Friday, December 16, 2011

Mostly About Orchids...

A little over a month ago, I went to Watson's Greenhouse and bought an orchid. We have tried orchids in the past, but with little success. Mostly this was due to over watering. However, this time I talked to the expert there and got lots of good advice (writing it all down for when I forgot) and after one month, we are still having success! The best part is that we don't do very much except enjoy. I have put all of the instructions on the bottom of this page so that if you want to try it out, you could have success also. 

Note. My marvelous master gardening mother (say that five times fast) said that orchids like lime. I'm not sure what they like about it or what it does, but I will let you know when I find out.

General Orchid Care
Even though there are many types of orchids, the care is somewhat similar

You would water orchids once a week in summer, or when your house is 80 degrees or above. We prefer the soaking method. You place the plant in water just enough to cover the bark and soak for 3-5 minutes and then drain it thoroughly. Water once every to or three weeks in winter or if your house is on the cooler side. The more moisture in the air the less you should have to water. The object when watering is t maintain moisture in the potting mix, they like to dry out about 80-90% between watering. 
My note: We have been watering about once a month. You can feel the plant is really light when it is time to water. This takes a little time to figure out, but another way to tell is to look through the plastic at the roots (ours is clear) and if the roots are looking dry, its time to water, but if not, then leave it alone.

Muted light, no direct hot sun. A little morning sun is okay as long as it does not get hot.

This is very important. Good air movement prevents water or mold from getting into leaf joints. To get good air movement, open a window or add small fan to your room, not aiming directly on your orchid but just to get air movement.

A temperature of about 55-60 degrees is the coolest you can have before the flowers will suffer. Hose temperatures are generally ideal. 65-80 in the day and 55-70 at night.
My note: We keep our house appx. 72 degrees. The orchid is next to the window so it fluctuates a little.

Fertilizing- when not in bloom
Fertilize with fertilizer (10-15-10). We recommend fertilizing once a month.
My note: The best way to fertilize is to add the fertilizer to the water you soak the orchid in when you water.

Orchids love to be crowded so there is no need to transplant them. It is good to wait until they split the plastic pots they are in, and then only go up one pot size. Don't use soil. There is an orchid potting mix that you can purchase at a garden center.

1 comment:

  1. hi there, that's a nice looking orchid you have. i have orchids too...butterfly mostly. not really an expert in orchids, got a few to give a little colour to the garden, ha3. i agreed with your wife, it would look nice if the camellia becomes a nice bush. i think it'll blend very well with the work shed and the rest around :)