Orchids forum→Fungicide Treatment Question

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North Carolina (Zone 8a)
Cewibi
Jun 3, 2020 12:28 AM CST
I've been looking into different fungicides, since some people recommend giving new orchids a treatment/treatments as a precautionary measure. I have a bottle of Thiomyl, but I am considering whether Physan 20 would be better for this purpose. Is this step necessary? Should I apply as a foliar spray and root soak? If so, are either of these products appropriate? Which would be preferable?
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
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BigBill
Jun 3, 2020 3:05 AM CST
What people?
This is micro-managing to the nth degree. With newly imported plants years ago, they would come in bare root. People believed in soaking them in Super thrive thinking it would act as a tonic and support new root growth. Others would soak them in a fungicide. I can't for the life of me imagine why stressed orchids leaving the Far East or other points of origin would need a fungal bath to stress them further.

Thiomyl is a strong and highly effective fungicide. I would not be treating my orchids prophylactically!!! I am a firm believer in repotting new acquisitions in order to get them into my mix. That's all I do, no potions, no sprays.
Keep it in mind that every grower has theories, including me. But I draw the line at chemicals! They are not good for me, not good for the environment or my orchids.
Wait three to six months, see how they grow, if they really need a fungicide, do it when it appears, not when it is not there.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Orchids
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sugarcane
Jun 3, 2020 5:55 AM CST
Hi Pamela,
I have a whole shelf of orchid chemicals in my garage. They are all unopened as I'm scared to use them! I grow outdoors in mid Florida and have all kinds of fungus flying around .. the worst is Black Rot that can take a large plant out in an afternoon. The heat, humidity, plants too close together and not enough air circulation all contribute. I treat ALL my plants once a month, religiously with Neem Oil. It takes some time as it can't be applied when the sun is shining on the plants. So early morning, late afternoon or during cloudy parts of the day. I still have the occasional plant that gets missed ( with almost 400 it's easy to do). but I swear by the stuff and it's readily available at Lowe's.
lindsey
North Carolina (Zone 8a)
Cewibi
Jun 3, 2020 6:52 AM CST
I have watched videos and read some articles and comments where this step was suggested. I've also read articles that say it is better to treat preventatively rather than wait for any signs to appear, but I am relieved to see that there are others who are uncomfortable at the thought of spraying chemicals around and I'm not just being a Nervous Nelly.

How do you apply apply your Neem Oil, Lindsey? Do you apply to immediately to repots, or do you give them a period of adjustment first?

Thank you Bill and Lindsey for your responses. Both are very helpful. Smiling
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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BigBill
Jun 3, 2020 7:47 AM CST
There are numerous videos out there providing what they want you to believe is good orchid information. I would be inclined to pay attention to those created by experienced and knowledgeable orchid people. In today's world, any Tom, Dick or Mary can post a video about growing orchids. I would be very careful about who's advice I was following.

I recently watched one dealing with a person passing herself off as some kind of expert on orchids in South Florida. She could not properly pronounce half of the hybrid genera. Her cultural information was essentially non-existent!
She may have impressed you but to me, on a scale of 1 to 10, she was about a 2! This is why you should be very careful in terms of the advice you are following.

In a half gallon pump sprayer I use a tsp. of Neem, 2 drops of dish soap and fill with plain water. Agitate and spray everything, up and down, over and under!!!
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
[Last edited by BigBill - Jun 3, 2020 7:50 AM (+)]
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Name: Mike
Easton, PA (Zone 6b)
Orchids Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse
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immike1
Jun 3, 2020 7:57 AM CST
Out in the garden you would spray fungicides if you know the fungus is coming, because after the fact it's too late.
Orchid culture usually recommends providing the proper conditions and keeping the plants healthy to AVOID the fungus taking hold.
Ron McHatton at AOS recommends keeping a fan running 24 hours if your plants are not in a breezy area to prevent many fungal issues.
BTW there are lots of videos on the AOS website on how to deal with Orchid pests and diseases.
North Carolina (Zone 8a)
Cewibi
Jun 3, 2020 8:49 AM CST
Thank you again, everyone, for your responses.

I know in an ideal situation, I go out, buy a beautiful thriving specimen, and then at that point all I have to worry about Is what happens on my end. The reality is (since I am new and buying from big box stores), I buy an orchid, bring it home, un-pot and see a mess of dried or rotting roots, possibly some pests, and the occasional leaf spot/spots that I don't know whether to remove, treat, or ignore. I don't necessarily mind any of that, and I don't mind the idea that I may be having to deal with a situation where I have a plant that may not give me results for years to come or one that may even die. BUT I would like to know I took all the necessary steps to aid it in its survival.

On the other hand, I also don't want to overdo anything to the point of unintentionally murdering my plants, something I could absolutely see me doing. (I'm getting a mental image of me standing over a batch of Orchids, dousing them with chemicals while shouting, "Just take your medicine!!! )

I appreciate all of you taking the time to address my concerns.

Oh, and one other question. When you are spraying with any kind of treatment solution, do you do your best to avoid getting any liquid into the crown area, or do you just spray until fully covered?
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Orchids
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sugarcane
Jun 3, 2020 9:12 AM CST
I spray right into the crown as well ( I grow Cattleya) because the Neem also takes care of most bugs and they love to hide down in the crevices. I also just use a small ( windex bottle size) as dragging around the 2 gallon sprayer is less fun than refilling my small bottle. Just remember to NOT apply it if the sun is shining on your plants , as the oil will burn your leaves. Early morning, late afternoon or overcast days.
lindsey
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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BigBill
Jun 3, 2020 9:13 AM CST
I feel that any liquid in the crown or new growth of any orchid is not a good idea in my mind, yes I agree.
With an orchid like a Phalaenopsis, I simply dab at the water/fungicide/whatever with the folded up corner of a paper towel. It wicks it right up.
With an orchid like an Oncidium with a few unfolding new leaves, I simply hold the plant upside down and let gravity work. The same holds true for a new Cattleya growth.

And may I suggest that you try mail order? Things are cheaper for one, more selection for two and the results are often better.
I buy 95% of my plants from SVO Orchids, H & R Orchids, and Paph. Paradise. The other 5% comes from shows.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
North Carolina (Zone 8a)
Cewibi
Jun 3, 2020 9:18 AM CST
Thank you, Lindsey! Since mine are inside on windowsills, avoiding those parts of the day where the sun is shining in brightly shouldn't be too hard for me.
North Carolina (Zone 8a)
Cewibi
Jun 3, 2020 10:01 AM CST
Thank you, Bill. I do dab with a paper towel when I think I've gotten too much liquid where it shouldn't be, but I didn't think of the holding upside down trick. A good piece of advice!

Right now I'm buying from the store because it's just easier for me. I can couple it with my regular weekly grocery shopping outing, and - for me - there's something enjoyably distracting about wandering around the flower sections at Lowe's. (As long as it's not too crowded.)

I have done some looking at the online retailers, and some of their flowers are absolutely beautiful, so I know it'll only be a matter of time before I do end up placing an order somewhere. With that in mind, I am very glad you suggested some specific vendors, since I have no idea who's good and who isn't. All I have to do before making that leap is prove to myself I can - at the very least - keep ONE of my plants alive. That and learn how to say "I have no idea" with a straight face when my husband inquires about a charge on the credit card bill. Whistling
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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BigBill
Jun 3, 2020 10:14 AM CST
Just tell him it was for "Personal Essentials!"
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
North Carolina (Zone 8a)
Cewibi
Jun 3, 2020 10:18 AM CST
Exactly! Big Grin
Name: Glenn Graham
Memphis (Zone 7b)
Plumerias Dog Lover Birds Growing under artificial light Amaryllis Ferns
Region: Tennessee Foliage Fan Houseplants Tropicals Orchids Butterflies
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BBQNBLUES
Jun 3, 2020 10:21 AM CST
Cewibi said:

I have done some looking at the online retailers, and some of their flowers are absolutely beautiful, so I know it'll only be a matter of time before I do end up placing an order somewhere. With that in mind, I am very glad you suggested some specific vendors, since I have no idea who's good and who isn't.


Pamela; If I may suggest:

https://www.orchidsbyhauserman...

I've been a customer of this firm for almost 50 years.

[Last edited by BBQNBLUES - Jun 3, 2020 10:23 AM (+)]
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North Carolina (Zone 8a)
Cewibi
Jun 3, 2020 3:47 PM CST
Thank you, Glenn! I know Hausermann was one of the sites I browsed, and they definitely had some Orchids that caught my attention, so I'm glad to hear from someone who has had consistent, long term success with them.
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
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BigBill
Jun 3, 2020 3:59 PM CST
I on the other hand have not. I tried them a few times in the 1980's. I got a few plants with the wrong label. Although the plants were pretty, they were not what I ordered.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!
Name: Alice
St. Johns, FL (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Master Gardener: Florida Organic Gardener Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Hibiscus
Orchids Fruit Growers Tropicals Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener
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ardesia
Jun 6, 2020 6:15 AM CST
Gee Bill, you hold a grudge for a long time. Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious!
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Image
BigBill
Jun 6, 2020 6:42 AM CST
Well that may be true. But when I had only so much to spend and so much room, miss tagged plants were disappointing.
And then I tried other vendors and if you are happy, you stick with them. I first met the H & R crew around 1984 or 5 and I still order from them. That's 35 years.
Rodney Wilcox Jones, my idol!
Businessman, Orchid grower, hybridizer, lived to 107!

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