Orchids are often grown in pots and tend to be disease-free and pest-resistant plants. But, this is a mirage, because these amazing beautiful plants with their vivid colors will develop problems at some point. Beside leaf spots fungus, orchids may suffer from some mold diseases that can endanger the life of the plant.
Only imagine how carefully you’ve selected a beautiful orchid for your home and after starting the care routine, things are looking pretty great. But, at some point, you notice a fine coating of fuzzy white mold on top of the roots.
Yes, orchids are vulnerable to a white fungus called snow mold which grows in pots. However, this type of mold can often be mistaken with the mealybug infestation so, don’t rush to conclusions. Before applying any fungicide, you better inspect the plant carefully.
Snow Mold VS Mealybugs
Snow mold is a problem for many orchid growers. It is caused by a fungus that spreads through potting media to eventually cover the roots of your orchid. Once it covers the roots, the water-repellent fungus prevents moisture from reaching them. The first indication of snow mold is usually a white powdery growth on the potting media.
Mealybugs are serious pests for orchid growers. Infestations show as white wooly spots on your orchid, which are easily mistaken for white fungus. Mealybugs are tiny insects that secrete a whitish waxy substance to hide their bodies, and this is what gives the appearance of a fungus covering leaves, stems and potting media. While snow mold grows in the potting media and on the roots, mealybugs will infest the entire plant.
Get Rid Of Snow Mold
- Snow mold thrives on decaying potting media.
- Because water speeds up the decaying process, the presence of snow mold on your orchid is often a sign you’re over-watering your plant.
- Control snow mold by repotting your orchid in fresh potting media and water only when the soil begins to dry.
- Immerse moldy roots, rhizomes and part of the pseudobulb in a fungicide dip containing the active ingredients alkyl dimethylbenzyl ammonium chloride to remove the fungus from the roots.
- Two soaks done in two-week intervals may be necessary to remove all of the mold.
- Destroy the moldy potting media and replace it with a clean potting media.