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Species Page

bacterial brown rot of orchids

Pectobacterium cypripedii
This information is part of a full datasheet available in the Crop Protection Compendium (CPC). Find out more information on how to access the CPC.
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.


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Host plants / species affected

Main hosts

show all species affected
Carica papaya (pawpaw)
Paphiopedilum (lady's slipper orchid)
Phalaenopsis amabilis (moth-orchid)

List of symptoms / signs

Growing point - rot
Leaves - necrotic areas
Leaves - yellowed or dead
Stems - dieback
Stems - internal discoloration
Whole plant - early senescence
Whole plant - plant dead; dieback


P. cypripedii causes brown rot on orchids with fleshy leaves. Initial symptoms are small, water-soaked lesions which enlarge to become brown, greasy-looking, slightly sunken areas.

On pawpaws, P. cypripedii causes necrotic water-soaked lesions on leaf blades and stems which progress slowly down into mature tiissue, producing a black rot. Fruit from disease orchards develop black spots (Leu et al., 1980).

Prevention and control

Cultural control and Sanitary Methods

Still air and cool temperatures must be avoided since they can trigger rots caused by P. cypripedii. There must be sufficient ventilation to quickly dry the plants after watering. Compost must be kept dry overnight at a temperature of 18° to 20°C. Humus epiphytic orchid plants of the Section Brachypetalum, like the susceptible species of Paphiopedilum, need oxygen at the roots. They should not be grown in a completely enclosed environment, as they require plenty of moving air.