Holes in Dendrobium Cuthbertsonii
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Old 05-22-2020, 07:55 AM
turquoiseApples turquoiseApples is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 9
Holes in Dendrobium Cuthbertsonii
Default Holes in Dendrobium Cuthbertsonii (Update: Snails)

Hello Everyone,

I have a Dendrobium (Cuthertsonii x sulawesiense) x Cuthbertsonii which I have had for almost a year.

I have always been a little unsure if I was getting the care right since I noticed that it was losing leaves quite often.

But, it recently produced several buds (YAY!!).

As I was inspecting the little guy today, I saw that one of the buds had a hole (see image). So I inspected the plant further and found a hole on a new stem as well. Upon further inspection I saw a dried pseudobulb (I assumed it was an old one when I noticed it the first time, but I am not so sure at the moment) which seems to be having segments that have been eaten.

I would like to mention that I always quarantine and then repot new orchids after applying hydrogen peroxide 3% on the roots (for snails) and also perform a regular insecticide treatment after the repot (and every 6 months ) as a precautionary measure. I never reuse media. I potted it in a fresh sphagnum moss mixture with a top layer of bark to prevent algae formation.

None of my other plants appear to be affected which makes me wonder if it is a tiny pest living in the media.

I assume there is something in the media that turning my dendrobium into its meal but I don't know what it is. I was wondering if anyone has seen something similar and what you did to get rid of it. I don't think I have thrips since I see nothing jumping around or moving (I could be wrong). I have fruit flies occasionally during the warmer months but I have pinguiculas that keep them in check. I did see a tiny white thing (not mealy bug) inside the media but it ran away before I could get a good look or a picture.

I have separated the dendrobium from the rest of my collection and unpotted it. There are no new root tips and some of the root tips seem hollow. I examined the media and did not see any obvious pest (could not find the white one that scuttled away earlier either).

Thank you all so much in advance.

UPDATE: After unpotting, I examined the plant thoroughly. I found a snail. I think I missed the snails because I read that cuthbertsoniis tend to be delicate and I tried to be gentle while repotting. These guys hid in between the base of a very dense cluster of pseudobubs which is where I found them after some very aggressive examination of the plant. But I think I will be more aggressive with hydrogen peroxide treatments in the future when repotting. I dunked the whole plant in hydrogen peroxide 3% for 30 mins or so and found another snail when I removed it. The poor plant lost almost 90% of its root system. I assume my initial treatment was quite helpful since I found only two snails.

I have two followup questions:

- I acquired this guy in August 2019 and it has been the orchid that has always struggled the most in my collection (I am so shocked that I did not notice the snail damage before) and now I know why. I never share water between my plants. Could they have spread to the rest of my collection? I am hoping I found/ treated all the snails.

- Should I repot the rest of my collection/ the neighbouring plants? I guess this is somewhat similar to my previous question. I have examined any exposed surfaces of all neighboring orchids and don't see similar damage.
Attached Thumbnails
Holes in Dendrobium Cuthbertsonii-stem_hole_old-jpg   Holes in Dendrobium Cuthbertsonii-hole_bud-jpg   Holes in Dendrobium Cuthbertsonii-stem_hole1-jpg  

Last edited by turquoiseApples; 05-22-2020 at 01:37 PM.. Reason: update
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buds, dendrobium, hole, media, repot

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