Rain and Humidity Woes

Rain and Humidity have returned in abundance. The past few weeks have happily seen our Winter-Spring drought broken. However, with the return of moisture and humidity, comes the persistent threat of fungi and bacterial infection. I’ve already seen several of my own orchids infected and have taken local action.

However, it is time to restart my normal program of preventative spraying. There are a number of good resources from which to draw, but the information can be overwhelming. The American Orchid Society’s “Orchid Pests and Diseases” (Watson, J.B. ed., 2008) is a good place to start. Closer to home, I always immediately refer to Sue Bottom’s articles on the St. Augustine Orchid Society website (https://staugorchidsociety.org/culturepests-diseases.htm). Sue writes for the American Orchid Society (AOS) and if you’ve ever seen her orchids, you’ll understand she knows her business.

As you plough through Sue’s information, the AOS recommendations, and other sources, you may come away confused. You are not alone. With so much information, how do you determine what to do, much less acquire the specialized agents and equipment needed?

Today I am going to spray with “Bayer Advanced 3-in-1, Insect, Disease, & Mite Control.” I’m not worried about mites per say, and am focusing on the insects and disease in this application as a general prophylaxis.

Before applying this or any other chemicals, be careful. If you have any doubts, and you should, please see my piece on applying insecticides at: http://jaxorchidsociety.org/2016/08/20/a-few-notes-on-insecticide-use/. These chemicals although generally of low toxicity, can be cumulative in their effects. Protect yourself now to prevent problems later.

Let me say that again,if you are applying any insecticide or similar product, wear protective gear!