‘Quarantine it!’ Orchid expert on what to do if your orchid is ‘infected’ with pests

The Home Depot describes how to care for orchids

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Orchids are beautiful plants that can make your home look bright and colourful. If they’re looked after correctly, they can last for years. However, orchids – like other plants – can become infested with pests.

Pests are often beyond your control, but you can oust them for good.

Unfortunately, orchids are prone to a number of pests including aphids, mealybugs, scales, spider mites and thrips.

If you do notice pests on your orchids, then you need to take action straight away.

The Home Depot’s plant expert Eileen has shared exactly what to do if your orchid is “infected” with pests.

One way you should be looking after your orchid is by watering and misting it regularly.

However, in between this you need to be making some “checks”.

Eileen explained: “Over the next few weeks and months your plant is going to continue to grow every week as you water it.

“Perhaps in between, you want to just check, look inside the plant itself look under the leaves and check the top roots.

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“You want to be inspecting it to see if there’s any bugs – mealybugs, scale, any sort of insect or pest that might be attacking your plant.

“Spider mites and mealybugs have a tendency to leave white dots and then they’ll form what looks like either a small cotton mass or possibly a small spider web.

“If you do find something, make sure you pull the plant away from others.

“Quarantine it and create it properly, make sure you check other plants nearby to make sure that they’ve not been infected.”

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If you’re looking to mist your plant, make sure you only do it “occasionally”.

When you do it, make sure to use tap water not distilled water.

Eileen added: “If you do have to use tap water, make sure you let the water sit for about 24 hours to make sure that no impurities are passed onto your plant.”

You will need to water your plant more frequently once your plant starts flowering again.

Before it flowers, a stem or “bract” will appear.

A bract is a modified leaf on a flowering stem that’s just below the flower.

Eileen said: “You will see a small bract come up which will be the new stem which events you will bring new flowers.

“You want to make sure you increase the amount of watering and you also want to increase the amount of fertilisation with proper care you can enjoy your plant for many years.”

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