When Just Add Ice Orchid plants fail to thrive, the problem is usually overwatering or exposure to a sharp temperature change, often caused by a draft. Occasionally, insects may infect an orchid plant, which can lead to poor performance, leaf loss and eventual death if the plant is not treated promptly.
Sometimes, though, orchids get sick. Bacterial and fungal diseases both attack orchids and can develop quickly, spreading rapidly if they are not promptly detected and treated. Phalaenopsis orchid diseases are most likely to develop in hot, humid environments. While it can be difficult to determine whether your orchid is suffering from a bacterial infection or a fungal disease, particularly in the early stages of disease development, discolored leaves and a foul stench are strong indicators of bacterial disease.
Early detection and prompt treatment are critical in the treatment of Phalaenopsis orchid diseases. To treat both fungal and bacterial disease, remove all infected foliage using a sharp, sterilized razor blade or utility knife. Immediately after removing infected plant parts, spray your orchid with a good quality plant fungicide. While bacterial diseases will not respond to the fungicide, plants weakened by a fungal infection are at greater risk of developing a secondary bacterial infection. A spray of fungicide won’t hurt your orchid if the problem isn’t fungus and could help. As it can be difficult to tell the difference between fungal and bacterial diseases early on, most Just Add Ice Orchid owners adopt a “better safe than sorry” attitude toward orchid disease.
For answers to common orchid care questions, visit the orchid care video library on the Just Add Ice Orchid website.
Photo credit: jodycl