Orchid Health Problems
If you have been following my guidelines so far, hopefully you have not encountered any orchid health problems. Learning about pests and diseases can be another complicated issue, but as always I recommend keeping things as simple as possible. You do not need to become an expert in plant health to grow orchids successfully. Do not worry about what your plant may or may not suffer from. If your orchids health is in question – research it then. See my latest post on orchid books for good reference manuals if you need to do some more research.
Orchids are not particularly prone to major problems with pests and diseases. As with any plants you can get attacks from the usual suspects such as aphids, mites and mealy bugs. Common pests like slugs and snails will also eat your orchids if left to roam free. So it pays to keep a look out for the usual common pests. The most likely diseases to cause problems with your orchids will be fungal or viral.
Orchids do suffer from viruses and these are incurable, however it is a more serious problem among professional growers than the average enthusiast. Many amateur growers will not even recognize the virus, so don’t loose sleep, you are very unlikely to get a virus. The one time you need to take precautions is when you are repotting orchids. Here you just need to be careful and keep things clean.
Fungal infections can attack your orchids, most commonly at the base of the plant and the roots. You should cut away any infected leaves and roots and adjust your watering schedule. If the problem persists, consider spraying with a fungicide.
In general you should not encounter many orchid problems, at least nothing your average plant wouldn’t suffer from. Good strong plants with the correct cultural conditions should remain healthy. Orchid health problems are usually to do with poor growing conditions. If you concentrate your efforts on providing a good orchid care program your plants should thrive and be happy!