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Good Practices for Handling Orchids

  1. Clean potting bench with a Physan solution (1 teaspoon per gallon) or another disinfectant between plants. Also, a 10% Clorox solution is recommended.


  1. Use sterile cutting tools (Keep three pairs of clippers and a good supply of razor blades.) -Soak in solution of caustic or bleach for 5 minutes or more - or sterilize with heat (400 degrees F) between uses.


  1. Use gloves - change between plants or dip in Physan solution or in another disinfectant. If you ever do work with orchids without wearing gloves, wash your hands carefully with a disinfectant soap between plants.


  1. Destroy virused plants if possible or quarantine them if you wish to continue growing one. Ask someone if you suspect that one of your plants has a virus.  Growing sick plants and clean plants living side by side not recommended.  Insects and rodents can transmit from plant to plant.


  1. Do not re-use pots or rhizome clips or stakes until they have been sterilized. Use new ones if possible. These can be baked in a 400 degree oven to prevent transmission of virus.


  1. Do not break off dead blooms and then handle other plants. Use sterile razor blades.  If you ever do use your hands, wash your hands with disinfectant soap afterward.  The sap and sticky residue on the blooms can contain virus.


  1. Treat every plant as if it has virus. The only way to know for sure that it

            does not have a virus is to send a tissue sample to a lab for testing.


  1. Repotting should be done on a clean surface. Working on sheets of            newspaper allows you to dispose of debris between each plant.