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Holes in orchid flower

Cymbidium orchid flowerI HAVE a variety of different cymbidium orchids, but my pink one seems to be the only one that gets eaten. I have seen ants on my plants and the odd earwig, but nothing else. Can you tell me what has caused the damage?


THE damage on the flower is typical of that caused by slugs or snails - it is most likely very small slugs that are the problem. During the day they hide under the base of the pots or among gravel and the likes on the floor of the greenhouse or ground. They come out at night to feed, crawling up the flower stems to feast on the buds and petals.

Orchid blooms are particularly susceptible when young and, if damaged, develop the unsightly scars you have found. You need to start scattering plenty of slug bait around the plants when they are just beginning to spike, and later sprinkle some bait in the pot around the leaf bases and flower stems.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 187, 2005, Page 33

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.

Andrew Maloy Weekend Gardener

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Last updated: September 29, 2006