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Are Orchid Home Remedies Helpful or Harmful?

June 26, 2014

orchid-home-remedies-1If you’ve ever sipped ginger root steeped in hot water to relieve a stomachache, then you’ve used a home remedy. Tried and true remedies like these can prove highly effective. Home remedies can work for your orchid, too; however, it’s important you use methods that have been proven to help your plant. Using an unproven remedy can be disastrous to its health.

In today’s blog, we separate the fact from fiction with regards to home remedies, advising you which are OK to use and which ones you should steer away from.

Natural Insecticides - Proven

Insects and fungus don’t stand a chance against natural remedies. These homemade solutions help ward off both threats and are low toxic and safe for your family, pets and the environment. Pyrethrum, a natural derivative of Chrysanthemum flowers, is lethal for bugs and instantly shuts down their central nervous systems. Eucalyptus oil can be used as a pesticide, as well as fending off fungi from your plant.

Retail Blossom Boosters - Unproven

We advise against using store-bought orchid blossom bloomer formulas. Retail bloom boosters should never be used in place of diluting a balanced fertilizer with a ratio of 20-20-20 (nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous) at half strength to create a liquid fertilizer and natural bloom booster. Booster formulas may work for other orchid species, but Phals can have an adverse reaction.

Seaweed Liquid Fertilizer - Unproven

Seaweed fertilizers do not contain the proper levels of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium to properly feed your plant during its active growth phase, particularly during flower production when high potassium levels are needed. In her research, Linda Chalker-Scott, Ph.D., of Washington State University, found that many of the beliefs people have about seaweed strengthening their plants or boosting growth are myths. The only scientific truth that she discovered is that seaweed stimulates root growth.

Homemade Fungicides - Proven

Examples of these remedies are cinnamon, which has been scientifically proven to prevent and control bacteria and fungus. Cats are not a fan cinnamon either, so this doubles as a safe pet repellent. Neem oil is an ancient antifungal staple in India and can shield your orchid from aphids and mites. For specific recipes that you can make at home, refer to this post.

Home remedies that are proven safe and effective are wonderful to have in your orchid care arsenal. The next time you hear about a homemade orchid solution, do us a favor and leave a comment about it in our posts, and we’ll do our best to address it.

For more help caring for your orchid, download “10 Simple Steps to Keeping Your Orchid Healthy” today!

Keeping you Orchid Healthy