Growing Orchids

Saturday, July 22, 2017

I had checked out a demonstration and discussion about the care, feeding, and repotting of Orchids during one of those Spring Garden Shows. These care instructions are specifically for southern California areas, as well as maybe other tropical American states and countries with similar weather conditions.

An orchid contains 3 sepals, 2 petals, and a 3rd petal, as well as male and female parts, all combined into a flower column. It is a zygomorphic plant, which means symmetrical. There are over 30,000 species all over the world, which makes it the largest plant family worldwide.

The vanilla plant is also a part of the orchid family.

In order to place orchids, it is important to place the plants that need the most light on top, while placing plants that need less light at the bottom. If you want to grow your orchids inside your home, then you may need to add extra light. Consider LED light and its duration; the sun has RGB light, where the green isn’t needed, red is needed for the flower and root growth, and blue is needed for the stems, leaves, and strong health. Therefore, the LED has low heat and electricity. Just use the red or blue light. The leaves are better off to be dark green color and have less light. But when you notice the leaves to be a light green color or yellow green color, there will be more flowers. It is important to balance light, heat, water, air, and nutrients during seasons and temperature changes as well as indoor and outdoor placement. Know your particular orchid and its particular requirements.

#1 Why Repot?

  1. New orchid
  2. Starting new growth
  3. Roots are climbing outside of the pot
  4. Media is broken down
  5. Lots of bugs
  6. Sick plant

If the roots have a light green tip, then this is an indication that the plant is healthy.

  • Change the media, but don’t overpot because it will grow more plants and push out flowers.
  • Don’t break roots.
  • Provide moisture to stabilize plant

Tree Fern, Lava Rock, Sphagnum Moss, Osmunda, Rock Wool, and Fir Bark are growing media for orchids. They each have interesting textures and colors.

Never give fertilizer to sick or dry plant. Don’t give Urea nitrogen.

#2 Growing Orchids in Containers

  1. Change water cycle, depending on which container you are using, whether it is wood or plastic. But the pot should have holes to provide lots of air. Or, mount orchid to a tree, bark, or hang it somewhere. It needs moisture and humidity. You can mount it on a log. Never leave roots in water or any soggy media for too long. Always use room temperature water. But remember that different pots will tend to dry out differently. Don’t use sodium because it is softened water.
  2. Fertilizer is like vitamins for the plant. For healthy growth, make sure it gets 20% or less of nitrogen. Phosphorus helps roots grow as well as metabolism. Potassium helps fight stress, drought, and diseases.
  3. Always check roots to properly maintain the plant. Cut out anything brown, soft, or oozing out stuff. Spray roots with alcohol. And, then, place the plant in a slightly larger pot. Slit pots and make extra holes.

#4 Orchids need TLC

Cymbidiums need a shock of temperature changes as well as lots of light in both hot and cold areas. if you want to move your plant, always move plants gradually because it can get sunburned.

Cattleya Group includes Laelia Anceps, which grows with Cymbidiums. They are Sophronitis Hybrids.

Oncidium Group includes cold-tolerant Vanda, Dendrobiums that need winter protection, Paphiopendilums, Pidendrum, Lycaste, and Sarcochilus.

Annamen is a natural fungicide. You can also use Listerine and rubbing alcohol.

Phalaenopsis has no rest period. You can redo it anytime. It is also known as “The Coffee Table” orchid.

Pay attention to your specific plant and its needs. Most orchids are air plants, which is an indication that they grow upside down and they need to be watered during the very early morning hours. Wash salts out of the plant to cleanse it and add air. When buying an orchid, make sure it looks healthy and nice. Ask for the name, care requirements, and make sure it is planted firmly. Make sure there isn’t any bug and the plant is firm. It also likes humidity, air circulation,  the right temperature, the right lighting, and a stable place. Don’t put an orchid next to an open window because it needs a constant temperature.

To rid pests, place 70% alcohol and 30% water inside a spray bottle, and spray on the plant. Soap water also works, but fertilizer will burn the plant. Botrytis, black rot, and bud blast are plant diseases, and there is no cure.


What do you think?


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