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Old 10-14-2008, 03:23 PM
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What's eating my Catt????

I have this lovely Lc. Kimberly Federighi 'Nicole' blooming it's heart out but something is eating the buds before they open. Not all of them, just some. I cannot find any bugs and my husband and I both looked it over many times. It is mounted and growing outdoors; I haven't had a problem with adjacent plants (yet). Any suggestions??
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Old 10-14-2008, 03:33 PM
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Could it be slugs?
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Old 10-14-2008, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
What's eating my Catt????
From the look of it I'd say the laundry basket


Seriously...I second that it looks like slugs
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Old 10-14-2008, 04:06 PM
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Do slugs get inside the bud before it opens, eat it, and then leave???? My first guess would be slugs but I expected to find at least one of the little boogers somewhere on the plant or in the bark.

Would cinnamon spray work? I haven't tried drowning the pot yet but it couldn't hurt at this point. I can tell that a bud will be affected before it opens; it just looks funny.

HaHa Hydro...I just got it!!!!!!! Duh. Hey, cut me some slack, remodeling for seven weeks plus a bad cold equals mind turned to mush!
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Old 10-14-2008, 04:42 PM
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hee hee

Look around the flower and see if you can see any slime trails. Another way I get them is to spray down the medium and the grow area at dusk. This will raise the humidity and the slugs come out at night, so if there is good humidity it is more likely that it will be good and active. Check on your orchids every hour or so. If the slug is there it will come out. You can also bait it by leaving a slice of apple or a bottle cap of beer....slugs are suckers for beer. Go figure

If a slug doesn't show itself or at least leave evidence that it was there (slime trail) then you have another hungry critter, and I would bet on a sow bug. I managed to bring one into my masdie orchidarium and it laid eggs...it was brutal, chomping on everything and it looked a lot like your damage. To get the sow bugs out (without pesticide) put your orchid in a bucket a fill it with water till it almost covers the media (you don't want to float all your bark chips out) and flood them out of the pot. They will climb up to the top of the medium and up your orchid so you should be able to see/find them. Leave it soak for 20 - 30 minutes, that should flush them all out...unless they have snorkel's.

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Old 10-14-2008, 05:36 PM
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Thanks everyone - a good dunking it is!!!!
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Old 10-14-2008, 05:53 PM
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Given the amount ot tissue missing another possibility might be grasshoppers.
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Old 10-14-2008, 06:12 PM
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Why this has me stumped is the fact that they have been eaten before the bud opens. Something is getting into the bud and munching. I have never known a slug to squeeze into a flower??????

I have seen praying mantis' in my yard from time to time. He would have to be relocated; I could never hurt one.
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Old 10-14-2008, 06:16 PM
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Connie, the cinnamon spray will melt the slugs. Gross and disgusting, but effective none the less. I just melted one last night. YUK!
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Old 10-14-2008, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrowInHydro View Post
From the look of it I'd say the laundry basket


Seriously...I second that it looks like slugs
LoL I just got this!!!! Have to forgive me, I'm slow today.
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Old 10-14-2008, 06:41 PM
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Connie, I don't think it would be the praying mantis eating your flowers. They eat bugs, not plants. Unless that is what you meant be relocating one: to your yard, so they could eat the bad bugs!
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:17 PM
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Yep...second that. A definitive the praying mantis would not be eating your plant. Quite the contrary...he/she would keep the other critters from harming the plant.

So whatever is doing this is munching from the inside of the flower and not chewing on the outside of it? Maybe a caterpillar of some sort. ???

I agree w/kevin that it looks like grasshopper damage but I've never seen one squeeze into a bud...feed a bit...then leave.

Baffled here.
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Old 10-15-2008, 12:45 AM
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I've been seeing Katydid nymphs, hanging around my outside plants... including my orchids, they are very tiny, about 1/4 - 1/2 inch and they do that kind of damage. They are in the grasshopper family.
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:06 AM
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That's discouraging. I hope you find the culprit, as that is one beautiful bloom.
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Old 10-15-2008, 01:14 PM
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Norris you might be on to something here. Whatever this is is certainly small enough to crawl into a slightly open bud and do lots of damage, plus I can't visualize anything.

I know slug damage from having a large garden so I would spot that right off. If I get an undamaged bud to open it will stay uneaten and perfect, so these buggers are definately getting inside the bud and don't care about the mature flower. I am going to my local OS meeting tonight and I'll ask some locals what they think.
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Old 10-15-2008, 01:51 PM
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What made me think of them was I've been seeing them the past few weeks, and when I was growing up, we had day lilies, and they would get in the flowers and munch them. Of all the pests, they would definitely win a 'cutest pest' contest
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:04 PM
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My bet is thrips. Obnoxious little suckers.

You might not see them but that picture is exactly what they do. The edges of your flowers will start to brown out like they've been rubbing on something. You might see very small, skinny white bugs moving fairly fast on the flowers. They are hard to see, quite small (on the order of a millimeter long and very very skinny). Once they've eaten the tender parts they move to the next nice flower you have.
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Old 10-15-2008, 03:33 PM
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You're right norris; he is cute! He looks like he has a lot of personality.

littlefrog I have several bloomed flowers on the same plant that are untouched. Nothing is eating them after they open, which is the part that has me stumped.
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Old 10-15-2008, 03:34 PM
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If you don't see anything during the day, inspect at night using a flashlight. Some of these insects are quick and hide if you turn the light on.
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Old 10-15-2008, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhalPal View Post
You're right norris; he is cute! He looks like he has a lot of personality.

littlefrog I have several bloomed flowers on the same plant that are untouched. Nothing is eating them after they open, which is the part that has me stumped.
Yeah, I see that with thrips, too. Some flowers they want, some they don't. Or it could just be that the new flowers opened at some point in the life cycle where the thrips aren't active. Usually with time even the untouched flowers get nibbled. It is quite frustrating, you think you've killed them all and a month later they are back. I get flushes of thrips every time my neighbor mows his hay field, which is even more frustrating.

But, maybe it is something else. Really doesn't look like slug damage to me, though.
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Old 10-16-2008, 12:41 PM
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Thanks for all the suggestions; I didn't think of the flashlight at night trick. I would see slime trails with slugs. I'm pretty sure it is something I have never dealt with before on any of my existing garden plants and tropicals.

I hate not knowing what I am dealing with before I start spraying but I think enough is enough. I'll start with drowning the bark and PharmSolutions.

I didn't know Praying Mantis hunted other bugs! Like they say...learn something new every day!
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Old 10-16-2008, 02:34 PM
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PhalPal, You said you were going to ask some local Orchid Society members if they had any ideas. I'm really curious now. I would think with that kind of damage, something would have shown up by now!
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:29 PM
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I agree with all the possible varments listed above. I gather this is outside, one thing that I have used to keep insect damage down is Neem Oil, for snails I use a snail bait that I get from Charlies Greenhouse, it is biodegradable and does not seem to bother the orchids. I know the frustration of going our to get a beautiful orchid only to find that it must taste good to something.
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Old 10-16-2008, 11:52 PM
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Yes Dave, half my orchids I grow outside year round. (Lots of cascading Cyms, mounted Catts, Laelia and a couple Oncs) I experimented with a few catts last winter and they did okay even though we got down to the mid thirtys a few nights. I don't mix and match or move around my indoor and outdoor plants just for this reason. I do not want to introduce critters to my inside growing room and now I'm glad I have stuck to this rule. After several years of orchid growing this is truly the first time I have had any type of insect damage; it goes with the great outdoors I guess.

I may try some Sluggo just in case because it won't hurt my dogs if they get a piece. We have a pretty healthy oppossum population that use our stone fences like a freeway system. I don't mind having them around because their favorite food is snail and they really help keep the numbers low. They sure do drive my Goldens nuts however!

I did not make it to my orchid meeting because of contractors still working away in my house at 8:30pm. We are almost finished with our remodeling and can get back to our life!!! It was a bad meeting to miss too; the Santa Barbara Orchid Estate was presenting and supplying plants for the raffle. I guess this gives me a good excuse to drive up to Santa Barbara and make a personal visit! (like I needed an excuse....)
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:11 AM
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Hello Phalpal.
I wonder about the absence of plant material inside your orchid buds. You are assuming that it's due to pest damage, but is it possible that the buds are not forming inside? I have seen this happen with carnations and pinks, where the buds develop, but they are empty.
If insects are eating the bud contents, you should be able to see the faecal material from the culprits.
If insects are to blame, why not use a systemic insecticide to protect your plants?

Les
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:05 AM
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Everything said has been accurate and gives you the correct conclusion that dozens of insects can damage a flower. Treatment for insects is about the same regardless of which type. Commercially we just treat all the time knowing they will eventually think the flowers are dinner.

The fact that the inside of the bud looks eaten does not mean the insect made it into the bud. Most likely the damage was done from the outside when the bud was small and then the rest of the bud kept growing. This is typical of thrips damage on very young buds.

To really eat the inside of the bud you would have to find an entrance hole and exit. The African boring beetle (does not eat orchids) is in this class. It eats into one side of the plant flower and after eating everything it eats its way out. This leaves a woody ball on the plant that whistles when the wind blows. (Something for those who may never make it to Africa)
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:44 AM
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I don't know about thrips in FL but thrips up here can enter a bud and you can't see the entrance wound. A really, really bad infestation of thrips will create small bumps on the bud. Since thrips are this size ! (without the period on the bottom) they can slip in and start sucking on the juice inside the bud and you won't know it until the bloom opens.

Thrips are visible to your eye and are noted for their fast movement. If you see tiny, very mobile things running around on your blooms, you have thrips. Enough thrips on small buds, they dry up and never bloom. A few thrips on big buds will just give you distorted blooms.

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Old 10-27-2008, 11:38 AM
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Thanks again for all the input. If I were to see these blooms not knowing any history my first reaction would be 'caterpillers'. I have yet to see a thing on my orchid even after examining with a magnifying glass.

Les the buds were definately whole at one time. I do have a few misshaped flowers where it is obvious nature did it and not a bug. I like your and Jerry's idea of shoot now, ask questions later.
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:58 PM
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Bring out the beer!!! slugs love it
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Old 10-27-2008, 06:51 PM
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PhalPal when I saw your pictures it is why I didn't suggest thrips as the culprit. Solay has the perfect example of thrips damage to buds recently on another thread.

I don't know what the culprit is but I also don't think it is slug damage. I've seen slug damage on blooms and it doesn't look like that. But please, don't let me stop you, bring out the beer and cheers to everyone!

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Old 10-28-2008, 01:18 PM
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I still don't get the laundry basket joke.
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:52 PM
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Should we let imartiny off the hook???

Actually it took me a while too and it's MY avatar, mostly because my cat is not in a laundry basket, he's in a wastepaper basket so I didn't make the connection.

Get it....what's eating your Catt (CAT) looks like a LAUNDRY basket to me???? (cat engulfed by basket) Get it Get it?????
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Old 10-29-2008, 05:22 PM
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Oh.... Gee....Duh. Funny. Thanks PhalPal. I can be a bit slow at times (obviously)and also very gullible.
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Something is eating a leaf? yselkla09 Newbie Questions 13 06-17-2007 03:29 PM






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