How To Water, Light, And Repot Orchid Flower

Orchid Flower

Emma DowneyByEmma Downey
Updated on 10/4/2022

Orchid flower is unique in that they may have a stunningly attractive appearance, be delicate, bloom for a long time, live for a long time, be intriguing in both their scent and their form, and come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. They differ from other blooming plants due to these distinguishing traits. There are few joys in gardening that can compare to the rush that comes from seeing orchids grow and blossom, and one of them is the exhilaration that comes from watching orchids develop. Another delight is the sense of accomplishment that comes from watching orchids bloom. This book, which includes all of the information you require to know about producing orchids and taking care of orchids, contains the species of orchids that are the most common. We have chosen such orchids to include in this guide.

Orchid Flower

Orchids have lately eclipsed other popular forms of houseplants, such as African violets, chrysanthemums, and poinsettias, to become the most sought-after variety of indoor plants. This change occurred very recently. For years, orchids were tough to get and sold for a high price due to their scarcity. That is because contemporary cloning techniques make it possible to generate plants in vast quantities. Additionally, plant culture, which used to take seven years from seed to bloom, now only takes two years to complete.

  • Botanical Name: Family Orchidaceae
  • Type of Plant: Houseplant
  • Sunlight: Partial Sun
  • Bloom Period: Variable
  • Flower Color: Green, Multicolor, Orange, Pink, Purple, Red, White, Yellow

About Orchids

There are over 25,000 different species of orchids, and they may be found growing naturally on every continent other than Antarctica. The only continent on which orchids are not found growing naturally in Antarctica. Orchids are a family of flowering plants with one of the most diverse collections of individual species. The vast majority of the world's orchid species are native to tropical regions, including those found in Asia, Central and South America, and other areas of the Americas. You may find orchids in the most incredible diversity in this particular location. You can only cultivate orchids successfully throughout a large portion of the continent of North America in greenhouses or other confined habitats. The only items allowed to breach this restriction are native species, such as the lady's slipper orchid. This regulation does not apply to anything else.

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  • Every single species of orchid has a lip, a petal that extends from the center of a bloom consisting of three petals and three sepals, some of which are merged. The color itself is composed of three merged petals and three merged sepals. The flower of an orchid is made up of three petals and three sepals, some of which are fused to form one large structure.
  • The outer look of orchids has become highly diverse throughout evolution due to the plants' efforts to tailor their appeal to specific pollinators. This phenomenon directly results from this evolutionary process working through the system.
  • Orchids can grow epiphytically (in the air) or terrestrially (on the ground). Most tropical orchids grow on other plants, particularly in epiphytic environments. In the wild, you could see epiphytes attached to the bark of trees or tree stumps. They obtain the moisture they need to survive rotting leaves, fog, and rain.

Planting

As a result of the fact that you can purchase orchids from a wide variety of retail outlets, such as supermarkets, department stores, and garden centers, many of us have pondered the subject of whether or not it would be a good idea to get one. According to Marc Hachadourian, the Curator of Glasshouse Collections at the New York Botanical Garden, the response is unequivocal "Absolutely." It is not true that less costly orchids have a lower chance of flourishing; all you need to do is pick a robust and healthy plant.

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The majority of the roots of store-bought orchids are often preserved in inexpensive plastic pots and coated in wet sphagnum moss as best as possible. That is accurate for a significant number of orchid species. They are up against a difficult situation as a consequence of this, given that avoiding root rot calls on an adequate quantity of air movement to be present. You should report it as soon as possible after moving it to your home and bringing it back there, and you should do it as quickly as possible.

Repotting Orchids

General Potting Tips

  • If a plant is flowering, you shouldn't report it while the blooms are still open since doing so may cause damage to the flowers. Repotting a flowering plant might cause the flowers to fall off or become damaged. After you have harvested all the flowers you want from the orchid, you should use sterile snips to cut off the spent flower spike from the plant and repot the plant.
  • When the growth medium in an orchid's container has been depleted to the point that only crumbs remain, when the roots of the orchid are beginning to spill over the edges of the pot, or when the orchid has wholly outgrown its container, it is time to repot the orchid. That suggests that the orchid has outgrown its previous container and needs a larger one. At the beginning of the subsequent growth cycle, the pot the plant grows in should be replaced (typically in the spring).
  • If you were to take up an orchid by its leaves, the plant's roots should remain contained within the pot they were grown in. The handling of an orchid should look like this at all times. Orchids can only be grown successfully in containers with a high surface area relative to their total capacity.

How To Repot An Orchid

Orchid Flower

  • Try to handle the orchid with as little force as possible when you remove it from the container it is housed in now. When you acquire a new orchid, the plant will almost always arrive in a flimsy plastic container that you can easily throw away once the transaction has been completed.
  • Get rid of the old potting material, mainly if it appears to be decaying or breaking down.
  • Examine the roots of the orchid, and pull off any damage in any way, shape, or form, whether they are burnt, hollow, spongy, or damaged in any other way. White or green coloration may occur on the roots of a plant that is in pristine condition.
  • You should use new potting soil to fill up the space surrounding the plant in the new container, and then gently press the dirt down until you are roughly one inch away from the rim. Ensure that this is done while maintaining the upright position of the plant in its new container.
  • Take special care to adequately hydrate the orchid so that the medium may move into the space around its roots. Because of this, the orchid will be able to flourish. If it is at all possible, incorporate more forms of media.
  • You might try propping the plant up with stakes while you wait for its roots to become established in the new medium if you find that the plant won't stay where you planted it after you've done so. Bamboo and curly willow are two examples of plants you may utilize to make attractive and functional stakes.

Orchid Growing Medium

Orchid Flower

  • You must never use regular potting soil while attempting to nurture an orchid. There should be a substantial quantity of air surrounding the plant's roots, significantly when growing an epiphytic kind of orchid, which is very important. The ideal medium has a very low density and a high porosity and quickly releases water after it has absorbed it. This combination of characteristics is known as "open porosity."
  • When working with massive plants that have been established for a significant time and have roots, the most effective strategy is to employ coarser growth material.
  • The overwhelming majority of garden centers provide specialized orchid potting combinations, most commonly incorporating the following:

Potting mixes for orchids frequently contain horticultural charcoal, peat, perlite, sphagnum moss, and other components. These horticultural charcoal, peat, and perlite components are generally blended with the fir bark fragments, which can be OK, medium, or coarse in size. (You can create your mixture by combining one part of each other component with four to six pieces of the bark in the appropriate proportions.)

Orchid Pots

Orchid Flower

  • Terra clay pots, which allow for enhanced air circulation and are an excellent option for the cultivation of orchids, are the conventional container of choice for the propagation of these plants. You may also buy containers that have been created especially for housing orchids; the sides of these containers have drainage holes cut into them at regular intervals throughout the container. Not only do these "peep holes" allow for air circulation, but they also make it much simpler to monitor the overall condition of the root system of the plant.
  • The type of size you should go with is a large pot to supply the plant's roots with a growth space that is at least an inch all the way around, and you should choose a pool that is this sort of size.

Growing

Orchids have a propensity to experience homesickness when confined to the confines of a home as houseplants because they spread like weeds in their natural environments. That results in individuals longing for the circumstances in which you raised them. It is in your best interest to set things up in a manner that is advantageous to them if you want to obtain the most satisfactory results from them that are feasible. Certain plant species have particular needs. Still, in general, all plants require a healthy mix of light, air, water, food, and rest, in addition to the occasional relocation to a new container. It would be best if you met these needs for plants to thrive. Plants require water, sunlight, and regular repositioning to thrive.

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Orchid Flowers

Orchids are well known for their stunning blossoms, some of which can give the appearance that they will not wilt or die for a significant amount of time after they bloom. On the other hand, orchids are notoriously tough to work with, particularly when it comes to the opening of their petals. The following is a selection of the responses to the queries regarding orchid flowers that are requested the most frequently:

How Often Do Orchids Bloom? 

Answers to this question vary depending on which type of orchid is being asked. Orchids that belong to the Phalaenopsis are the only ones capable of regularly producing blooms every few months. In contrast, other orchids may only be capable of doing so once or twice a year.

How Long Do Orchid Flowers Last?

Depending on the variety of orchids, the amount of time it takes for the flowers to reach their maximum potential might range from a few days to many weeks. If the orchid is kept in a relaxed atmosphere, provided with an adequate quantity of water, and is not subjected to any stress, the cut blooms from the orchid will generally maintain their freshness for a longer time be of more excellent quality.

When Should I Cut The Flower Spike? 

Orchid Flower

The flowers begin to wilt and fall off the spike, and the stem, known as a "spike," can be severed from the plant. The flowers are said to have "peaked" for their overall beauty at this stage. To remove the spike from the plant, cut it off at its base, being careful not to nick any of the plant's leaves or roots in the process. Phalaenopsis orchids are an exception to this rule; they will commonly generate other blooms from the same flower spike. Since of this, you should not be in a hurry to cut it off once the flowers have faded away because the orchid will develop other blooms from the same flower spike. One approach to shorten the time that elapses between flowering cycles on Phalaenopsis orchids is to keep the flower spike on the plant after it has ceased producing flowers. You can do this practice after the orchids have finished blooming.

Why Won't My Orchid Bloom?

There is a good chance that the amount of light your orchid is exposed to is insufficient for its needs. Keep reading to learn more about lighting in the following paragraphs!

Lighting

  • If there is not enough light, you may anticipate that there will be a lot of growth but no blossoms. That is something that you can foresee. It is very typical for a plant to be unable to develop blooms for various reasons, but one of the most common is that it does not receive enough light.

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  • Although you should never place orchids in an area where they will be subjected to direct sunlight, it is necessary for the growth of these plants they get a great deal of light. The natural light that enters a space is at its brightest through windows that face either east or south, and it is excellent, even though it is indirect.
  • Orchid leaves' color is strongly correlated with the amount of light they receive:

A plant that is happy and healthy will have leaves that are a shade of green that is pretty vivid. That will be the case if the plant has brilliant green coloration.

If the leaves of a plant change from light green to a dark green color, this is a warning indication that the plant is not getting enough light to flourish.

The color of a plant's leaves will become a yellowish-green or even a reddish tint if it is subjected to excessive light. That occurs when the plant is exposed to a lot of light.

  • If you have any reason to believe that your orchid is being subjected to excessive light, you should touch the plant's leaves, which will help you determine whether or not your suspicions are justified. If you discover that the air around the plant is much greater than the plant's temperature, you ought to relocate the plant to a location with less intense light.

Air Circulation

Orchid Flower

  • In addition, orchids require air that is constantly moving and always fresh throughout their whole environment. There must be a slight wind blowing continuously for their survival in the wide outdoors for an extended period. That is a necessary condition for ensuring their continued existence. Moving air helps evaporate water that has been still, which reduces the creation of fungus and germs that may become a problem if they are allowed to become stuck during watering. Moving air helps evaporate water that has been still. Still, water is easier to disappear when there is moving air present. Still, water is easier to fade when there is moving air present.
  • Orchids require a significant amount of air circulation to withstand the intense light that would cause the leaves to get scorched without good ventilation. For orchids to be able to do this, enough ventilation is required. You may generate a mild breeze during the warmer months by leaving the windows open, and you can generate a gentle breeze during the cooler months by using an oscillating fan. When there is insufficient ventilation, orchids have a greater risk of dying from diseases such as rot, which a lack of carbon dioxide can cause.

Watering

Orchid Flower

  • In the opinion of many people who are educated about orchids, inadequate watering is the leading cause of the mortality of orchids, the cause of more deaths than anything else. It would be best if you didn't start watering an orchid plant until the earth all around it has gotten scorched first. After that, you can start watering the plant. If orchids are given excessive water, the plant's roots may rot, which is detrimental to the orchid's health.
  • When caring for orchids, you should under no circumstances utilize ice cubes as a source of moisture. Because most orchids grown as houseplants are tropical species, they do not like the direct cold that an ice cube may cause. That is because orchids thrive best in higher temperatures. ((Try to envision how you would respond if someone dropped a bucket of ice on you while you were at the beach!)) Just for a moment, imagine what you would do if someone poured a bucket of ice on you while you were at the beach. How would you react?
  • Take the potted orchid plant out of its container and peek inside to see whether the potting mix has become dry. You should return the plant to its container. Using the calendar below, you may use this information to figure out when you need to water the plant. Do you get the feeling that the kettle isn't weighty at all? According to this, it seems like it might need a drink at the same time as this.
  • Investigating the roots of an orchid is one of the methods you may use to determine whether or not the plant needs more water than it currently has available.

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If the roots of an orchid are white and plump, this is a sign that the plant is thriving and receiving the appropriate amount of water. Emerald green is the color that should appear on the roots of a healthy plant when they have received the right amount of water.

The orchid's roots have withered and greyed, so it probably needs more moisture.

Reduce the quantity of water you feed the plant if you see that its roots have grown shriveled or spongy brown and black. That is a sign that the plant is receiving too much water.

  • In general, you should water your plants with lukewarm water first thing in the morning once a week during the cooler months and twice a week during the warmer months. When the weather is warmer, you should increase the frequency of your waterings to twice a week. That will guarantee that your plants receive the appropriate amount of moisture. Water until there is no resistance when the water is drained out of the pot; this will remove any salts found in nature. 
  • Water until there is no resistance when the water is drained out of the pool. Water until there is no resistance when the water is poured out of the pot. Water until the pot is filled with water. You must mist the orchids with tepid water if the air inside becomes dry to prevent the humidity level from falling to an unsafe level. That is necessary to maintain the humidity level from falling to a dangerous level. Terrestrial plants do particularly well in an environment with a humidity level that is only a hair higher than the level desired by epiphytes.

Fertilizing

Orchid Flower

  • Fertilizing orchids should be done once every two weeks throughout their active growing seasons (spring and summer), spring and summer, respectively. Fertilizing orchids should be done once per month in their dormant period (autumn and winter) when they are not actively growing (fall and winter). Please use a fertilizer with a ratio of 30-10-10, such as orchid food, and dilute it to the point where it is only half as potent as the original quantity.
  • It is best to avoid caution and use a balanced fertilizer such as 20-20-20 when you are getting close to blooming. That will help ensure a successful bloom, guaranteeing that your plant gets all it requires to flourish and produce beautiful flowers.
  • When it comes to fertilizing plants, several seasoned gardeners advise doing it "once a month, very lightly."

Dormancy

  • Dormancy, also known as rest, is an important stage of development for many different kinds of orchids, and this stage of growth often takes place throughout the winter months. Dormancy is required for the survival of many kinds of orchids. During this period, plants will work to fortify their root systems, generate new leaves, and store energy in preparation for the subsequent phase of their life cycle, which will involve fast growth and flowering. At this point in the growing season, you should either lessen the quantity of fertilizer you put on the soil or completely cease applying it. In most cases, it takes eight to twelve months for an orchid to start flowering again after it has been dormant for an extended period.

Orchid Flower

These days, everyone who is interested can choose to buy one of a wide variety of stunning orchids from a selection that is now accessible. As a result of the likelihood that you will feel overwhelmed by it, we have highlighted some of the more common variants to provide you with assistance in getting started.

  • The Cattleya plant, often known as the "classic orchid," is an example of an epiphytic plant, implying that it does not require soil to thrive but instead thrives in the atmosphere. The "corsage orchid" has ruffled petals in bright colors and a rich, heavy aroma with a hint of vanilla. Its name comes from the flower's traditional use in corsages. The name of this flower derives from its outward look. It requires between 5 and 6 hours of light each day for it to be able to generate blooms daily. You should bring it outside during summer to ensure it receives enough water, and it would be best if you also transferred it back inside before the more simple weather returns.
  • The Oncidium sometimes referred to as the "dancing lady orchid," is typically discovered in environments that are classified as epiphytic. Oncidium is a plant that is easy to care for and produces delicate blossoms that sway gracefully in a manner reminiscent of the way ballerinas walk. These fantasy flowers proliferate and are available in every size, shape, and color imaginable. They come in a wide variety of sizes, conditions, and colors. It requires a minimum of five and no more than eight hours of light filtered daily.

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  • The phalaenopsis, more often known as the "moth orchid," is an example of an epiphytic plant. Because it takes minimal maintenance and thrives swiftly, this is the perfect option for individuals just beginning. It produces large sprays of flowers that can be any of the following colors: white, pink, yellow, red, spotted, or striped, and they can last anywhere between three and six weeks. These blooms can also be stained or streaked. It is susceptible to damage when subjected to low temperatures and has specific humidity needs that must be satisfied to function correctly. You should provide it with enough amount of food.
  • The Cymbidium, often known as the "buttonhole orchid," is generally believed to be a species of plant that grows terrestrially or on the surface of the earth. You can anticipate elaborate, arching sprays with several rows of gigantic, bold blossoms ranging in size from three to five inches and in colors ranging from pastel to primary. The flower sizes will range from three to five inches, and the color palette will range from pastel to primary. The colors of the blooms will vary from softer to more vibrant tones. Orchids, known as cymbidiums, are hardy enough to be grown outside but prefer temperatures on the lower end of the temperature spectrum. They are native to many regions of Asia and, due to their hardiness, make excellent garden plants in southern California. Cymbidiums, in general, give out an alluring aroma, and the varieties that have green-flowered flowers stand out as particularly prominent examples of this characteristic.

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  • People who are just starting the hobby of growing orchids will find that this particular orchid, also known as "Lady's Slippers," it's also one of the easiest orchids to care for, making it ideal for those just starting. The "slipper orchid" (terrestrial), also known as Paphiopedilum: This orchid is also known as "Paphiopedilum." Slipper orchids have blooms that last for a long time and exhibit weird flowers in spectacular and enigmatic colors. Slipper orchids have blooms that last a long time and show irregular flowers in stunning and mysterious shades. Additionally, the blossoms of slipper orchids have an odd aspect to them. Their leaves are patterned in such a way that makes them seem appealing even when no flowers are present on the plant where it is being cultivated. When it comes to ladies' slippers, there is a wide variety of options available in terms of color and design.
  • In most cases, epiphytic environments are where one may find orchids belonging to the genus Dendrobium, also known as the "orchid of many faces." This plant does not appreciate it when its feet are wet and does not enjoy it when it is disturbed. When enclosed within a container, it functions at its highest level. This plant must be exposed to a great deal of light for optimal growth. The color of the blooms can range from white to a combination of purple and white, but they often display both hues. It is recommended that you use a very tiny container and repot the plant no more frequently than once per few years at the very most.

Dyed Orchids

Orchid Flower

Sometimes, one might go to a retail shop and see orchids of the Phalaenopsis genus for sale. These orchids can have blossoms that are brilliant orange or vivid blue. There is a possibility that this will take place. Unfortunately, these flowers have been dyed, which means that even if the plant blooms again, the flower will not have the same brilliant color. That is because you applied the dye after you opened the flower. That is because you added the coloring after the flower opened up and was exposed to the air. This outcome was a direct consequence of applying the color to the petals. It is completely OK for you to purchase these plants; however, you should be aware that in the future, they will only produce flowers that are either white or ashen pink color. That is something that you should keep in mind before making your purchase. There is nothing wrong with the plants themselves in this regard.

Fragrant Orchids

There are a few different kinds of orchids that each emit an exceptionally heady and enticing scent. Perhaps one of the most alluring aromas emanates from there.

  • Angranthes grand arena: fragrant jasmine
  • Brassavola nodosa, more commonly known as freesia or lily-of-the-valley, is the scientific name of the plant that goes by the popular name of freesia.
  • Cattleya walkeriana and its offspring, which include cinnamon and vanilla hybrids in addition to its very own offspring, are referred to as its progeny.

  • Maxillaria tenuifolia: toasted coconut
  • Miltoniopsis santanaei: roses
  • Neofinetia falcata: jasmine
  • The flavor profile of the Oncidium variety known as "Sharry Baby" has undertones of both chocolate and vanilla.
  • Phalaenopsis Bellina is a kind of flower that has an aftertaste that is reminiscent of freesia and has a hint of lemon.
  • The flavor of Phalaenopsis violacea is described as being fiery and reminiscent of cinnamon at the same time.
  • A robust citrus species called Rhynchostylis gigantic may be found around the world.
  • Hyacinth, or Zygopetalum, is another name for this plant.

Wit And Wisdom

Orchid Babies

Several different species of orchids can produce their offspring. They are juvenile plants referred to as "keikis," You can take them from their pots and repot them to develop various varieties of orchids. Keikis are young plants. In the following paragraphs, you will learn how to report a Keiki orchid.

Did You Know?

Orchid Flower

Orchids are so sophisticated that they make blossoms that look precisely like the pollinators they wish to attract to maximize their chances of success. That allows the orchids to boost their chances of propagating successfully. While inspecting a pink flower, the Ophrys apifera, which may be seen in the following photograph, assumes the form of a female bee. Because of this, it piques the interest of the male bees that are already present in the hive. When one of these flies lands on the orchid, it becomes covered with pollen, which it then carries with it as it passes away and distributes to more regions.

Pests/Diseases

In general, orchids are not vulnerable to the harm caused by pests; nevertheless, there are a few pests that could potentially be troublesome for them. You can solve any issues by employing methods that do not require the use of any chemicals, and these solutions include the following:

You can eliminate them from your plant by washing them with insecticidal soap and warm water, using cotton swabs dipped in antiseptic alcohol, neem oil, or superior horticultural oils. These methods are viable options for getting rid of it, and these different approaches each have their merits.

Orchid Flower

  • If you want to find out if your plant is plagued with aphids, look for transparent, sticky droplets anywhere on the plant. Aphids leave these droplets behind.
  • Examine the undersides of the leaves, paying particular attention to the region around the leaf's central vein and the margins of the leaf to get an accurate measurement of the scale. When attempting to get rid of these pests, it is essential to remember that they have a tough, scaly shell that needs to be broken through to get rid of them, and this shell can either be punctured or shattered.
  • When looking for mealybugs, look for a white cottony mass placed on the flower's top right petal and column. That will help you identify the mealybug. In virtually every scenario, getting rid of it would need many treatments of pesticides spread over time, and these applications should be made at regular intervals. Utilize the naturally occurring treatments that you covered earlier in the phrase. Alternately, Orthene is an effective method of therapy that you may use on even the most severe infestations (Acephate).
  • The bright streaks or stippling that thrips leave behind on flowers or plants may be used to identify these itty-bitty insects, which are related to gnats and seem remarkable similarly to them. Thrips can be distinguished from gnats by their bright markings. The flower buds are also frequently distorted, as in most instances. Neem has been demonstrated to be beneficial in the vast majority of contexts.

Orchid Flower

  • Spider mites may be identified by the thin web-like pattern or stippled appearance that they leave behind on the leaves of the infested plant. This pattern is characteristic of spider mites. You may get rid of the stain by giving it a good soaking with a soapy mixture of warm water and spraying it vigorously. Following that, you should sprinkle the area with soap that has an insecticide in it.
  • If you believe that snails or slugs are responsible for the damage, you should use a flashlight to search for these pests in the dark. Snails and slugs are classified as gastropods, and nighttime creatures like snails and slugs leave behind slime trails as they go. Be careful to check the areas beneath any vases you own. You could try utilizing baits compatible with Sluggo® or go the beer route instead. Both of these options are available to you. If you leave the beer out overnight in a dish only a few centimeters deep, you will find them entirely submerged in the beer when you wake up the next day.

Orchids almost seldom become sick, but if they do, the following are some of the most prevalent ailments that might cause them harm:

  • When the roots of a plant are subjected to an excessive quantity of moisture for a lengthy time, a condition known as root rot can develop. If you follow the advice you gave to you above to heart and ensure that your orchid receives the appropriate amount of water and ventilation, you shouldn't have any problems with it.

Orchid Flower

  • The disease known as crown rot is responsible for deteriorating or blackening the primary growth point. It would help if you took measures to prevent water from collecting at the top of the plant since this can encourage disease growth. It is improbable that you can salvage it under most of these conditions.
  • Infected plants usually have round or oblong spots on their leaves or flowers due to bacterial and fungal infections. This damage can be detrimental to the orchid flower's overall health. These areas have the potential to be both ugly and hazardous. To get rid of diseased leaves, you can cut them off about half an inch to an inch into good leaf tissue that does not exhibit any indications of the disease. That will eliminate the contaminated leaves. You will be able to dispose of the infected leaves as a result of this action. If you cut into infected tissue first, then go on to healthy tissue, there is a chance that the infection will spread to the healthy tissue. Take extra precautions to ensure that you do not behave in this manner.