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Question regarding [oxyglossum] culture

Discussion in 'Orchid Culture' started by Jeff9, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. Jeff9

    Jeff9 Member

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    This may also apply to other species, but due oxyglossums being a little finicky with some stuff i thought i'd double check.

    My first question. While my cabinet is completely bug/pest free, i often receive plants from vendors that have pests. My question is if there is any useful product or remedy i can apply also as a preventative measure, that does not harm oxyglossums. I read they are rather sensitive to many (oily) pesticides. I know systemic is a no-go.

    Secondly, fungicides. Is there any friendly method or product to use? I used some dithane for some seedlings but as far as i know this kind of stuff is very toxic and not very healthy

    I also read many (mainly U.S.) growers apply physan or some similar products periodically that i've read is very positive for the long term health of the plant.

    I would be very interested to learn if there is some "friendly" non-aggresive/toxic ingredients/products that i can use periodically, mostly as a preventative.

    Very importantly it must not damage moss and especially not the delicate oxyglossum species.

    Any advice is greatly welcomed,
    Thanks!
    Jeff
     
  2. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't know why you say that, I have used a number of systemics over the years without trouble. I know lots of others who use them too.

    Thiram works very well and is easily available as a powder in Europe. I limit my chemicals to inside the greenhouse. My roses are organically grown, but that never worked out well for me with orchids. I don't do preventative spraying. If I have a problem I deal with in an effective manner. If you keep having the same problem, there is frequently a change in culture that will help more than constant spraying.

    I found Physan not very effective and haven't used it for years. I've never heard it was good for plants long term either. Unless a flask was contaminated before it was opened, the seedlings are sterile when they come out. A systemic is much more effective to combat the attacks that come after a few days or weeks.
     
  3. Jeff9

    Jeff9 Member

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    Thanks Marni.

    I was under the impression oxyglossums don't do well with systemics, more specifically, killing them. If you say this is not true i may experiment.

    I also have no issues right now, my plants are growing great. BUT i want to make sure it stays that way thats why i'm asking about preventative measures.

    I use distilled water for my plants, my cabinet uses 2 bottles a week ($1). Since a few months i have also been using a little bit extra water weekly to wash and let run through the mounts and have noticed greatly improved growing. Maybe coincidence but i believe it flushes out [mineral] residues and debris.

    If i could add a mild ingredient to wash that has antifungal or bacterial properties perhaps this would work even better. I read some people using chamomille "tea" as a mild organic fungicide. I dont know how orchids will deal with this but i am carefully experimenting.
     
  4. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If you are using distilled water, where is the mineral residue coming from?
     
  5. Jeff9

    Jeff9 Member

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    I add MSU fertilizer, very weak solution. Over time it builds up
     
  6. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Interesting. I use MSU and RO water but never noticed a build up.
     
  7. Jeff9

    Jeff9 Member

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    It's very slight, noticed it on some old used hygrolon sleeves. Regardless, i have noticed only positive effects of flushing and spraying with copious amounts of water. I have a few mistking nozzles in the top of my cabinet, the rest is all done "automatically" by the hygrolon wicking.

    1-2 liters lasts me about a week.

    I want to invest in RO or another method to retrieve water but i'm not sure what yet, since my cabinet and collection is not very big i don't need much water at all.
     
  8. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Jeff, I can only grow the warmer-growing oxyglossums (violaceum and laevifolium) so I don't know if my comments help. I use systemics as well. I use a Bayer product that contains Imidacloprid which is a systemic. I believe it is the active ingredient in Merit. I only use it when I actually see a problem. I don't know what is available in Europe.
    I use Physan on pots, hydroton, tools and greenhouse surfaces but not on the plants.
    Good luck.
     
  9. DPfarr

    DPfarr Well-Known Member

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    Why not use h2o2 as a fungicide if your just dealing with a grow tank?
     
  10. Uluwehi

    Uluwehi angraecoids, dendrobiums and more Supporting Member

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    Be careful with Physan on delicate plants. I prefer H202 0.03% as a disinfectant (I also use it to remove algae from leaves, roots and mounts).

    If you have fungus attacking, one of the best solutions is to increase air movement to your plant; fungus is less able to establish and spread where leaf and root surfaces dry faster after watering and where air is always on the move.

    The trick is to keep humidity high without getting your plants wet. If you can do this, you're bound to have success. However, the higher the humidity, the greater the air movement must be.

    Imidacloprid is a godsend! After using it for more than 10 years on literally over a thousand species of all manner of plants including delicate orchids I have never had a case of phytotoxicity, not even on ferns.
     
  11. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Merit is safe for oxy Den. and many delicate plants, however, some growers including myself have found Merit/Imidacloprid will no longer be very effective if you keep using it alone for a long period of time. Some of the insects, like scales, will build up the immunity. My advice is to rotate the insecticides and use it only if you need it.
     
  12. Jeff9

    Jeff9 Member

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    Thank you all, i will try H202, that seems very useful. I believe i have used something similar to Imidacloprid many many years ago but i only had a few oxyglossums then.

    My cabinet is clean as a whistle. - But new plants from growers always have some pests i've noticed.

    By the way, does anyone know how long MSU fertilizer typically can be used? I've had it for 2 years now but i dont use up much because of my collection size and species - Especially oxyglossums which don't seem to need much of it.

    I think i still have like 95% of the jar left, haha

    Thanks all!
    Jeff
     
  13. MiKa

    MiKa Active Member Supporting Member

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    Hi Jeff.

    I have never head of the Chamomille tea. But I have used a method using cinnamon bark (the same as you use for cooking). I have a couple of whole pieces in the water reservoirs of my cabinets and other setups as a organic fungicide preventive.
    I have used this method for more than 10 years and I have never had any mould problems where I have the cinnamon bark in the water.
    I change the cinnamon bark pieces once each 6 month.
    I also use a decoction from grounded cinnamon to spray if I have a outburst of mould or as a preventive on seedlings etc.
     
  14. Uluwehi

    Uluwehi angraecoids, dendrobiums and more Supporting Member

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    Make sure to rinse your plants after the H202 has had time to work its magic, otherwise some phytotoxicity can occur.

    It's good that your hygiene is at a high level, however you should keep in mind that pathogens can remain dormant and invisible to the human eye; they are always with us, so prevention is key with things like good air movement, sufficient light, keeping the foliage dry, etc.

    Indefinitely, I should think.
     
  15. Uluwehi

    Uluwehi angraecoids, dendrobiums and more Supporting Member

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    I like using cinnamon too; whenever I make a cut I dust the raw tissue with ground cinnamon and it almost always does the trick of preventing infection with fungus or bacteria.
     
  16. Jeff9

    Jeff9 Member

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    Thanks all! I appreciate the information.

    Some years ago i used Pyrethrins for treating some lice, but i didn't have many oxyglossums back then so i don't recall if they are safe to use. It seems to be much more commonly available here. Any idea if this is also safe?