The orchid tree is quite robust, and yet carelessness can be very damaging and might encourage disease. But if you intervene quickly, you can save your plant from the worst. In the tropics, (Bauhinia) orchid tree care is important. Because they decorate gardens and parks. The plants enchant with their colorful flowers and provide exotic charm. Anyone who cultivates the orchid tree in our latitudes must make some concessions, because the plants, which come from Asia, are not hardy.
Anyone who now suspects that they are bringing a real mimosa into the house is mistaken. Orchid trees are even quite robust, as long as their needs are met. Sick plants are often the result of incorrect care. How this can be avoided right from the start and which diseases and pests can be dangerous for the orchid tree is explained below.
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Recognizing signs of disease on the leaves
If you keep an eye on your plants, you will quickly notice if something is wrong. An alarming sign, for example, is discoloration on the leaves. If yellow, brownish, or black discoloration appears on the upper sides of the leaves, this usually indicates incorrect care. The plant indicates that it is missing something or, in return, that something has become too much.
Incorrect watering and fertilizing behavior can lead to a deficiency or oversupply of the plant. A sure instinct is therefore required. The soil must not dry out. Therefore you should use a watering can at the latest when the upper soil layer has dried up.
If the plant is standing too wet, this can also result in discoloration of the leaves. If the watering water cannot run off, it will accumulate in the planter and attack the roots. The lack of nutrients can then manifest itself in the form of discolored leaves. While the orchid tree needs some nutrients during the growing season, the plant is not provided with additional nutrients in winter. Those who nevertheless fertilize should not be surprised if over-fertilization occurs, the plants start to grow uncontrollably, or the leaves become discolored.
The discoloration of the leaves can also have quite natural causes and indicate the age of the foliage. The leaves wilt and are discarded. If this happens in winter quarters, there is usually no need to worry. In late winter, the formation of new foliage reliably begins.
Orchid tree care | Possible Orchid tree pests and diseases
Hardly any plant is safe from them, and the orchid tree can also be attacked by aphids. The pests measure only a few millimeters and may initially be overlooked at first glance.
“Tip: With the orchid tree care, the trees should be checked regularly. Especially in winter quarters, damage patterns can occur.
If the infestation is already advanced, you will not be able to overlook it. The shoot tips may dry up, and a silvery film covers the leaves. If you touch the leaves with your hands, you will feel that their surface feels sticky. This coating is caused by honeydew. This is the secretion of the aphids.
One of the Orchid tree pests is Aphids. They can be effectively controlled without the use of chemical pesticides. For example, in the ladybird and the larvae of the lacewing, the pests have natural predators. In the case of the light infestation, it is usually sufficient to treat the plant with a hard water jet. A more persistent infestation can be controlled well with a broth of nettles or field horsetails, which is filled into a plant sprayer.
“Tip: Spray the plant several times a day and separate the orchid tree from other plants so that the infestation does not spread.
While aphids and their traces are clearly visible on the upper side of the leaves, at first, nothing can be seen of a beginning root rot. Only with closer inspection does it become clear that the plant is not growing as usual, and you will probably turn up your nose as well, as a putrid smell begins to rise from the ground. These all signs that the plant has been exposed to too much moisture over a long period of time.
Fight root rot:
One of the orchid tree diseases is Root rot and it cannot be controlled directly. If it is detected in time, it can help to remove the plant from the plant container immediately. The roots are freed from the wet and sticky substrate and dried if necessary. The orchid tree is then placed in a new plant container and planted in dry soil. Now it is carefully watered and waited for. If fresh shoots appear, the action was successful. In most cases, however, root rot is detected too late, and the plant can no longer be saved.
The main cause of root rot is stagnant moisture. Already when planting, you should consider that the watering water must always drain off well. You can create the appropriate conditions with a planter that has sufficient drainage holes. On the bottom of the container, you should install drainage made of broken clay before planting. Now it still depends on the appropriate watering behavior. Water regularly without flooding the plant. The thumb test helps to check the condition of the soil. If the land is slightly dry, water it. If the substrate feels wet, wait for it and see.
The basis for healthy plants
|Find location||1) The orchid trees need a sunny location.|
2) Only a few hours of limited sunshine per day are not enough; the plant is allowed full sun.
3) The plants are sensitive to draughts and should, therefore, be protected.
|Select substrate||1) The substrate should be porous.|
2) There should be no waterlogging in the plant container.
3) The soil can be enriched with hummus.
|Watering the orchid tree||1) The need for liquid is particularly high during the growing season.|
2) The plant must not dry out.
3) Tub plants should be watered daily in summer.
4) When watering, a little sensitivity is necessary to avoid stagnant moisture.
|Fertilizing the orchid tree||1) During the growth phase, liquid fertilizer can be added directly to the watering water at intervals of three weeks.|
2) In winter, the orchid trees are not fertilized.
Consequences of Orchid tree care mistakes
If the plants do not get enough sun, they will be left behind in their growth. Sufficient hours of sunshine are also needed for flower formation. If the plants are too draughty, they can react by falling leaves.
In a rather nutrient-poor substrate, the plant will thrive quite well, as the nutrient requirement is not too high. If the soil is too heavy and the watering water cannot run off, it accumulates in the plant container and causes waterlogging. This often happens unnoticed while watering continues cheerfully—continued waterlogging leads to root rot and, ultimately, to the death of the plant.
If too little water is given, wilted leaves are the result. A sustained lack of water can lead to drying out of leaves and buds. If overwatered, waterlogging occurs with the consequences already described above.
Mistakes with fertilization
If the soil in the planter is too barren, the orchid tree will not develop optimally and will not produce flowers. If there is over-fertilization, which happens particularly often in winter quarters, the shoots will grow uncontrolled and shapelessly. The plant is deprived of the power to form flowers.