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Old 09-11-2013, 10:07 AM
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Scale Question

Some people I know, gave a friend of mine, 5 orchids to give to me if I want them. I know at least two have scale and the others have been exposed to the scale. My friend is keeping them at her place as I don't want them around my healthy orchids.

My question is, what would you do with them? I have thought about throwing them away and I have also thought about treating them. If you would treat them, how would you do it?
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:55 PM
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Hi Vanessa,
I have treated them with insecticidal soap. If there are just a few this is a good option. If there are many.....you need something systemic. If they are really infested you may just want to throw them out and not risk exposure to your other plants.
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:34 PM
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I had a combination of mealies and scale this past winter. I used systemic and the mealies seem completely eradicated and I only find a scale now and then since they are outside and the ants bring them. Treat them a few times, according to the directions, before adding them to your collection.
I do have a few plants sensitive to systemic and will be trying neem/horticultural oil on those if I have any further trouble.
Good luck!
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:54 PM
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I bought a batch lot of Catts off ebay. Four of the five were fine, but one had a split rhizome and mostly dead roots. I left positive feedback, but sent a message to the vendor about the iffy plant. She sent two plants as a replacement, but cautioned that one of them had been treated for scale. O_O

I quarantined both, and have been scanning/treating them for over a month. The infected plant still shows evidence of scale, but the other appears to be clean. (fingers crossed) so I've put it with my other plants. The infected one is hanging upside-down by a string looped around the rhizome. I spray its roots with water and spray the leaves and roots with BAYER 3 in 1 and various soapy concoctions every week. It's putting out a new growth, but some of the other growth buds have been compromised and the pseudobulbs are getting quite wrinkled.

I'm new to the hobby, so look at this as a challenge. I'm going to keep it hanging upside-down until I see no evidence of scale. Then I'll pot it up and continue to monitor it, in quarantine, for another month or two. If it lives, GREAT! If it dies, ... meh. It's just one plant. I wouldn't want to be looking over several plants with a jeweler's loupe. I'm hoping, perhaps unrealistically, that I'll be posting pics of my finally-scale-free plant in full, glorious bloom, but it won't be soon and it won't be without a lot of extra care.

If you have lots of other orchids to care for, you might consider passing these plants on to, say, a high school student ... as a Senior project. Either way, good luck with 'em and keep us posted.

Last edited by slc; 09-11-2013 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:56 PM
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Hi Vanessa

What kind are they? Can you post pictures?

I would keep isolated until they are scale-free.

I would first remove them from their pot and clean off everything - roots, leaves, (pseudobulbs if yours have them). If they are like cattleyas and have papery sheaths on the pseudobulbs, see if you can carefully remove those as well.

You can use "the best stuff ever" and a very soft brush (like a pit brush) to clean everything up as much as possible.

Insecticidal soap may be OK to fight the bugs, but I would go with a systemic insecticidal product if they were mine. There is a Bayer Rose & Flower spray that works well; use on the whole plant, including the roots. When you re-pot, use brand new pots, brand new medium, spray the medium with the Bayer R&F before re-potting. You will need to re-treat with the insecticide at the recommended intervals to be sure the scale is completely gone, keep isolated until the bugs are verified to be gone.

Good luck!
Je suis Charlie
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