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Orchids are relatively pest free, easy-to-grow plants, but like all living things they can be plagued by insects and diseases. Most of these problems can be avoided by purchasing healthy plants and by doing your best to provide the plants with the right cultural conditions. When using pesticides always read the label before applying any chemicals to your plants.
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Mealy bugs can be a problem. They show up on the undersides of leaves or occasionally on the roots.
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Aphids of various colors can show up on new, young growth. They can be washed off with warm water. Check with a professional before using any insecticide for insect control.
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The most common diseases are fungal and bacterial leaf spots. To prevent this problem make sure your orchids have sufficient air circulation around them.
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The spots on this flower are the result of a bacterial disease aggravated by poor air circulation.
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Some orchids are susceptible to crown rot. Crown rot happens when the crown of an orchid is kept moist for extended periods of time. Watering your plants early in the day so they have a chance to dry off before evening is a good way to avoid this problem. Once this crown rot gets started, it can prove lethal unless the plant is sprayed with a recommended fungicide. Consult a professional.
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Sooty mold is caused by a fungus that feeds on "honeydew" which is a sugary excrement found on plants infested with aphids and scales.