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Happy National Orchid Day!

With National Orchid day coming up on April 16th, 2021, we are sharing everything you need to know to properly care for your orchids!


***This article was not written by Southern Nurseries. This article is from an unknown source***


GROWING MEDIUM: Varies by orchid variety; usually made up of sticks, stones, fir bark, tree fern, peat moss, sphagnum moss, lava rock, alifor, osmunda, and perlite. All orchids should be grown in containers specially designed for them.


Orchids should be repotted when they outgrow their container or their potting medium begins to break down.


WATERING: Should you start seeing wrinkling on the pseudobulbs of oncidiums, zygopetalums & miltonias, on the canes on dendrobiums or very soft (limp celery) leaves on vandas, paphiodilums, masdavallias or phalenopsis your plants are too dry.


If your orchids are not getting enough water they will tap into the water reservoir of the older bulbs & canes in order to generate new growth or produce a flower spike. Monopodial orchids without bulbs or canes are most vulnerable as if they get dehydrated it will compromise the integrity of the entire plant.


FEEDING: Foliar feed every 2 out of 3 waterings or basically 2x a week, the 3rd watering being fresh water to flush the pots of any salt build up. Slow release fertilizers such as osmocote are also recommended.


LIGHT: South and east-facing windows work best for orchids. West windows can be too hot in the afternoon and north-facing ones are usually too dark. A sheer curtain will cast light shade. Too much direct light causes leaves to sunburn - so it may be necessary to re-position plants as the seasons change. In winter in a cold climate, leaves touching the window may freeze.


Leaf color indicates if the amount of light is adequate. The lush, rick, dark green of most houseplants is not desirable in orchid leaves. A grassy green color (light or medium green with yellowish tones) means the plant is receiving sufficient light to bloom.


FLOWERING: In order to produce blooms, orchids need at least a month's worth of daily temperature drops of at least 10 degrees from day to night. Homes tend to stay anywhere from 68-75 degrees, so it is recommended to put your orchid in a room that gets a little cold by the window--and put your orchid in the window. When the sun goes down, the heat will drop and the cold will stimulate it to re-bloom.


General Guidelines for Dendrobium, Cattleya, Oncidium, Intergeneric Oncidinae, Miltonia, Pahiopedalum, Zygopetalum and Masdavallia:


Temperature: 55-85 degrees


Light: filtered (30-50% shaded); no direct sun


Watering: 3 times per week (once with fertilizer) in the morning for 3-5 minutes. Allow the plant to moderately dry out in between watering. Do not water any orchids at night, as that will increase the chance of root decay from staying too wet.


Fertilizer: Water heavily with a well balanced, liquid, foliar fertilizer such as 20-20-20 once a week. Water plant first, and then water again with fertilizer.


Humidity: A pebble humidity tray helps keep the air moist around your plant if you are in an extremely dry area. Bathrooms are also good, for they tend to be more humid, however beware of lack of good light.


Miltonia, Paphiopedilem, Intergeneric Oncidinae, Zygopetalum and Masdavallias do not like to dry out completely in between watering and a humidity tray for these is recommended as well as more frequent watering in warmer weather.


Cattleyas and Dendrobiums like to dry out completely in between waterings.


Pesticides:

  • Avid - Mites, Foliar Nematodes

  • Orthene - Aphids, Scale

  • Admire - Thrips

  • Dipel - Caterpillars

  • Conserve - Spider Mites

  • SlugFest - Slugs, Bush Snail

  • Distance - Scale

  • Dursban - Most sucking type insects

Fungicides:

  • Rhapsody - Keiki production, small plants just out of flask.

  • Pentahalon - All purpose, both fungus and bacteria.

  • Heritage - All purpose

  • Aliette - All purpose

  • Subdue - Good for preventing root rot, pythium & phytophtera

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