Mini Phalaenopsis rescued from Cochineal/Mealy bug
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Mini Phalaenopsis rescued from Cochineal/Mealy bug
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Old 11-28-2021, 05:47 PM
Fuerte Rav Fuerte Rav is offline
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Mini Phalaenopsis rescued from Cochineal/Mealy bug Female
Default Mini Phalaenopsis rescued from Cochineal/Mealy bug

I caught sight of this plant in our 'supermarket style' garden centre on 22nd September. 4 bloom spikes and 3 basal growths caught my attention. However, when I picked it up I saw there was a lot of leaf damage, and looking underneath I could see it was badly infested with cochineal or mealy bug. The roots didn't look too great either. I was not paying the 10€ on the label. Took it to the till and asked for discount, pointing out the problems. The lady said 'Nada'(Nothing). I said I wouldn't buy it then and she said , 'No, nada pagar' (nothing to pay!).
Getting it home I immediately unpotted it, yuck, put it to soak bare-rooted in Kelpak while I mixed some Neem oil and Hort soap. Gave it a good spray from all angles with the Neem mix, left it to dry bare-rooted overnight. Back in Kelpak in the morning and worked on it with a child's paintbrush to get all the yucky stuff out of the crevices. Another spray with the Neem mix and left bare-rooted overnight again. Trimmed back the bad looking bits of leaf, applied cinnamon to the cut edges. Potted up in S/H leca that was pre-soaked in Kelpak. Roots weren't in ideal condition for this but I wanted to start how I wanted to go on. Waited 24 hours after potting and then stood the whole pot in Kelpak for 20 minutes. Then off to ICU. I use a plastic storage box for this - keeps the plant safe from accidental knocks, lets in diffuse light, easy to keep the lid slightly ajar. I lift the lid off for 30 mins a day and then mist the inside of the box before I replace the lid to keep humidity high.
I left the flower spikes on the plant even though all flowers dropped in the first few days.
2 months later and I'm pleased to report fresh healthy new leaves on all growths and some nice looking roots developing. It's still in ICU so it's easy to keep an eye on in case any cochineal raise their ugly heads!
I wasn't sure when I bought it whether it was 3 growths on 1 plant or 3 seedlings, but it's definitely 3 growths on 1 root system, all the same size!

Why have I posted about this?

To say thankyou to OB members!

2 years ago I probably wouldn't have even noticed the problems before I bought the plant, let alone had any idea or confidence to do something about it. So thanks to all who share their knowledge and experiences, good and bad.

How it looked when I first saw it:

Closer inspection:

After trimming up:



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Old 11-28-2021, 08:49 PM
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Shadeflower Shadeflower is offline
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Mini Phalaenopsis rescued from Cochineal/Mealy bug

does make you wonder what the grower did who grew this. First for it to create 3 growths and then for it to produce 6 flower spikes in total.
Even though it looks stressed clearly it was made to flower. You can see the new growth before you even bought it had been growing small.
Good thing you got it for free even if it is very interesting.
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Old 11-28-2021, 11:56 PM
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Roberta Roberta is offline
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Mini Phalaenopsis rescued from Cochineal/Mealy bug Female

Great save! What is done to young mass-produced Phals often IS abusive... This one has received an excellent second chance! Lucky plant!
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" Carl Sagan

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bare-rooted, growths, kelpak, left, plant

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