Orchids can easily catch infections from various fungi or bacteria during monsoon months as the moist and humid environment required for their optimum growth provides prime conditions for the growth of these fungi or bacteria. To reduce the risk of infections, keep the leaves dry and improve the air flow in the growing area. Monitoring the plants regularly will help to detect early symptoms. Application of preventative fungicides/bactericides will also help to keep the risk low. Most of the pathogens are active in warm weather when the light is low and moisture is high. Increasing the light when moisture is high will help to reduce the diseases.
The first step to treat any infection is to cut/remove the infected area using sterile instruments immediately upon observation. The entire growing area should also be disinfected with a 10% bleach solution. In addition to this, a good bactericide or fungicide should be sprayed on the affected plant as well as all nearby plants in order to stop the infection from spreading. In addition to this, the leaves should be kept dry and water should not be allowed to accumulate on them.
Sometimes, these fungal/bacterial diseases become a recurring problem which is why it’s best to use control spray once in 15 days, in order to reduce the risk of recurring fungal and bacterial infections. As bacterial/fungal diseases spread through water, it is important to avoid using an overhead watering system when a plant becomes infected.
In short, the following tips will help you to reduce the risk of diseases in high moist seasons:
- Water the plants only if required.
- Judge the watering based on moisture in the pot.
- Watering must be done early in the morning only.
- Good sanitation in the growing area.
- Good air circulation around plants and growing area.
- Lower temperatures and increased light may help reduce the spread of diseases.
- Watch-out for snails or slugs
- Control spray once in 15 days
Recommended Fungicides for most common fungal diseases are:
- Roko (Thiophanate Methyl 70%), Dosage: 1g/L of water
- Ridomil Gold (64% Mancozeb + 4% Metalaxyl), Dosage: 1g/L of water
Recommended Bactericides for most common bacterial diseases are:
- Biomycin or Kasu-B (Kasugamycin), Dosage: 1g/L of water
- Tagmycin ( Streptomycin Sulphate 90% + Tetracycline Hydrochloride 10%), Dosage: 1g/10L of water