Orchids - Beautiful Flowers
Orchids are a beautiful flower, that you can get weeks of joy in admiring it.
Maybe it was a passing fad, but orchids were one of those crazes, but I still love orchids, my family still give me plants, but I have found I do not have the time to care for them now as I did 15 years ago.
The main problem is, I never seems to get them repotted after flowering, that is what they need or they just seem to die or not flower, because they need a lot of feeding in the spring and summer.
I could not walk past them in the garden shops with out buying one, especially if I did not have that color and they are not cheap.
Orchids are wonderfully exotic looking plants you can enjoy their beauty for many weeks, as the flowers last so long if cared for.
How to grow glorious orchids
1. Most orchids require watering when they are almost, but not quite, dry. Never stand them in water.
2. Water in the morning, allowing foliage to dry before nightfall. lessening the risk of fungal diseases.
3. Feed with well diluted soluble fertiliser while watering and go easy on fertiliser - little and often is the key.
4. Most orchids prefer relative humidity above 50% and good air circulation.
5. Increase humidity indoors by placing plants close together, regularly misting with water or sitting plants on a saucer filled with pebbles and topped up with water.
6. Repot into orchid potting mix (unless specified) when roots have just started coming through the base of the pot.
7. Don't over-pot orchids, they resend being in containers much larger than their root system.
P.S.As you can see by the photo my cymbidium orchids need some tender loving care.
Cymbidium Orchids Have been gracing living rooms and conservatories for decades, they survive a surprising amount of cold, in New Plymouth Taranaki they used to thrive even with light frosts, but in the hills in eastern taranaki, they do not like the cold winds even in the autumn, it knocks them and I usually get caught out with the slugs getting at the flower spikes before they have started to really form.
For them to survive I need to leave them inside all the time but I do not have a conservatory, so my Cymbidiums really suffer.
If you are growing them in the summer place them outdoors under shade of a large tree, give them plenty of water over summer.
Decrease the water in the autumn and over winter - only water once the plant is completely dry.
Feed them frequently in spring and summer, but give them a rest in winter.
There are hundreds of hybrids available in stores, but it pays to purchase plants in flower so you know what you are getting.
Phalaenopsis - Moth Orchids
I have had Moth Orchids flowers to last for over two months inside it is well worth the price you pay for them, as one plant is more economical than buying fresh flowers every week.
But to make them last they need a little bit of tender loving care.
Place them in a position that receives filtered natural light, constant warmth, high humidity, good air circulation and minimum nighttime temperature of 15 c.
Sit the pot on a tray filled with pebbles and topped with water to help maintain humidity levels.
Feed them weekly, year around, with dilute soluble fertiliser, applied when watering.
Water only when the plant is almost, but not quiet dry.
Cut flowers stems back to just above the second node from the base to promote further flowering - but don't chop off the strange looking aerial roots sticking out of the soil.
Cattleya orchids are often used as corsage flowers because of their size and fragrance.
They require the same temperature and light conditions as moth orchids.
Water and feed Cattleya regularly in spring and summer.
Reduce watering in autumn and winter (or after flowering), allowing them to dry out between watering as they are very susceptible to over-watering.
Paphiopedilum - Slipper Orchid
Slipper orchids have been classed as a poor man's orchid, but I never thought of it as that, it is a beautiful orchid, well worth it's name a slipper orchid.
The slipper orchid are fascinating, the little pouch on the front lip of the flower is designed to trap small insects, which become covered in pollen.
When they escape, the insects transfer the pollen to other orchid.
When treated correctly slipper orchid flowers will last for months, and they do.
Place them in a high light position out of direct sun. They prefer day-time temperatures in the region of 21c to 26c and night temperatures of 15c, although a period of lower night temperatures in autumn will help initiate new flower buds.
Keep them constantly moist, but not soggy over summer and just moist in winter. Keep water away from the leaf base where flowers emerge to prevent new buds rotting.
Feed orchids with a weak solution of soluble plant food every fourth watering. Repot every second year.
Orchid TIme Lapse 1
Disa orchids grow naturally amongst reeds on the banks of cold mountain streams in their native homeland, South Africa.
Unlike most other orchids which are grown in bark mix, Disa orchids are grown in chopped sphagnum moss or a peat and pumice mix.
Grow them in a sunny to semi-shaded area outdoors anywhere the temperatures do not fall below freezing.
Water them with fresh rainwater and feed with 1/4-strenght soluble plant food over spring and summer.
Repot new shoots each year and be sure to discard old flower shoots.
© 2011 Elsie Hagley