What ate my orchid?

GingerM(11-Hawaii)December 16, 2005

I have an orchid that was putting on buds, but the other day I went outside, and they were all gone, sheared off, clean as a whistle. What would have done this? My orchid is in a pot about 2 feet off the ground, so I don't think it was slugs or snails.


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Birds will sometimes do that, Ginger, specifically bulbuls. It's a big problem for commercial dendrobium growers. I'm not sure why they do it, but they pull the flowers out of my bromeliads too. I think maybe they are attracted to certain colors that remind then of ripe fruits, not sure.

There's not a whole lot you can do, other than put your plants in an inclosed area (like a shadehouse) that the birds can't get into, or just stand there and wave your arms and shout all day long. Even so, bulbuls are one of the smarter birds, and can figure out how to get in and out of places that a dove couldn't.

A friend of mine set a big trash can in the middle of his plants and put a few handfuls of dry dogfood in the bottom, and then waited. The bulbuls went into the can, attracted by the food, and then he quickly clamped the lid on, picked it up and shook it all around, then opened the lid and let them fly off. He says they never came back after that! ;-)

Some people shoot them or put poison on a piece of papaya and set it out, but I don't like the idea of killing them. Besides, there's always more where those came from, so it really doesn't do that much good.

I'm not sure if mice eat orchids, but that's another thought.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 6:28PM
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sandpounder(10 HI)

Aloha Ginger,

You can always build some kind of wire/meshwork cover to go over your plants that need protection. Small wood frame & attach mesh with a staple gun or nails & hammer.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 10:46PM
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Lisa, I had no idea birds would do that! Little buggers! I can't imagine they would have thought they were berries or anything-they were still green, although maybe about the right size to be berries. I'll have to try to figure out how to keep them away. I don't want to bring the plants inside as I'm afraid of moving an ant nest inside. You live in HI, I'm sure you understand!

Sandpounder-good advice, but being the realistic gal that I am, I can tell you that's never going to happen, not if I have to put it together myself, that is. LOL! I appreciate the thought though.

Thanks to you both!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 1:59AM
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