Insects and Orchids -

Aphids feasting on flower buds

Most pests avoid light and prefer the undersides of leaves or dark crevices down inside the plant. Not aphids. These bold little creatures work right out in the open on the plant's flower buds, and even on open flowers.

The most common type of aphid is black or brown and usually less than an 1/8th inch long. They're easy to find because they feed by piercing the new growth ( or blooms) at the top of the plant and sucking out the moisture leaving behind stunted growth.

A single adult female can reproduce without a mate and typically gives birth to 60-100 young every day for a period of 20 to 30 days.

Aphids on leaves

A second type of Aphid forms on the plant's leaves. The first sign of trouble is a shiny "honeydew" substance. The sticky coating they leave behind makes it hard for the plant to breathe and attracts ants.

Controls for Aphids

Aphids prefer new growth making them easier to see than most insects.

Neem Oil is an effective control for ahpids. Mix 1 TBLS of Neem Oil in 1 quart of water in sprayer. Add a drop of dish soap to help the Neem Oil mix with water. Shake thoroughly.

Note: Neem is effective for only 12 hours after mixing. Prepare only what you need.

  1. Spray plant leaves throughly.
  2. Supporting plant with one hand, gently dislodge the aphids with your thumb and forefinger.
  3. Spray pebbles.
  4. Spray grow pot.
  5. Rinse with clear water.
  6. Repeat once a week for 3 weeks. 

Insects and Orchids - Why Me?

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