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  #1  
Old 12-06-2019, 02:10 PM
kvet kvet is offline
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multiple orchids in one pot, one has mealy bugs
Unhappy multiple orchids in one pot, one has mealy bugs

Hi:

I have read the current thread on mealy bugs, and plan to get the appropriate insecticide.

My situation is a little different, and I'm not sure what to do with next steps. Short version: I found six mealy bugs this morning on the dendrobium, that's in the same pot as a phal and zygo. Neither the phal nor zygo have any bugs that I can see after a thorough investigation. The link here takes you to my ID post, and shows you the three orchids I have.

What should I do? Take apart the pot, clean everything up with insecticide? Can I just do this with plants in the pot without disturbing them?

Before you chastise me for putting three orchids in the same pot, just understand, I did not know any better three years ago; they were gifted to me by mom and she did it. Her fault!

The pot is a taller pot, about 2ft high, and filled with large orchid bark. Each orchid was left in the original plastic pot, with the bottom cut off and gently placed into the medium. This was 2.5 years ago. All three are thriving - have bloomed consistently, pushed out plenty of new roots and growth. I did nothing but water occasionally and randomly open/close the curtain for daily light at the east-facing window. Ignorance can sometimes be bliss

The phal has super long roots, two are circling the inside rim of the pot..woah!

I am 99% certain the mealy bugs came from two phals I purchased at the farmer's market earlier this year. Ugh.

Thank you for your time!
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  #2  
Old 12-06-2019, 02:17 PM
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Subrosa Subrosa is offline
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multiple orchids in one pot, one has mealy bugs Male
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You can treat the pot as a whole, and should assume all the plants are affected.
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  #3  
Old 12-06-2019, 02:21 PM
rbarata rbarata is offline
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If one has the pest, almost sure all of them have it too.
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  #4  
Old 12-06-2019, 02:55 PM
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The larvae will be in the medium, too, so this might be a good time to consider separating the plants. At the very least, I would drench the pot and all the medium thoroughly with your insecticide of choice. Maybe mix up a batch and let the pot soak in it for a bit.
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  #5  
Old 12-07-2019, 12:34 PM
kvet kvet is offline
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multiple orchids in one pot, one has mealy bugs
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Good morning! I did not find any this morning on the plants themselves, but did find a couple in the media. Drat. Good news is that the dendrobium and the zygo are "loose" in the medium, so I think they will be easy to remove, however, the phal is a problem. Its roots have grown very long, with multiple ones circling the perimeter of the pot. They are stuck to the pot, as well, I try to slightly pry one off but was afraid to use any more force.

How would I "soak" the pot? Here are some pictures. The red lines indicate the phal's roots. There are more than two, I think about 5 or 6, two are very long.

Two things going through my head now.. First, I am very afraid to do this, and almost want someone more experienced to help me, given the sentimental value of these orchids. Should I find a local orchid society or something? I'm in so cal, south OC.

And second, what is the "distance" these bugs go in the house? I'm now paranoid, looking at my pineapples I see some sort of wispy dust on their fronds but no bugs anywhere or in the media, it could just be part of the plants. They are about a foot away from the orchid triumverate (moved for the picture). They are in the same bark material, I plan to relocate them outdoors this spring in larger pots, but I could do that now, much easier. Fortunately, I don't see anything on the cherimoyas, avocados, or dichenbachia yet, which are 3-10ft away along the window. Hmmmm.

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multiple orchids in one pot, one has mealy bugs-picture-pot-jpg   multiple orchids in one pot, one has mealy bugs-top-view-jpg   multiple orchids in one pot, one has mealy bugs-closeup-phal-roots-jpg  
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  #6  
Old 12-07-2019, 01:06 PM
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WaterWitchin WaterWitchin is offline
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Can't help ya do it... Kansas is a bit far from you. Fill the pot with water and let it sit about an hour. Turn pot over and shake shake shake as much media out as you can, orchids included that will actually come out.

I use an exacto knive and slide it behind the root where it's attached, slowly and carefully. Will the roots get damaged? Some, but not too much.

I would tell you to put a towel over it and start lightly smacking the pot with a hammer, which would make it a lot easier, but figure if the orchids are sentimental to you, the pot likely is the same.

Next time, use a plastic pot inside your valued pot. It'll make the next repotting time less stressful.

You can do this! Orchids can handle some repotting abuse.

---------- Post added at 11:06 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:03 AM ----------

You're going to have to repot sooner or later regardless, as the media breaks down. The longer you wait, the harder it will be. And as Subrosa says... "assume all the plants have mealy bugs" and give them all a good soak.
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  #7  
Old 12-07-2019, 03:51 PM
kvet kvet is offline
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multiple orchids in one pot, one has mealy bugs
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The orchids are in their original plastic pots, which had the bottoms cut out and were placed into the orchid bark. The zygo and dendrobium will likely come out easily, I gave them a gentle shake/tug and there was give. I have plastic razor blades, I'll give those a go if necessary, may be more "gentle" than metal blades.

In an effort to postpone the repotting, I'd like to try the soak method first, and spray the leaves down as well.

The garden stores didn't have imidacloprid in liquid/spray form, only granules, which I realized I had at home (this is year of the bugs for me, some of my aloe ended up with fungus gnats and this is what the garden store recommended; not to mention the pantry moths from the rye berries I purchased locally uggghh).

The imidacloprid directions and label don't say anything about dissolving in water. Should I mix up some in water soak the pot, or at this point just spread on the surface and water per the instructions?

Thanks for the help I have a little hope now.
I will have to find something else for the pineapples and avocados, since I'm trying to grow those organically (even if intention is a houseplant without fruit, at some point, I might take them out).
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  #8  
Old 12-07-2019, 11:58 PM
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Roberta Roberta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kvet View Post
.

Two things going through my head now.. First, I am very afraid to do this, and almost want someone more experienced to help me, given the sentimental value of these orchids. Should I find a local orchid society or something? I'm in so cal, south OC.
Orchid societies are a great way to meet people and to get help. This is a bad month to actually get help because most of the clubs are having holiday parties. I live pretty close to you, I think, and would be quite happy to help. Send me a PM ...
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