How To Get Rid Of Scale On Orchids Successfully

There are four ways on how to get rid of scale on orchids. It’s crucial to learn about the solutions for common problems in orchids to be prepared and act once you see the signs. Remember that gardening isn’t a linear practice, and it’s normal to face challenges along the way. 

Orchids are prone to getting infestations of different pests, not just scales, but also of spider mites. And a trend you’ll notice in managing these conditions is that prevention is not only preventing them from occurring. It’s worth noting that pests’ prevention will help eliminate the pest by controlling the insect population and activity. 

How To Get Rid Of Scale On Orchids Successfully

How To Get Rid Of Scale On Orchids: 4 Best Options

 

#1. Alcohol

The first option you can use to get rid of scale insects on orchids is alcohol. Among this list, this treatment is best for small numbers of scales or during the early stages of infestation. Use isopropyl alcohol on a cotton swab and rub it directly on the scale. 

However, you want to be careful with this method because you risk chilling the plant. Remember that alcohol evaporates quickly, and you may end up damaging the thin leaves of your orchids. Therefore, be fast in removing the alcohol residue, especially if the climate is windy. 

 

#2. Water and soap

Another quick and easy method to remove scale on orchids is washing the plant itself. With this removal technique, you want to make sure that you’re getting all the visible pests. Check under the leaves, leaf veins, and stems as scales tend to hang around in these areas. 

Use a solution of warm water and a mild soap without ammonia. Again, it’s necessary to use gentle ingredients to avoid damaging orchids. You can use this treatment every other day for a period of one month and then isolate the infected plants for another two weeks if you suspect that there are no more insects. 

 

#3. Horticultural oil

If the first two methods fail, you may have to resort to using horticultural oil or insecticides for a more severe infestation. Remember that it will only be effective with horticultural oil if you thoroughly apply it to the plant. Be generous in using it on the leaves’ top and bottom sides, the plants’ base, and sheaths to ensure that it contacts all the scale insects. 

What’s frustrating with scale is that if some insects survive, the infestation can happen again. It’s also worth noting to keep the oil-covered plants out of direct heat or light to avoid burning them. Additionally, don’t forget to check the label directions of your horticultural oil. 

 

#4. Insecticides

The final method for getting rid of scale is insecticides. When the previous three techniques failed to eradicate the insects, you have to check insecticides that are orchid-safe. Understandably, gardeners like to stay away from chemicals as much as possible, but there are cases where the infestation is hard to control. 

Check products that are safe for ornamental plants, and don’t be afraid to have a professional help you with it. Much like horticultural oil, following and checking the chemicals’ directions is a must for everyone’s safety. You also want to spray outside, but if not, you can use a plastic bag on the plant as a shield. 

More than the plants themselves, there’s a high chance that the roots need treatment too. This is evident in large infestations, so make sure to free the plant from its container and media. You may have to spray the roots with insecticides before repotting the plants in a new container with new media. 

 

How To Prevent Scale On Orchids

One of the best ways to prevent scale infestation is to have a holding area for new orchids. You want to quarantine them for two weeks before introducing them to your existing plants. It’s always better to be preventative, so don’t panic if you might see some scales. 

Addressing them early on would make the infestation manageable. If you did see insects, allocate spacing among the plants to prevent the transfer of scale. And as mentioned earlier, leave the treated plants in a holding area for two weeks before reintroducing them to your garden. 

Besides sanitation and quarantine, you may also introduce beneficial insects like wasps and ladybugs. They prey on scale insects, and wasps are even capable of killing scale eggs early on. 

 

Signs Of Scale On Plants

To eradicate scale as soon as possible, watch out for the telltale signs on plants. You may notice drooping and yellowing of leaves, and the plant itself withers or refuses to grow. Scale infestation also leaves black fungus on stems and leaves that may look like sticky sap. 

 

Conclusion

It’s safe to assume that pests are the nightmare of any gardener. Once you notice grayish-white insects on your flowers, you may have to use your knowledge on how to get rid of scale on orchids. Your first option would be alcohol and washing the infested plants with soap and water. 

If there is no improvement, you have to resort to using horticultural oils and pesticides. Remember to follow the label for these products to avoid damaging your orchids. Additionally, check which of them are safe for orchids to prevent problems. 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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