Orchid Quarantine? - Knowledgebase Question

nashville, Te
Question by athenarae46
March 14, 2010
I have 6 beautiful phal orchids from your store and others, I bought a 7th because it was beautiful and had an incoming leaf. It has 8 leaves and some have damage(cuts)/small black areas. How far do i keep it from others? Advice on leaf cutting. no Visible pests. Scared but want to save it without contaminating. Looks very healthy otherwise


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Answer from NGA
March 14, 2010

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You are wise in isolating your new orchid until you know the state of its health. I'd keep it in a completely different area of the house for about a week. Damaged leaves might simply be showing scars, or they might have a bacterial/fungal infection. You can safely remove the damaged leaves if you sterilize your pruning equipment and wear latex gloves so as not to introduce pathogens into the cuts. I just sterilize a razor blade and use a squirt of antibacterial (Purell)on my hands. But you can wear gloves and dilute one part of bleach or rubbing alcohol with three parts of water in a bowl. Soak the blade of your cutting tool in the bleach/alcohol solution for a few minutes then rinse and air dry or wipe the tool with a clean cloth. Now comes the surgery: Pinpoint the greenest (healthiest) part of the leaf, usually between the base of the plant, and past the line of discoloration. Cut through this point (well into the green), in a straight line across the leaf's width, completely severing the unhealthy part of the leaf from the plant. Apply a plant fungicide paste or cinnamon with a cotton swab directly to the cut, concealing it completely. (Yes, regular kitchen cinnamon acts as a fungicide!) Best wishes with your new orchid.

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