Thursday, January 7, 2010

Oh no! My poor Phal. gigantea x bellina seedlings

Yesterday I posted some happy pictures of happy hybrid phal seedlings reaching blooming size after a year and a half. Today I discovered that my steadily growing Phalaenopsis (gigantea x bellina) seedlings had weakened and succumbed to rot after a severe spider mite attack. Damn spider mites! Though outbreaks or attacks are not often but when they occur, they cause a lot of damage!

I used to have quite a few pots (1” pots). They arrived in a flask and because the courier had not heeded the “this way up” signs, I had no choice but to de-flask them prematurely. View my original blog entry here (click).

This was taken when I had just re-potted them into small 1” pots back in October 2008. Naturally, the weaker ones died off but a number continued to grow to become nice healthy young plants. But now only 3 or 4 small struggling plants are left. :(

Phalaenopsis_gigantea_x_bellina_seedlings (2)
This used to be the healthiest pot. It had two inside here with leaves nearly reaching 3 inches. How very frustrating to see this and I only discovered it today! Many of my phals placed in this nursery area were quite severely attacked by spider mites when I was away on holiday. I used serai (lemongrass) and neem oil to deal with them and the problem was kept under control but by then many had suffered significant damage including some paphs. The young dendrobiums were attacked too but those are more resilient than the fragile phal seedlings.

Now I have to start with a new flask if I can get one at all! The “stems” in the above pic are still green and I can just see a bit of new leaf coming out of the crown on one of them so I am hoping for the best. I’d like to find a nice big blooming plant actually, as this primary hybrid is really stunning and worth keeping at least one.

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