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  #1  
Old 01-21-2021, 11:07 AM
Rhonda Svoboda Rhonda Svoboda is offline
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Default Stickyness on Cattleya leaves

I have a catt that's not doing well. The leaves look dried up and really yellow. I thought it may have been getting too much light so I moved it.
when I looked closely I noticed that the undersides of the leaves had sticky substance's on them. I don't see any bugs but I am concerned that there's a pest. What could it be? And can it spread to the rest of my plant's?
I've attached a picture but I am not sure that it reflects how damaged it looks.
Can I use rubbing alcohol or murphey's oil soap? I don't see any bugs.
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Last edited by Rhonda Svoboda; 01-21-2021 at 12:05 PM..
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Old 01-21-2021, 12:46 PM
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Stickiness under the leaves can be caused by spider mites, aphids, white fly larvae and mealybugs. Can you look with a magnifying glass? Because spider mites like warm, dry conditions, they can be a bad problem in homes in winter. Take a piece of tissue paper and press it under the leaf near the stem. Press up against the leaf underside as you draw it toward the tip. If you have spider mites you should see reddish or brownish streaks. Treat for all the above pests by spraying with soap solution or rubbing alcohol. Spray all surfaces of the whole plant. It may not kill eggs, so repeat every 4-5 days for 3-4 treatments. They are probably on all your plants.
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Old 01-21-2021, 03:49 PM
Rhonda Svoboda Rhonda Svoboda is offline
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For the soap solution is that dishsoap or murphy oil soap?
Can they kill my plants?
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Old 01-21-2021, 03:56 PM
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Insecticidal soap is good. I know some people use certain brands of dish-washing soap, too. It is usually necessary to spray all of the plants and repeat after a few days or week, and then a third and fourth time, to get any that were missed.
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Old 01-21-2021, 08:09 PM
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An issue with insecticidal soap (like Safer's) if you have the concentrate... if tap water is high in calcium, you'll get a sticky white precipitate... dilute it with RO or distilled water. If it is in ready-to-use form, no problem. Plain old dish soap works fine. The principle with either (or oils like Neem or horticultural oil for that mtter) is to suffocate the pests, since insects and arachnids breathe through pores in their bodies that get plugged by soap sollution or oil. As ES noted, one is NOT done... you have to repeat multiple times since the treatment will only get the adults, and only those that it hits. Actually same concept with pesticides as well... multiple applications, 5 days to a week apart, are necessary to knock down the succeeding generations.
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Old 01-21-2021, 11:38 PM
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Check the roots too - just in case. If the leaves appear to be drying up or curling up and yellowing etc ....... check to see if the roots are ok.

True ------ the soap sprays for plants can definitely handle various insect and/or mite attacks. I agree ----- have to spray everywhere - under the leaf too.

Or if the orchid doesn't get direct light on it ------ white oil can actually work nicely too. But one catch is ----- if sunlight shines on the leaf when the oil is still on the leaf surface ------- scorching can occur.
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Old 01-22-2021, 10:52 AM
Rhonda Svoboda Rhonda Svoboda is offline
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Thank you to everyone who contributed. I've had infestations before on other plants- just not orchids. Now that I know the can infect orchids I'll pay closer attention.

---------- Post added at 09:52 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:11 AM ----------

Final question- will a dishsoap solution hurt the roots of my plants or should I just go buy something?
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:14 PM
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The dish soap solution that drips into the pot won't hurt roots.... you're not drenching the roots with it - you're spraying leaves (both sides). If you need to deal with what might be in the pot, you will need to look at actual pesticides.
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Old 01-23-2021, 05:25 AM
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Has that catt been growing in that particular spot or region for a really long time already?

In any case, after checking for mites/insects etc ----- also check roots (already mentioned), and check humidity and temperature levels.
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Old 01-23-2021, 07:22 AM
Orchidtinkerer Orchidtinkerer is offline
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Is that snow behind it?

Snow = cold, Cattleya's like it hot. Coldstress weakens a plant and makes it more attractive for pests to attack it, they have a 6th sense for weak plants and swarm towards them.

Last edited by Orchidtinkerer; 01-23-2021 at 07:25 AM..
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