The Q&A Archives: Eradicating Scales from Orchids

Question: How do you get rid of scales on orchid plants? How often do you change the woodchips in orchid pots? Thanks. Joyce Moran Huntington, NY

Answer: Scale have a hard, protective coating that is impermeable to any sprays. The insects need to be dislodged to be killed. Try scrubbing the scale off with a toothbrush dipped in rubbing alcohol. Rinse the leaves afterward to avoid any burning from the alcohol. The wood chips should be changed when they start to decompose and remain soggy. Every spring is a good time to repot with fresh chips.

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