to diagnose. The roots actually loss  their function and do not supply the plant with the nutrients it needs.

some of the causes include:

  • over watering, probably the most common. I know I am at fault for this one with one of my phals.

  • the next most common cause is old potting material. You will see this occur with orchids bought from grocery stores or home goods stores. They are usually packed in soil which is not a good medium for orchids.

  • slugs or snails can cause root disease. This orchid care part 4 says you need to treat with metaldehyde.

  • sometime excessive salt or minerals in your water can cause this as well. If so you need to use distilled water.

Occasionally you will see the whole plant be effected by the infamous "mealy bug".

When this occurs you will note a white cottony mass on the plant or a gray, brown or even black mass underneath the leaves and flower stems.

The treatment includes scrubbing the plant with a soft toothbrush dipped in malathion. You should also spray the greenhouse regularly with malathion. Don't forget to take precautions with spraying, no children or animals and use a face mask.

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