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Tips for Treating Orchid Diseases

July 18, 2012
Purple spotted orchidWhen you’re talking about orchid health, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. There are many things Phalaenopsis owners can do to keep their orchids healthy and prevent the development of orchid diseases. Of course, starting with healthy, disease-free plants is the critical first step to growing healthy orchids. To ensure that the orchids you buy are healthy and disease-free, only purchase orchids produced by reliable orchid growers from reliable sellers.

When you bring your Phalaenopsis orchid home, follow these tips for keeping your orchids disease-free:
  • Do not overwater orchids. After watering or fertilizing, allow the grower pot to drain freely before replacing the plant in its decorative container. Over-saturating orchid roots invites root rot and disease.
  • Orchids should be watered in the morning so moisture has plenty of time to evaporate before nightfall.
  • Make an effort to keep water off the plant’s leaves and crown when watering orchids. Many bacteria spread in water; and cool, damp conditions invite disease. Allowing water to sit on plant leaves or, worse, in the plant’s crown, invites the development of disease.
  • Place orchids where they will receive adequate air flow. In nature, Phalaenopsis orchids grow on tree branches with their roots constantly exposed to the air. Adequate air circulation is not only necessary for healthy roots, it evaporates potentially damaging moisture from plant leaves.
  • Never reuse orchid planting media. Over time, media breaks down and is unable to provide proper drainage. Always use fresh media when repotting orchids [].
  • Never reuse pots from diseased plants. Discard contaminated pots to prevent spreading disease.

For more tips on caring for your orchid, or to sign up for watering reminders via email or text, visit our Care Tips Gallery today.