Neo lovers are fortunate to collect plants that are relatively safe from bugs and disease. Compare them to Phalanopsis, for example, and Neos are like Superman! I have noticed, however, that there are a few varieties of Neos that seem to be more susceptible to problems. I thought that sharing the names of these more vulnerable varieties would help you could keep a closer eye on your own.
Seikai and Setonotsurugi:
These are two of my favorite Neos, both for their interesting leaf structure. In addition, Seikai has unusual flowers with long pink and white petals and sepals. I find that both of these are susceptible to mealy bugs (and no, they are not sitting next to each other). If there are flower spikes, always check there first, otherwise the mealies’ favorite spot is at the base of the leaves, often hidden in the tight crevices there. Use a soft toothbrush to remove the evil-doers, and then spray with a gentle soap-based insecticide. Remember to follow up on ALL insect treatments 7-10 days later to look for signs of activity from eggs that may have hatched.
Yellow tigers like Hanagoromo:
Nothing stands out against a bright yellow background like ugly black spots, but some of these tigers seem especially prone to them. In our collection, Hanagoromo seems to be the most susceptible. To prevent spread, spray with a fungicide and remove the affected portion of the leaf. Fungal growth is greatest when temperatures are warm and humidity is high, so keep that in mind if this is a recurring problem!
Do you have varieties that seem to be problematic? Share your experiences with us to help your fellow growers!