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Treating scale infestation on an already stressed phal

Atanas Georgiev
6 years ago
last modified: 6 years ago

I discovered an early-stage scale infestation on my phal which is already very stressed out from losing roots due to root rot and being repotted 3 times in the past 3 months (my mistakes -- I am a rookie). The last one was this past Sunday.

The phal is tiny (a 4-year old mini with 3" leaves) and the spots are unreachable by any reasonable means so I am about to go systemic on it with Bayer Advanced 3-in-1 Insect Disease and Mite Control.

However, the poor trooper has barely two roots left -- 1.5" and 0.75" respectively (not visible in pic) -- with a new one just popping out. It's also about to lose one of its leaves (due to lack of enough roots, not because of the scales) and will have only 3 left, none of which are not in a great shape.

What would you, experienced orchid enthusiasts, recommend as the least-risky way to deal with this? Should I roll the dice, buy a new mix (how would I know if it's clean?), and repot yet again? Or should I just hope that the systemic would take care of the mix as well as the plant? Or perhaps treat with the systemic until a solid enough root system develops and then repot? How much spray should I apply so it's not too much to damage the orchid but it's enough to kill the bugs dead and avoid making them resistant?

This orchid is my only plant. It is of great sentimental value to me and I will fight with everything I got to restore it to health.

Can anyone help with advice?

(Environment: location: NY; indoors, west facing window; pot is on a humidity tray; temp: 70-80F, RH: 45-55%)

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