For fellow orchid addicts:  After finding large black spots on two of my favorite phalaenopsis, I immediately called the local orchid hospital. The doc on call suggested a two-step cure. “First,” he said, “cut the spot from the plant, cutting with a sterilized tool, well below the spot, back to where the tissue is healthy.”

Cutting off the black spot is nothing new, but the next step was surprising, especially as this sick-orchid hot line is connected to a nursery selling as many orchid pharmaceuticals as the local Walgreens sells people pills and the advice did nothing to promote sales.

“Sprinkle ground cinnamon on the cut and on the stem base of the plant,” he said. “Cinnamon is the best anti-bacterial, anti-fungal around.”

Goodbye lethal chemicals. Hello cookie-scented healthy plants. Thank you orchid whisperer.