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Old 08-05-2007, 01:23 PM
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Cynthia, Prescott, AZ Cynthia, Prescott, AZ is offline
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Fungal Warnings: #1-Garden Safe Fungicide and #2-fusarium in peat

I think the following needs to be brought to our visitors attention:

#1 - A new product has come on the market in the US (Arizona?) that has 'Fungicide' on the label. DO NOT be misled by the name. This is a ready to use neem oil only product and please don't use it on orchids thinking you are protecting them from fungal diseases. There are a couple of us that are pretty sure that neem oil CAUSES fungal problems. This is not to put down the above product. I am sure it does a good job with mildew on roses, and I just came home with 5 bottles from Walmart, as it is an inexpensive ready to use neem oil product. But those of you who have followed my problems with fungal diseases know I have done a lot of research on/with systemic fungicides, and this is NOT one to use as a fungicide. I personally think that neem oil stresses orchids making them vulnerable to fungal attack, some more than others, like the very thin leaved and terete leaved orchids. Even Cattleyas appear to get a mottled look on their leaves after its use, and keeping them out of heat and light for a few days does not help. I have been using a systemic fungicide on those that are being sprayed with neem, and so far I have not seen any additional mottling. See my comments below on fusarium fungus for systemic chemicals to use..

#2 - I have read recently that a number of unopened bags of peat moss, I assume from different sources, were tested for fusarium fungus, and all were found to contain the fungus. Imagine, if you will, the curse words that emanated from my lips. My husband complains that I am not very lady like when I get like this. I am quite sure that the severe problem I have been having in my GH with what I believe to be fusarium wilt derives from this source. The fungus can live in the mix with out the presence of a host plant, just waiting for a moment when the plant is under stress. I think I finally have the matter under control with the use of Thiophanate methyl (Cleary's 3336, OHP6672 [my choice because it is sort of liquid, not a powder]), and a whole lot of other names. This is the only systemic that lists the particular fusarium fungi that are common to orchids. Phyton 27 does not list any fusarium species to its credit. My last batch of mix (1/3 peat) got a teaspoon of truban added to a cu ft. Truban is not systemic, but I had it and it does control a lot of root rot diseases, and I am currently drenching my re-pots with the Thiophanate, and recently drenched the pots of my entire collection with it. I will be ordering Banrot to put into my mix, which contains both the thiophanate and truban. Steaming the peat would work too, but is not practical. If you use peat, you might look for pre-steamed peat, if they make it. In the mean time, I am delighted to report that I found on the web a small quantity jar of Thiophanate methyl for those of you that may want to have this in the wings for suspected problems. I also use this as my spray for all wounds as I repot or trim plants. Fertilome is a common brand at Nurseries around here, so it may be available locally. I will be looking. Note that the label contains the word 'Halt'. This is a brand name, and should not be confused with the actual chemical, as there are many chemicals with the name Halt on them. Check the chemical name on the label, second site below, to make sure you get the right stuff. I have had no problems with extensive use of this chemical, with the possible exception of the shortening of flower spikes, a temporary thing.

http://www.stokestropicals.com/detail.aspx?ID=367

http://www.fertilome.com/Labels/Fert...lt%20Label.pdf

UPDATE: I see that Oak Hill Gardens has Bonomyl (Thiophanate methyl [Clearry's3336 equiv.]) in 2 oz containers as well as Phyton 27 in 2 oz bottles.
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