Virus confirmed. Now just anxious
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:16 PM
rymor rymor is offline
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Join Date: May 2017
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Virus confirmed. Now just anxious
Default Virus confirmed. Now just anxious

Hey all-

I had a nice cattleya that bloomed out for the first time with an obvious color break. Tested and confirmed to have ORSV with an Agdia test strip. Since my test strip order also came with 4 other strips I tested....

- Another plant that I picked up as the same time as plant 1 (both were home depot better-gro bags). - NEG for ORSV and CymMV

- An ugly leaf grower (though avid root producer) that I purchased at a local (and well known?) grower. This test POS for both ORSV and CymMV

- Tested another plant from the same nursery that I bought the ugly leaf grower from also tested POS for ORSV.

- A random plant from collection. Negative for all.

This experience has me feeling down. These testings wouldn't of been done if that flower had not bloomed out with the color breaks. The plants that have tested positive were vigorous growers for the most part and just the one had obvious ugly markings on new growth. I recall seeing tags at that nursery on a few plants that had tested positive for a virus. I've let them know about my tests for their information.

How paranoid should I be about the other plants in my collection? I try to stay clean with my cuts and avoid obvious sharing of water but everything is outside and that can be hard.

I cannot afford a widespread Agdia testing spree but am considering sending a batch to Critter Creek for tests.
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:32 PM
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Ray Ray is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Oak Island NC
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Virus confirmed. Now just anxious

Heartbreaking, but maybe not devastating.

I am convinced that orchids - just like people - carry every pathogen to which they've been exposed, but that does not mean they will succumb to it.

Given proper culture and no stress, even a virused plant can live on just fine.
Ray Barkalow, Orchid Iconoclast
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:45 AM
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dounoharm dounoharm is offline
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it really only matters if you are in a breeding/seed pod environment.....hobby home orchid growing poses no threat to the orchid community....but, since you know certain plants have it, separate pos plants, or give them to your great aunt lucy…..

but if the plant blooms ugly, place it in a bag and toss it....lots of folks get squash borers, and they stop growing squash....but, if you bag the affected plants, they don't spread to your can grow squash, and have pleanty to give away.....

with horses (and I daresay other plant/animal industry) you are required to carry a neg 'coggins test' which is a test for equine encephalomyelitis virus, a horse that turns up pos may be a carrier without symptons, you MUST euthanize or KEEP separated from any other animals by a distance stated by law....

so, if your hobby greenhouse is very close to a breeder that has pos plants, you might be more concerned.....

Last edited by dounoharm; 07-13-2018 at 08:53 AM..
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Old 07-13-2018, 12:30 PM
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Leafmite Leafmite is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2010
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Virus confirmed. Now just anxious

I went through this stage, too. The virus issue is certainly able to kill any joy at all in the orchid hobby. I almost gave up growing orchids over the entire mess. Then I began to talk to people who were experts with plants and I did quite a bit of reading. I learned that many types of plants are almost expected to be infected with virus (i.e. figs, passiflora) and no one really cares overly much about it. They are mostly resistant to the symptoms and produce good fruit and the varieties are impossible to find virus-free, even when advertised as such. Certain plants are also purposely being bred to be resistant to virus symptoms. Some of these were once used as 'indicator' plants in virus testing but now the virus no longer causes symptoms.

I do not collect expensive or rare orchids so I decided to do whatever is reasonable to avoid spreading virus throughout my plant collection but not worry overly much. I will try to buy orchids from responsible growers, I will quarantine new orchids, I will take precautions when working with my orchids, and I will immediately toss any suspicious orchids but I will not allow the virus issue to spoil what is meant to be a fun hobby.

I do wish that it was illegal to sell plants that are infected with diseases. It doesn't really make sense to risk spreading diseases into agricultural areas where it might affect our country's food supply.
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