Orchids forum: Is this a virus? And how to disinfect your cutting tools

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Name: Mike S
GEORGIA (Zone 7b)
JOHN 3:16
JMS54
Aug 19, 2016 2:53 PM CST
Hi everyone. This is my Phal. heiroglyphica x self. I mounted it about a month ago. It has put out a new root and is putting out a new leaf. The question is, in the picture you can see the way the leaf looks discolored. Is this possibly a virus. I have it separated from my other orchids. I hope this is not a virus, don't want to lose this species. Thank you in advance everyone....Mike


Thumb of 2016-08-19/JMS54/d85150


Thumb of 2016-08-19/JMS54/70f48f

HAVE A GREAT DAY!
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Aug 19, 2016 3:43 PM CST

Moderator

It looks funky, but I don't know.

Btw as with other Phal threads I did link this one also to the sticky Phal thread.....
[Last edited by Ursula - Aug 19, 2016 3:48 PM (+)]
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Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
Garden Photography Region: United States of America Roses Tropicals Region: Florida Orchids
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hawkarica
Aug 19, 2016 4:16 PM CST
Mike, it is impossible for any of us to tell you for sure if you have a virus in a plant from just a picture. There are virus test kits available if you want to go that route. There are about 25 different viruses that effect orchids and the symptoms may appear different in different genera. Viruses are primarily spread by unsterile pruning tools but can also be spread by insects so be careful. Just looking at that leaf makes me think of nutrient deficiencies. Try adding magnesium to your misting routine.

Jim
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Aug 19, 2016 4:28 PM CST
Its really hard to say what it is but, on the whole, your plant looks happy. A plant with a virus may not show any outward effects but will be less vigorous. If the leaf continues to turn yellow then fall off, I would say too much water. If the yellow spots start to develop on other leaves, it may be a virus.

A virus wouldn't just show up unless you already have it in your collection. Like people viruses, they are spread by the exchange of bodily fluids - in this case, plant fluids - while repotting, dividing, pruning... Practice good plant hygiene. A lot of times, you will not know a plant has a virus until after it spreads to other plants. Sterilize your clippers between plants, wash your hands a lot, always sterilize used pots, and never reuse potting medium.



Name: Ted
Brea, CA (Zone 10b)
Bulbs Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Region: California Herbs Hummingbirder
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Ted5310
Aug 19, 2016 8:21 PM CST
I use 90 iso on my pruning tools. We use it at the shop, so it's resdily available. But when it comes to pots I just wash them out. How do you sterilize them.
Name: Mike S
GEORGIA (Zone 7b)
JOHN 3:16
JMS54
Aug 19, 2016 9:38 PM CST
Thank you everyone. This plant has been isolated from my other orchids. It is the only one with this problem.

Ursula...Thank you for linking this.

Jim...I will go back to using epsom salt in misting and every once in awhile watering. I am on a well and not sure what minerals we have in the water.

Daisy...I sterilize my cutting tools with pure rubbing alcohol and do not do cross cutting on plants without doing that between each one. I sterilize my pots with soaking in bleach and water for a couple of hours or longer and rinsing well and put in the sun to dry. I never reuse media. In fact I bad it up and put it in the trash.
I will also back off the watering and see what happens. It begin mounted I water it everyday, the plant is outside. I will wait and let the moss go completely dry and then water it. But like you said the plant is very health except for this leaf. It has put out a new root and putting out a new leaf in the crown. If it was a virus the plant would be sickly looking.

Ted...I sterilize my pots with bleach and water and scrub them good with a stiff brush. Rinse them with good clean water andput in the sun to dry. That is what I do.
HAVE A GREAT DAY!
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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sugarcane
Aug 20, 2016 6:07 AM CST
I use a stiff brush to scrub my pots out then soak them in a bleach/water bath for a few days then rinse them out and they are ready to go.
Ted, what is 90iso? I've been just using a bleach/ water mix on my clippers ( because I can't seem to find the industrial strength stuff that we use at the University greenhouse)
lindsey
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 20, 2016 9:07 AM CST
Probably isopropyl alcohol, Lindsey. You can get it at the drug store.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
Garden Photography Region: United States of America Roses Tropicals Region: Florida Orchids
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hawkarica
Aug 20, 2016 10:41 AM CST
I'm sticking with my torch.

Jim
Name: Ted
Brea, CA (Zone 10b)
Bulbs Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Region: California Herbs Hummingbirder
Dog Lover Tropicals Cactus and Succulents Orchids Ferns Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Ted5310
Aug 20, 2016 10:45 AM CST
Right Elaine. Icy Purple as we like to call it. 90 to clean certain parts of our printer and 70 to clean substrates before applying graphics. Jim, do you torch pots as well?
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
Garden Photography Region: United States of America Roses Tropicals Region: Florida Orchids
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hawkarica
Aug 20, 2016 10:48 AM CST
No, just pruning tools. I soak pots in a bleach solution before I reuse them.

Jim
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
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drdawg
Aug 20, 2016 12:25 PM CST
You can easily soak your scissors/pruning shears in a 50% solution of bleach too. It is as effective as rubbing/isopropyl alcohol, and probably more effective. Jim would get sterile tools by torching but wiping/soaking is really closer to disinfection than it is to sterilization.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Aug 20, 2016 12:43 PM CST
Physan20 works as well, but bleach is a lot cheaper.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Aug 20, 2016 1:12 PM CST

Moderator

I started years ago using blades in a box cutter and then skipped the cutter and just used the blades! One for each Orchid and throw them away. I have on occasion used a bread knife too, it was really clean and went after scrubbing by hand into the dishwasher.
Name: Ted
Brea, CA (Zone 10b)
Bulbs Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Region: California Herbs Hummingbirder
Dog Lover Tropicals Cactus and Succulents Orchids Ferns Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Ted5310
Aug 20, 2016 8:45 PM CST
OK, learning time. What ratio of water to bleach are you using and how long do you soak them.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Aug 20, 2016 9:02 PM CST
drdawg said:You can easily soak your scissors/pruning shears in a 50% solution of bleach too. It is as effective as rubbing/isopropyl alcohol, and probably more effective. Jim would get sterile tools by torching but wiping/soaking is really closer to disinfection than it is to sterilization.

I never measure, but this sounds about right
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Aug 21, 2016 12:44 AM CST
Alcohol (full strength) for my tools. I'm allergic to bleach so its scrubbing with 409 and then the dishwasher for my pots.

But Bleach is the AOS recommended method of sterilizing pots.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Aug 21, 2016 6:44 AM CST
Though I use a 50-50 ratio of bleach-water, even a 1-5 ratio will still disinfect well.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad
Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina Tropicals
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ardesia
Aug 22, 2016 7:36 PM CST
I believe the current thinking is any bleach solution can be harmful to metal tools because it encourages corrosion. While the disinfecting effect between a bleach solution and iso alcohol is pretty much equal, the alcohol is less harmful to your equipment.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Aug 22, 2016 8:09 PM CST
Actually, alcohol is probably less effective. How harmful is heating the tool to (truly) sterilize it, as Jim suggests? Good quality tools will probably stand up to bleach solutions for the users lifetime. Just my opinion.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

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