How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites On Orchids

There are four techniques on how to get rid of spider mites on orchids successfully. These include prevention, isolation, spray, and the use of insecticidal soaps or insecticides. Keeping them in mind, you get the idea that getting rid of spider mites involves overall management and prevention.

Addressing pests is more comfortable in the greenhouse because of the control you have over the space. Remember that while hand picking of pests is typically the first solution for getting rid of them, spider mites are microscopic and hard to detect. Therefore, the following techniques would be more appropriate regardless if you have orchids indoors or outdoors. 

It’s also worth noting that three types of mites infest orchid. Spider mites or two-spotted mites leave the leaves mottled with webbing, hence the name. In contrast, flat mites or false spider mites will have the same symptoms but without the webbing. 

Lastly, you can suspect broad mites infestation on orchids when you notice the yellowing of leaves. 

How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites On Orchids

How To Get Rid Of Spider Mites On Orchids Successfully

 

Prevention

The first solution for getting rid of spider mites is prevention itself. Even if you notice signs of mite infestation, it’s still sensible to do prevention practices for them. For example, the American Orchid Society mentioned that these pests’ preferred environment is warm and dry. 

This is where using a greenhouse is advantageous since you can monitor the indoor temperatures and conditions. The society even mentioned that spider mites are more comfortable to address under high humidity, which means you can slow down their activity by controlling humidity and wetness in the greenhouse. To prevent, control, and make their removal more comfortable, mist your plant regularly. 

Be mindful not to overwater the orchids, and a short warm shower once a month is ideal for their health and control of spider mites. It will also help if you decrease the temperature. Maintain the ideal growing temperatures of orchids but monitor the conditions to avoid creating an environment that spider mites love. 

 

Isolation

Once you notice infested orchids, isolate them immediately as recommended by the University of Florida. This will make the spider mite population and activity easier to control as you are doing the next treatments. Allocate an area for isolation, and you can also use this later as a holding location for new orchids. 

You also want to check the soil of the infested plants. Spider mites can thrive in the ground, so it’s best to remove the previous medium and repot to prevent recontamination. However, remember to flush the orchid plants’ root systems with distilled water first before repotting. 

 

Spray

The most popular homemade remedy for getting rid of spider mites is by spraying or brushing the infested plants. Start first with water so that you can remove the microscopic mites from the orchid leaves. Mites tend to hide under the leaves as well, which means this is an area worth checking. 

For this part, use a soft sponge and water to remove hiding mites. You also want to address the webs and eggs as much as possible. Spraying the infested orchids with water can last for up to six weeks as the problem persists.

Besides plain water, you can also use a soapy mixture for the foliage before rinsing them to decrease the number of spider mites further. The American Orchid Society even recommends alcohol and cotton swab on hard to reach areas. If not, spraying alcohol with mild liquid soap works too. 

The emphasis is necessary that alcohol is adequate for low infestations, and be careful with strong solutions to avoid damaging orchids. If your plants are soft or have thin leaves, it’s better to skip rubbing alcohol. An excellent solution to start with is 1 part rubbing alcohol, 1 part Murphy’s oil soap, and 2 parts water. 

 

Insecticidal soap or insecticides

 

Insecticidal soaps and horticultural oils

If the previous three techniques failed, you could consider using insecticidal soaps or insecticides. However, it would be best to always study the label instructions on the product before application. Try insecticidal soaps or horticultural oils first since they’re safer, and pests’ resistance is lower before opting for insecticides or pesticides.

They are gentler to the environment and will be useful in the early stages of infestation. However, they must wet the orchids thoroughly as they can only address spider mites upon direct contact. Reasonable consideration is neem oil mixed with water and plant-safe detergent. 

 

Insecticides

With diligence to label instructions, miticides should address mites if the infestation is difficult to control. Check how often you need to apply and how long the intervals are to keep the insect population at bay. Be careful as not all insecticides are safe for orchids, and always move the plants outdoors to ventilate the fumes.

 

Conclusion

Seeing pests on orchids is very frustrating and almost puts us in a panic mode. However, there are four ways on how to get rid of spider mites on orchids. Start by preventing further infestation and then isolate the plants with mites to control the pest population. 

Afterward, you can spray the plants with water or alcohol if the infestation is at an early stage. If needed, you might need to use an insecticidal soap or insecticides. The only thing you must remember with these remedies is that it’s crucial to check the instructions before applying.

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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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