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Problems with Orchids with their Remedies


Bud Drop
There are many reasons why buds fall off before flowering:
• Under or over watering.
• Temperature extremes and rapid temperature changes (heating vents, air conditioning blowing directly on the plant).
• Fumes from natural gas leaks, paint, other chemicals.
• Ethylene – high producers are apple, avocado, peach, pear, plum, melons, figs, and tomatoes.
• Low humidity.
• Genetics.
• Aphids, thrips and some mites.
• Changing growing location. If you want to change a plant’s location so that it will be enjoyed, wait until the flower opens first.

ants new pix



Ants can be responsible for infestations of more serious pests. Ants seldom cause any direct damage to orchids, rather they indicate the possibility of infestation by scale, mealybugs or aphids. To control ants it is usually adequate to remove the source of food that is attracting them so you must examine your plants and control the pests that attract ants. Some orchids, especially cymbidiums, produce sugary secretions on the flower spikes. In this case, the ants can be prevented from reaching the plants by setting the legs of the bench into tins partly filled with oil or soapy water, to make an ant-proof moat.

aphids 2

If you find evidence of aphids, scale, or mealybugs, you may try either straight 70% or 90% isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol – touch the area with a soaked cotton swab, repeat every 3 days for about 2 weeks. If you want to use an insecticide while you have your plants outside you could use Baygon, Dursban, or Diazinon which have been used very effectively against ants. Spray the benches, bench legs, the floors, and walls where the ants can climb up to the plants. Avoid spraying on the flowers. Another tip is to use bay leaves around the point of entry and in the pots. Ants are repelled by bay leaves.


Aphids, Mealybugs and Scale Insects

Although mealy bugs can multiply rapidly, they are not difficult to control. The following advice has been provided by Paul J. Johnson of the Insect Research Collection of South Dakota State University :

Probably the most popular home remedy against this group of pests is to swab and daub plants with a cotton swab or ball of cotton dipped in isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. Do not use other alcohols, such as ethanol or methanol, that will penetrate the plant tissues and cause considerable damage! The common 70% isopropyl alcohol available in sotres is satisfactory. On hard-leaved plants, gentle rubbing with the fingers, a cotton ball, or a soft infant’s toothbrush is effective.

First remove all the visible insects, large and small. Then treat the affected area with alcohol. With Scale insects and mealybugs you will still need to repeat the alcohol treatment to remove the tiny yellowish spots which are the recently hatched crawlers.

Spraying of alcohol solutions is not always effective against eggs which are often well-hidden, hence the need for thoroughness and repetition. Pay particular attention to the folds, crotches, branch bases, midrib areas, and roots. Spraying the alcohol with a misting bottle or small pump sprayer is effective, but dribbling alcohol into tight areas is necessary. Once hard scale is established, it can take several treatments to eradicate it.

A potential rare problem with alcohol treatment is chilling of the plant. The rapid evaporation of alcohol cools the plant tissues, especially with air movement that increases evaporative cooling. This chilling is suspected of over-cooling tissues and creating zones of dead cells that may become necrotic from bacteria or gungi. On warm or breezy days consider wiping any residual alcohol with a tissue instead of permitting it to evaporate off the plant. Such problems and tissue drying are found particularly on soft or thin-leafed orchids such as the Oncidium Alliance.

Isopropyl alcohol is readily available as rubbing alcohol in cosmetic and health areas at markets and pharmacies. It is normally sold as a 70% solution (90% is also available) and this may be diluted considerably for use against insects. One recipe for a 1.5 liter spray bottle is to mix a 50:50 solution of isopropyl alcohol and water, with a few drops to about a teaspoon of liquid soap to act as a spreader. Many home growers also mix in a small amount of mineral oil, neem oil, or one of the horticultural oils (a teaspoon of oil to a 1.5 liter sprayer). The actual proportions aren’t critical, it seems that every grower has their own proportions none of which seem to work significantly better than another. Caution is urged, however, as excessive amounts or too strong a detergent, or use of an ammonia-based chemical cleaner may damage your plants, particularly buds and flowers. This is particularly true of dishsoaps and household detergents that could remove natural protective waxes from plant tissues.

Ed Wright, a long-time orchid grower from San Antonio, Texas offers another useful home remedy that is very effective against most orchid pests. The recipe is 1 pint of 409 cleaner to 1 pint of rubbing alcohol (preferably 90%)and sufficient water to make 1 gallon of solution. This mixture is safe, stable and quite effective. It is used in the same manner as an alcohol/water mixture, either sprayed or swabbed.


new mites pix


Spider mite presence can also be recognized by the silvery, pitted areas on the undersides of leaves.

Two-spotted spider mites and flat mites are small and relatively delicate creatures. The easiest method for keeping mites under control is to regularly spray, or syringe, the plants with water. In the home placing your plants in a shower or using a sink sprayer is very effective. Mites are readily washed form the plants or are damaged by a heavy spray. In a greenhouse regular spraying and misting is often effective.

The 409/rubbing alcohol mixture suggested by Ed Wright can also be used to control mites. In this case, the solution can be used periodically to clean the foliage with a soft cloth. This should be followed by spraying the foliage with plain water to rinse away the cleaner residue.

Rots & Spots
Wet foliage and high humidity encourages the spread of fungal and bacterial diseases. Bacterial diseases do not respond to fungicides and vice versa so it’s very important to know which disease you are dealing with. Perhaps the easiest way to distinguish between the two is by smell. The most common bacterial disease in orchids produces a foul smell often likened to dead fish. If you’ve ever had cut flowers stand too long in water you know the sort of smell we’re talking about.

cold damage

Diseases can spread quickly! Bacterial diseases kill plants especially rapidly and time is of the essence. Both bacterial and fungal diseases are spread by splashing water and this includes rainfall. Use a clean cutting tool like a single-edge razor blade, cut off the infected tissue as well as at least an inch of clean, green area and then treat the cut surface with a fungicide. Even if the problem is bacterial, you don’t want a fungal infection to start in the wound. Cinnamon, yes the common spice, is effective against fungal diseases and this can be used to coat the cut surface as well. It’s perhaps not as effective as a chemical fungicide but it’s readily available and does work.
The most common fungal and bacterial rots encountered in orchids include:
Black Rot, a fungal disease characterized by soft, rotted areas that begin on leaves or new growth, then spread to rhizomes and roots. Infected areas are at first a purplish brown, then turn black. The outer margins of the infection site are yellowish.

black rot
Black rot can spread quickly through an orchid collection.
Root Rot, a fungal disease that usually enters the plant through the roots. Infected plants are stunted and wilted. Brown to black areas may extend from the roots into the rhizomes. As the disease advances, leaves will become twisted, wrinkled and yellowish.
Bacterial Brown Spot, a bacterial disease that begins as a sunken, water-soaked lesion on the leaf. Lesions will eventually turn brown or black and exude a dark liquid.

Bacterial rot is typified by a watery lesion on a leaf and is spread by splashing water

bacterial rot
Erwinia, a bacterial disease that begins as a water-soaked, chestnut to chartreuse legion on leaves or pseudobulbs. These legions exude a yellowish liquid with a characteristic foul smell. The disease is most prevalent on plants that are seriously stressed and is a very common problem in Phalaenopsis during hot, prolonged summers.

leaf spot

Leaf Spot, typically fungal diseases that start out as yellow areas on the undersides of leaves. As these spots develop they become visible on both sides of the leaf and turn brown or black.

Cercospora leaf spot on an Oncidium leaf.

Petal Blight, a common fungal disease favored by high humidity and cool conditions. The disease appears as small circular pink, gray or tan spots that appear on the open flowers. While this disease is not life-threatening to the plant, flowers infected are ruined and unsightly. The disease spreads by arial spores and good housekeeping is essential to control.

Sun Burn

Sunburn is usually caused by plants suddenly being exposed to much brighter light, such as the change of seasons can bring.

The sudden appearance of white or brown areas on leaves that dry and subsequently turn black may be sunburn. Sunburn, while not in itself a serious problem is irreversible and will make your plants look ugly. In serious cases the plant can be killed outright and any leaf damage is an invitation to a secondary infection in the damaged area.

Orchid foliage should be a light yellow-green. The first sign of too much light is often yellow foliage. If left alone, this yellow foliage will eventually turn white and then dark brown and dry as the sunburned area dries out. If the problem is caught before the chlorophyll has been completely destroyed it is often possible to reverse the damage. Once white spots or sunken areas have appeared, the damage is irreversible and the best thing one can do is stop further progression with more shade.


Although insect vectors can spread virus among orchids, the main cause is using contaminated tools to cut plants with.

Orchids, like people, are susceptible to viruses and today there is no cure. Just like with people, you may not necessarily be able to tell that a plant is infected with a virus. So whenever cutting on orchid plant always use a sterile tool to prevent the spread of virus. A disposable, straight-edged razor blade is a good tool to use for cutting leaves, flowers and old flower spikes (even dead leaves and old inflorescences can harbor virus). Use a new blade for each new plant. Pick up around your plant, pick up old leaves and dropped flowers.




How To Grow Spinach In The Home Garden


When it comes to vegetable gardening, spinach planting is a great addition. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is a wonderful source of Vitamin A and one of the healthiest sources of so many minerals and nutrients that we can grow. When you think about how to grow spinach, think about which kind you’d like to grow. There is crinkled leaf spinach, plain leaf spinach and savoy spinach. All are wonderful in their own way.

How to Plant Spinach
One of the best tips for growing spinach I’ve received is to make sure to plant it early in the spring. How to plant spinach is to put it in the soil as soon as your garden space is ready. Spinach planting is done by planting the seeds directly outdoors, ½ inch deep. Another of the great tips for growing spinach is to plant about 12 to 15 seeds per foot of row to ensure plenty of spinach growth. Once your plants are at least 1 inch tall, start thinning your spinach plants to about 2-4 inches apart. Finally, one of the best tips for growing spinach is to make sure your rows are only 12 inches apart, which keeps weeds down to a minimum.


The best way I know for growing spinach is to do a planting every couple to every few weeks. This will yield fresh spinach all summer long. Because spinach is a leafy vegetable, you should always rinse the leaves before using. However, one thing about spinach planting you will love is that you don’t have to fertilize the ground before planting or during the growth phase. Spinach just doesn’t require it.


Harvesting or Picking Spinach
It really doesn’t take long for your spinach to fill out the rows; much like lettuce. Once you see five or six good leaves on a plant, go ahead and pick them. Fresh spinach is great mixed with lettuce in a salad or by itself in a spinach salad. You can wait until you have enough and cook them down as well. If you planted your spinach as suggested, you’ll be picking spinach all summer long and you shouldn’t run out of fresh spinach until the end of the growing season in late summer to early fall.

Fast Growing Vegetables – Learn About Vegetable Plants With Quick Growth



Here are some of the best vegetable plants with quick growth times:


Leaf lettuce – Ready in about 30 days. Not to be confused with head lettuce, leaf lettuce puts out individual leaves that can be harvested one at a time. After very little time, the leaves are big and plentiful enough to begin picking. The plant will continue to put out new leaves, too, which means this fast growing plant keeps on giving.

Radish – Ready in 20 to 30 days. Radishes are the king of fast growing vegetables. Their seeds sprout after just a few days, and the plants grow very quickly.



Spinach – Ready in about 30 days. Very similar to leaf lettuce, spinach plants continue to put out new leaves, and the first ones can be harvested just a month after planting the seeds. (These very early leaves are called baby spinach).


Bush beans – Ready in 50 days. Unlike the leafy plants in this list, bush beans have to grow an entire plant and then put out pods. That doesn’t slow them down very much, though. Bush beans are small, self-supporting plants, not to be confused with their slower growing pole bean cousins.


Arugula – Ready in 20 days. The little leaves of arugula have a sharp, bitter taste that goes great in salads.


Giving Potted Plants As Gifts


Giving potted plants as gifts is growing in popularity, and with good reason. Potted plants are rarely more expensive than cut flowers, but they last much longer. With the right kind of care, they can even last for years. That said, not all potted plants are good gift ideas and, unfortunately, not all potted plant gifts can be persuaded to bloom again.

Ideas for Potted Plant Gifts
When you’re looking to give flowering plants as gifts, you want to choose something that’s easy to care for. Unless you know your recipient to be an avid gardener who likes a challenge, you should opt for something that’s very low maintenance.

Remember, you want to give a decoration, not a responsibility. There are a few especially popular potted plant gifts that are known for their ease of care.


African violets are an excellent choice for low light, and they’ll keep flowering almost year round.

Clivia is a very hardy houseplant that blooms red and orange around Christmas and can last for years and years with little care.

Small herbs, like lavender and rosemary, are the whole package: easy to care for, fragrant, and useful.


Potted Plants vs. Cut Flowers
If you’ve been given flowering plants as gifts, you may be at a loss as to what to do with them. Cut flowers, of course, will only last so long and then must be tossed. Most potted plants, however, can be replanted in the garden or left to grow in their pots.


Unfortunately, some potted plants, like mums, are likely to last only one season.
Flowering bulb plants, like tulips and hyacinths, can be saved for years. After they’re done blooming, place the pots outdoors or in a sunny window and keep watering them. They won’t bloom again this season, but the foliage will continue to grow. Later, when the foliage withers and yellows naturally, cut it off and dig up the bulbs.

Dry them in a cool dark place and store them until the fall, when you can plant them in another pot or directly in your garden. They should come up naturally in the spring.

Azaleas and African violets can be kept in their pots to bloom for years. Hydrangeas, lily of the valley, and begonias can be transplanted out into the garden.


Waling-waling orchid (Vanda Sanderiana) – New Philippines’ National Flower


Why should Waling-waling orchid be declared as a national flower in the Philippines?
Waling-waling is not only indigenous but also endemic to the Philippines compared to the Sampaguita, a native plant from India and Arabia.

Over thousand of orchids species thrive in the Philippines. They’re known for their exotic beauty.
Waling-waling is known as the best orchid variety in the Philippines. It usually lives in the tropical forest of Mount Apo in Davao and Zamboanga del Sur.

Waling-waling is described as the “Queen of Philippine Orchids”. It’s the most beautiful and the rarest orchid. It becomes the most wanted flower in Mindanao for its colorful and large variety. Waling-waling usually grows in tree trunks in the rainforests of Davao, Sultan Kudarat and other parts of Mindanao.


It blooms once a year, between the month of July and October. Due to its high demand and value, it has brought into near-extinction.

Waling-waling is also very popular in Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Hawaii which makes it one of the world’s famous orchids.

Some important facts about Waling-waling:

• The native Bagobo people worshipped the Waling-waling as a diwata.
• It has two forms: pink and white.
• It’s usually used in hybridization.
• Waling-waling orchid bears flowers early when raised at high altitude, according to studies.



Care For Caladiums


Caladium is a popular ornamental plant famous for its large leaves of interesting, striking colors. Also known as elephant ear, caladium is native to South America. Because of this, it is used to hot temperatures and needs special treatment during winter in cooler climates. Keep reading to learn more about storing caladium bulbs and how to care for caladium bulbs over winter.

Winter Care of Caladium Bulbs
Caladiums are winter hardy to USDA zone 9, meaning that they should be able to survive the winter outdoors. Even in these areas, though, a heavy mulching of 3 inches is the recommended winter care for caladiums to keep them from dying in the colder temperatures. In USDA zones 8 and lower, winter care for caladium bulbs involves digging them up and bringing them inside to go dormant.


Storing Caladium Bulbs
Once temperatures begin to fall and stay below 60 F. (15 C.), dig up your caladium bulb with the foliage still attached. Don’t try to remove any of the dirt from the roots yet. Place your plants in a cool, dark area for 2 to 3 weeks. This process will cure the bulbs and cause them to go dormant. After a few weeks, cut the tops off level with the soil line. Brush away any loose soil, cut out any rotted areas, and apply a fungicide.

Storing caladium bulbs is easy. Store them at 50 F. (10 C.) in a dry place. It helps to keep them in sand or sawdust to prevent them from drying out too much. Keep them here until the spring. You should plant caladium bulbs outdoors after the last chance of frost, but you can start them indoors earlier in areas with short growing seasons. Caladiums can also be grown and stored in containers over winter. Limit watering to once monthly (to prevent it from drying out completely in soil) and keep in a somewhat dark location. Once warm temps and longer days return in spring, the plant should begin regrowing, at which time you can give it additional light and resume normal care.


Rose Traditions & Meanings: Long Stemmed Roses

Long stemmed roses carry a deep meaning and are often the most desired and appreciated type of rose. A bouquet of long stemmed roses signifies, “I will remember you always.” A single long stemmed rose imparts a message of simplicity, such as “I love you” or “Thank you.”

The elegant appearance of the long stemmed rose has made it one of the most popular flowers in existence. As the classic symbol for love, long stemmed red roses have become the preferred choice for romantic occasions. Long stemmed roses are also available in a variety of other colors, which makes them a fitting gift for a multitude of occasions. Their long, rigid stems make them ideal for arrangement and presentation in a vase, which has helped them become the favored rose for most cut flower arrangements.
Long stemmed roses, as we know them today, are typically variants of a classification of rose known as the Hybrid Tea. These roses originated in the 1800’s when, for the first time, roses newly introduced from China were cross-bred with European roses. The results were so revolutionary that the advent of the Hybrid Tea rose is generally regarded as the turning point between Old Garden Roses and Modern Roses.


These long stemmed roses with large single blooms combined the pleasing scent of the tea rose with the ability to bloom repeatedly throughout the year. They also introduced a whole new range of colors to the palette. They quickly grew in popularity and are now the roses most often used to express our heart-felt sentiments to our loved ones.

Long stemmed roses are special because of the meanings we associate with them. They carry a wealth of significance that adds to their already impressive appearance. The traditional message of a bouquet of long stemmed roses is, “I will remember you always.” They can also be used to communicate to someone, “I still love you.” And of course, a bouquet of long stemmed red roses is the ultimate expression of true love. They can represent a love that runs deep and is long-lasting. A long stem rose bouquet can express that extra bit of love and gratitude to someone who is extra special.



Recognizing Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and Poison Sumac


  • Poison Ivy:Found throughout the United States except Alaska, Hawaii, and parts of the West Coast. Can grow as a vine or small shrub trailing along the ground or climbing on low plants, trees and poles. Each leaf has three glossy leaflets, with smooth or toothed edges. Leaves are reddish in spring, green in summer, and yellow, orange, or red in fall. May have greenish-white flowers and whitish-yellow berries.
  • Poison Oak:Grows as a low shrub in the Eastern and Southern United States, and in tall clumps or long vines on the Pacific Coast. Fuzzy green leaves in clusters of three are lobed or deeply toothed with rounded tips. May have yellow-white berries.
  • Poison Sumac:Grows as a tall shrub or small tree in bogs or swamps in the Northeast, Midwest, and parts of the Southeast. Each leaf has clusters of seven to 13 smooth-edged leaflets. Leaves are orange in spring, green in summer, and yellow, orange, or red in fall. May have yellow-greenish flowers and whitish-green fruits hang in loose clusters.

ivy rash
 Poison Plant Rashes Aren’t Contagious

Poison ivy and other poison plant rashes can’t be spread from person to person. But it is possible to pick up the rash from plant oil that may have stuck to clothing, pets, garden tools, and other items that have come in contact with these plants. The plant oil lingers (sometimes for years) on virtually any surface until it’s washed off with water or rubbing alcohol.

The rash will occur only where the plant oil has touched the skin, so a person with poison ivy can’t spread it on the body by scratching. It may seem like the rash is spreading if it appears over time instead of all at once. But this is either because the plant oil is absorbed at different rates on different parts of the body or because of repeated exposure to contaminated objects or plant oil trapped under the fingernails. Even if blisters break, the fluid in the blisters is not plant oil and cannot further spread the rash.

Tips for Prevention

  • Learn what poison ivy, oak, and sumac plants look like so you can avoid them Wash your garden tools and gloves regularly. If you think you may be working around poison ivy, wear long sleeves, long pants tucked into boots, and impermeable gloves.
  • Wash your pet if it may have brushed up against poison ivy, oak, or sumac. Use pet shampoo and water while wearing rubber gloves, such as dishwashing gloves. Most pets are not sensitive to poison ivy, but the oil can stick to their fur and cause a reaction in someone who pets them.
  • Wash your skin in soap and cool water as soon as possible if you come in contact with a poisonous plant. The sooner you cleanse the skin, the greater the chance that you can remove the plant oil or help prevent further spread.

Tips for Treatment

Don’t scratch the blisters. Bacteria from under your fingernails can get into them and cause an infection. The rash, blisters, and itch normally disappear in several weeks without any treatment.

You can relieve the itch by:

  • Using wet compresses or soaking in cool water.
  • Applying over-the-counter (OTC) topical corticosteroid preparations or taking prescription oral corticosteroids.
  • Applying topical OTC skin protectants, such as zinc acetate, zinc carbonate, zinc oxide, and calamine dry the oozing and weeping of poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. Protectants such as baking soda or colloidal oatmeal relieve minor irritation and itching. Aluminum acetate is an astringent that relieves rash.

See a doctor if:

  • You have a temperature over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • There is pus, soft yellow scabs, or tenderness on the rash.
  • The itching gets worse or keeps you awake at night.
  • The rash spreads to your eyes, mouth, genital area, or covers more than one-fourth of your skin area.
  • The rash is not improving within a few weeks.
  • The rash is widespread and severe.
  • You have difficulty breathing.

Have a scratch-free summer!

See this video:

from : Healthline



Say it with Single Rose : Learn Its Meaning too

A single Rose says a lot and a lot more distinctly. Find out it what it says in different colors.

single rose


A single red rose says: “I love you” and “You’re the only one for me”.


single white

A single white rose says: “My feelings are pure”


single yellow

A single yellow rose says: “You bring joy to my life” “Let’s be friends”


single pink

A single pink rose says: “I like you”


single orange

A single orange rose says: “I am proud of you”


single peach

A single peach rose says: “Thank you” “I sympathize with you”


single lavender

A single lavender rose says: “I am enchanted by you”


single blue

A single blue rose says: “You seem like an unattainable dream”


A crown of roses indicates reward of virtue


A bouquet of roses in full bloom indicates gratitude

roses in tuft grass
Rose in a tuft of grass indicates there is everything to be gained by good company.

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