Easy Orchids

Easy Orchids

Le Orglades GrandHawaiin Prominence ‘America’

The Feb/March Birds & Blooms magazine has an interesting and educational article about orchids written by Tom Krischan from Wisconsin. He recommends several varieties for the beginning orchid gardener. What I know is this-you can’t beat the colors that these flowers produce. It’s amazing and gives my mood a lift every time that I look at them. The booths filled with orchids at the show grab my look-see every time. It’s a magnetic thing-just try and pull me away!

He recommends:

  1. Phalaenopsis– Commonly called Moth Orchids. Bloom for months with lots of flowers. One of the few that rebloom on an old flower spike.
  2. Paphiopedium– Commonly called Lady Slipper Orchids. Flowers have larger lips than other varieties and also vivid colors.
  3. Cattleya– Flowers can reach 5-7 inches wide (wow) and have a strong, sweet fragrance. But the flowers only last 2-3 weeks.
  4. Dendrobium– Carefully grown can produce multiple spikes several times a year.
  5. Oncidium– Often called Dancing Ladies. Produces dozens, and often hundreds of small, yellowish flowers that might be speckled. When they catch a breeze, it does indeed look like they are dancing.

Tom also says that there are five key ingredients for successfully growing orchidorchids:

  • Light-They need a few hours of sunlight every day. When it blooms, move it slightly away from warm sunshine to prolong blooms.
  • Water-Hold back on it. Orchids need water only after their potting material has dried out completely. Water thoroughly but not frequently.
  • Temperature-Tropical orchids are great inside but most favor temperatures between 70-85 degrees during the day and 10-15 degrees cooler at night. Keep them away from heating vents and cold doorways.
  • Fertilizer– Most grow fine without any. (cool) But if you want to, simply use a balanced 20-20-20 mixture at one quarter the normal strength.
  • Bugs– Inspect your plants every time you water for bugs, the most common of which are the mealy bug (look like tiny bits of cotton) and scale (looks like brown-colored flat discs stuck to leaf or stem surface).
  • talisha
    Posted at 22:50h, 19 March Reply

    Gardeners supply is one of my favorite store which provides all seed starting supplies, garden furniture to flower supports and greenhouses at discounted prices….

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