Orchid Care http://www.orchidcarelady.com The Most Important Things You Need To Know About Orchid Care Today! Tue, 30 Jul 2013 04:17:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.5 Amazing Orchids: The Dove or Holy Ghost Orchid http://www.orchidcarelady.com/amazing-orchids-the-dove-or-holy-ghost-orchid/ http://www.orchidcarelady.com/amazing-orchids-the-dove-or-holy-ghost-orchid/#respond Wed, 03 Jul 2013 18:47:42 +0000 http://www.orchidcarelady.com/?p=1053 Dove OrchidThis week’s amazing orchid is the Peristeria elata, an orchid species native to regions in Central America (it’s the national flower of Panama).  I’ve actually seen these beauties at Orchid Shows a few times and they are just the sweetest thing!  They are commonly referred to as the ‘Dove’ or ‘Holy Ghost Orchid‘ because of the tiny little dove that appears to be sitting in the center of the orchid.  These peaceful and elegant orchids do have a fragrance (they smell like beer I hear).  Like many other orchids, the Dove Orchid is used in Chinese medicine and is most commonly used for cosmetic uses–to sooth and clear spotty skin.

Now for the real reason you wanted to check out this post….THE PHOTOS!  Here are a few photos I gathered from about the web.  Enjoy!

 

peristeria elata orchid

 

Holy Spirit Orchid

 

Dove Holy Spirit Orchid

 

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

Orchid Care, Orchids, Orchids Care, Growing Orchids, Orchid Care and Maintenance

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Amazing Orchids: The Flying Duck Orchid http://www.orchidcarelady.com/amazing-orchids-the-flying-duck-orchid/ http://www.orchidcarelady.com/amazing-orchids-the-flying-duck-orchid/#respond Fri, 28 Jun 2013 03:16:32 +0000 http://www.orchidcarelady.com/?p=1036 Flying Duck Orchid -I recently received an email forward from a friend with an incredible slideshow of some of the most beautiful orchids I’ve ever seen.  Included in that slideshow was a number of unique animal-like orchids.  I thought it would be fun to learn a little bit more about these and share them here on my blog.  Here’s the first amazing orchid:

The Caleana major orchid, native to the southern and eastern regions of Australia, is most commonly referred to as the flying duck orchid (for obvious reasons).  It’s an itty bitty thing with flowers that measure just 1/2-3/4 of an inch in length.

SawflyThe length and unique shape of the labellum is the perfect resting spot for pollinating insects.  Sawflies landing on the column will become trapped in the labellum (which shifts downward from the weight of the sawfly), forcing the sawfly to brush against the pollen on the way out.  Don’t you just love how sneaky orchids are when it comes to forcing pollination?!

From what I’ve read, it’s also an extremely difficult orchid to propagate as it survives in the wild with the help of a fungus found only in certain parts of Australia.

Oh what I would give to see this little guy in person!  I don’t know about you, but I have no plans of traveling to Australia anytime soon, so I hope you enjoy the photos of the flying duck (below) as much as I do.

Flying Ducks 2

flying duck 3

flying duck 4

Just another reminder of how amazing nature can be!

Want to learn a few tricks about how to care for orchids?  Sign up for Ryan’s Free Orchid Care Email Tips–he shares his best secrets with his readers.  You’ll learn secret orchid care techniques expert growers use to super-charge their plants!

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

 

Photo Credits (in order):
dracophylla
Bill Higham
sunphlo

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Orchid Care Q& A: What’s Growing On My Orchid?! http://www.orchidcarelady.com/orchid-care-q-a-whats-growing-on-my-orchid/ http://www.orchidcarelady.com/orchid-care-q-a-whats-growing-on-my-orchid/#respond Wed, 12 Jun 2013 03:11:10 +0000 http://www.orchidcarelady.com/?p=1025 Today’s Orchid Care Question comes from my blog reader Dan.  He’s new to Phals and has a couple of new leaves growing off the side of his plant.  He sent me some great photos and I thought I’d share his question and photos with all of you!  Enjoy :-)

Reader Question:

Hi Carol,
I have been growing a Phal orchid for the last six months or so. When I bought the orchid it had a large stem with many beautiful flowers on it. The flowers have since died off and the stem turned yellow/brown. I went ahead and trimmed the stem back to the first node and it continued to yellow and harden. Now the plant is growing new leaves off the side of the main plant and was wondering if this is normal? Also I am curious as to when I can expect a new flower stem to grow? I have attached a picture of the orchid to help with my description. Thanks for the help and tips.

– Dan Binzel

 

Phal with Basal Keiki      Detail of Phal with Basal Keiki

Answer:

Hi Dan!

So glad you’ve included some photos with your question!  They are very helpful in seeing what exactly your orchid is growing.

What you have there is a basal keiki (baby plant) growing on your Phalaenopsis mother plant.  Kekis can grow at the base (basal) or further up along the stem.  Not really sure why keikis grow on some plants and not others, sometimes they just do.  You can even force keiki growth on orchids with a product known as Keiki Growth Paste.  It’s a great way to propagate your orchids!

Some growers believe that basal keikis sometimes grow on orchids that are under a lot of stress and dying, but they will also grow on perfectly healthy orchids.  From what I can see, your plant has very happy green leaves and looks like it is quite healthy.  I do see a few dry roots on the surface of the pot.  You can take this time to remove damaged roots and repot your orchid if it needs it (since it is no longer in bloom).

You’ll want to continue to mist both plants regularly–paying special attention to the keiki as it should start growing roots soon and you don’t want those to dry out.  Once the roots get long enough, you’ll be able to repot the baby orchid in its own pot.  Check out my previous post of keiki repotting here: Orchid Keiki Repotting Instructions

As far as the mother plant goes, the keiki growth should not impact it very much  A new flower spike will emerge from the base when the plant is rested enough and ready for reblooming.  Phals typically spike in the late Fall/early Winter season.  You’ll want to give your Phalaenopsis cooler nighttime temperatures to encourage it to rebloom.  I’m personally waiting for several of my own phals to spike in a few months.  The wait is well worth it!

Well, I believe that just about answers you question.  I hope this proves helpful!  Thanks again for your question and for sending in a photo!

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

Orchid Care, Orchids, Orchids Care, Growing Orchids, Orchid Care and Maintenance

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Orchid Care Video: Helpful Spices! http://www.orchidcarelady.com/orchid-care-video-spices/ http://www.orchidcarelady.com/orchid-care-video-spices/#respond Fri, 29 Mar 2013 15:58:34 +0000 http://www.orchidcarelady.com/?p=1013 Ryan over at OrchidsMadeEasy has a great video I just had to share here. This video shows just how easy it can be to care for your orchids. Who says you have to go out in search of special orchid chemicals? Sometimes all you need is to grab something from your kitchen cabinet! So go ahead, watch the video below to see which spice can treat and prevent diseases in your orchids! So simple, easy, and natural!

Want to learn more? Don’t miss Ryan’s Free Orchid Care Email Tips.

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :-)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

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Orchid Care and Maintenance : New Plant on Stem? http://www.orchidcarelady.com/orchid-care-and-maintenance-new-plant-on-stem/ http://www.orchidcarelady.com/orchid-care-and-maintenance-new-plant-on-stem/#comments Thu, 28 Oct 2010 16:28:36 +0000 http://www.orchidcarelady.com/?p=968 Today’s Orchid Care and Maintenance Question is from Helena in Bocas del Toro, Panama!

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Question: Two of my orchids have grown a new plant off the old flower stem.  The root is 1 1/2 in. long.  How should I remove it to repot it?

Answer:

Hi Helena!  I’m so glad you’ve written all the way from Panama!  Your orchids must be loving the warm and humid climate in Bocas del Toro!  It is difficult to say what exactly is going on with your orchid, but it sounds as though your plants are growing keikis.  (You can check out my post on orchid anatomy.)

I’ve propagated a few keikis from my phalaenopsis orchids over the years—each one has gone on to flourish into a full-size plant using the orchid propagation method below. Phalaenopsis grown this way should reach flowering size 18 months to 2 years after they first appeared.

(Proceed only if the roots of the keiki are longer than at least 2 inches.)

Orchid Care and Maintenance, Orchid Care, Phalaenopsis Orchid, Orchid Propogation

Carefully remove the small plant from the flower spike by cutting the stem 1 to 2 inches either side of the plant, this will ensure that you don’t damage the roots of the keiki.

Orchid Care and Maintenance, Orchid Care, Orchid Propagation, Phalaenopsis Orchid

Orchid Care and Maintenance, Orchid Care, Orchid Propagation, Phalaenopsis Orchid

Assemble everything you need.  This comprises of a pot large enough for 12 months of growth, a medium grade potting mix, a label with the variety and of course the keiki – see photo.

Orchid Care and Maintenance, Orchid Care, Orchid Propagation, Phalaenopsis Orchid, Repotting Orchid

Carefully pot the keiki —keeping the roots in tact below the orchid potting mix.

Orchid Care and Maintenance, Orchid Care, Orchid Propagation, Phalaenopsis Orchid

Protect the keiki from direct sunlight and water and fertilize regularly.

Here’s the keiki on June 30th – it has produced a new leave and roots

Orchid Care and Maintenance, Orchid Care, Orchid Propagation, Phalaenopsis Orchid

The keiki has another new leaf and a flower spike emerging!

Orchid Care and Maintenance, Orchid Care, Orchid Propagation, Phalaenopsis Orchid

The keiki in full bloom

Orchid Care and Maintenance, Orchid Care, Orchid Propagation, Phalaenopsis Orchid

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Want to learn more?  Don’t miss Ryan’s Free Orchid Care Email Tips.

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :-)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

Orchid Care, Orchids, Orchids Care, Growing Orchids, Orchid Care and Maintenance

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Orchid Care and Maintenance : Falling Orchid Flower Buds http://www.orchidcarelady.com/orchid-care-and-maintenance-falling-orchid-flower-buds/ http://www.orchidcarelady.com/orchid-care-and-maintenance-falling-orchid-flower-buds/#comments Mon, 25 Oct 2010 19:03:09 +0000 http://www.orchidcarelady.com/?p=955 Things have been so hectic around here lately (family friends came to Florida for a visit) that I’ve gotten a bit behind in answering my orchid care emails.

So, rather than respond to everyone individually, I figured I could respond to emails right here on the blog.

Today’s Orchid Care and Maintenance Question is from Sheila in upstate New York.

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Question: My orchid flower buds shrivel and fall off my orchids before they open?  Why?

Orchid, Orchids, Bud Blast

Answer:

Great question Sheila!  Healthy orchid plants that have buds fall off the stem before they have a chance to open are suffering from “bud blast”.  This can be caused due to rapid changes in environment and even air pollutants such as smoke, paint thinner or aerosol sprays and ethylene gas that is released from ripening fruit.

Are you moving your orchid around the house daily?  Is there a cold or hot draft that might be affecting it?  Or is it sitting on the kitchen table near your fruit bowl?

You can read a bit more about how temperature changes affect orchids in my earlier post: Orchid Flowers and Bud Blast.

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Have an orchid related question you’d like me to answer?  Send me an email!  Check out the Contact Carol tab above for more info.

Don’t forget to sign up for Free Orchid Care Tips with my pal Ryan.

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

Orchid Care, Orchids, Orchids Care, Growing Orchids, Orchid Care and Maintenance

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Orchids: Beautiful Cymbidium Orchids! http://www.orchidcarelady.com/orchids-beautiful-cymbidium-orchids/ http://www.orchidcarelady.com/orchids-beautiful-cymbidium-orchids/#respond Fri, 15 Oct 2010 19:54:03 +0000 http://www.orchidcarelady.com/?p=945 If you love cymbidum orchids, you’ll love the new Flickr Group I’ve recently discovered: Cymbidium Orchids Only

You can upload pictures of your cymbidium beauties at this link here: http://bit.ly/aMJQxH

Cymbidium Orchid, Orchid Care, orchids

Cym. Pontac ' Trinity '

Cymbdium Orchid, Orchid Care, Orchids, How to grow orchids

Cym. Apple Crisp

Cymbidium Orchid, How to take care of orchids, orchids and growing or planting

Cym. Misty Green

Cymbidium, Orchid Care and Maintenance, How to Look after Orchids

Cym. Everett Stockstill ' Sheilajo '

Want to keep your cymbidium orchids happy and healthy?  Don’t forget to sign up for Ryan’s Free Orchid Care newsletter HERE.  He  includes Orchid Care Cheat Sheets with every book order!

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :-)
The Orchid Care Lady

+ Courtesy of Vinegar Tips

Orchid Care, Orchids, Orchids Care, Growing Orchids, Orchid Care and Maintenance

+ Beautiful Cymbidium Orchid photos courtesy of Flickr User azn_linsie_hu

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Orchid Care : Diseases – Crown Rot http://www.orchidcarelady.com/orchid-care-diseases-crown-rot/ http://www.orchidcarelady.com/orchid-care-diseases-crown-rot/#comments Thu, 14 Oct 2010 16:38:47 +0000 http://www.orchidcarelady.com/?p=932 In today’s orchid care post, I’ll be sharing a few tips on how to care for orchids with crown rot.  You may have seen plants at your local grocery store suffering from crown rot (I see it all too often) or perhaps you’ve had to treat an orchid with crown rot in your own home.  Treating crown rot can be extremely difficult, but the more we know about it, the better we can treat, even prevent it!

Orchids are susceptible to various types of rot including leaf rot, root rot and crown rot.  Monopodial orchids (Phalaenopsis and Vandas) are most suseptible to crown rot—a fungal infection that is caused by water pooling in the center (or crown) of the plant.

Crown rot can cause immense damage to an orchid and must be treated immediately.  One solution  is to use hydrogen peroxide (3%).  You can treat the crown rot with full strength hydrogen peroxide, repeating every 2-3 days until the rot no longer fizzes and bubbles with the hydrogen peroxide application.  Sprinkling cinnamon from your kitchen cabinets can also be used to treat the fungus.

Of course, prevention is the best medicine, even when it comes to orchids.  Crown rot is 100% preventable.  Water your orchids early in the day, so that the plant has time to dry off before night time and provide your plants with proper air circulation.  Most importantly, always take the time to inspect the crown of your orchids regularly.  Take a tissue and soak up any water that has pooled in the crown.

(If you do decide to remove severely damaged orchid leaves, make sure you sterilize the blade for each cut.)

Want to receive more tips on caring for orchids?  Sign up for Ryan’s Free Orchid Care Email Tips–you’ll learn everything you need to know straight from the expert!

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :-)
The Orchid Care Lady

Orchid Care, Orchids, Orchids Care, Growing Orchids, Orchid Care and Maintenance

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Orchid Care Tips: Non-Toxic Insecticide http://www.orchidcarelady.com/orchid-care-tips-non-toxic-insecticide/ http://www.orchidcarelady.com/orchid-care-tips-non-toxic-insecticide/#comments Thu, 23 Sep 2010 11:25:14 +0000 http://www.orchidcarelady.com/?p=923

To spray your orchid plants to deter insects – in place of more toxic chemicals.

4 cups canola oil or vegetable oil
7 table spoon eucalyptus oil
2 cups water
2 teaspoon dish soap

Mix together & shake well. To use add 3 tablespoon of mixture to 4 cups of water and spray.

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

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25 Clever Uses for Vinegar in the Garden http://www.orchidcarelady.com/25-clever-uses-for-vinegar-in-the-garden/ http://www.orchidcarelady.com/25-clever-uses-for-vinegar-in-the-garden/#comments Tue, 21 Sep 2010 11:12:16 +0000 http://www.orchidcarelady.com/?p=623

Bill and I are really making a conscious effort to change the way things operate in our household.   I’ve already phased out all of our previous household cleaners with natural cleaning solutions and I’ve been so pleased with the results I thought I’d continue the work outdoors.

We are in the process of transitioning the garden into a more environmentally friendly place–finding options for natural pesticides and fertilizers (that really work).

It may come as a surprise, but we’ve actually saved money transitioning our home and garden into greener spaces.   Natural and environmental friendly does not necessarily  mean more expensive!

One of my absolute favorite natural secrets is vinegar.  It is super cheap, widely available and has so many great uses around the house and garden!

White distilled vinegar provides many safe and natural ways to protect and enhance your garden and gardening tools. Not only will you feel good about keeping children and pets (and you!) away from pesticides and other chemicals, you’ll feel great about the low cost of vinegar compared to those other products.

25 Clever Uses for Vinegar in the Garden

1. Kill weeds and grass growing in unwanted places by pouring full-strength white distilled vinegar on them. This works especially well in crevices and cracks of walkways and driveways.

2. Give acid-loving plants like azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas and gardenias a little help by watering them with a white distilled vinegar solution now and again. A cup of white distilled vinegar to a gallon of tap water is a good mixture.

3. Stop ants from congregating by pouring white distilled vinegar on the area.

4. Discourage cats from getting into the kids’ sandbox with white distilled vinegar.

5. Preserve cut flowers and liven droopy ones by adding 2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar to a quart of water in a vase.

6. Get rid of the water line in a flower vase by filling it with a solution of half water and half white distilled vinegar, or by soaking a paper towel in white distilled vinegar and stuffing it into the vase so that it is in contact with the water line.

7. Clean out stains and white mineral crusts in clay, glazed and plastic pots by soaking them for an hour or longer in a sink filled with a solution of half water and half white distilled vinegar.

8. Remove crusty rim deposits on house planters or attached saucers by soaking them for several hours in an inch of full-strength white distilled vinegar.

9. Clean a birdbath by scrubbing it often with undiluted white distilled vinegar. Rinse well.

10. Get rid of rust on spigots, tools, screws or bolts by soaking the items overnight or for several days in undiluted white distilled vinegar.

11. Neutralize garden lime by adding white distilled vinegar to the area.

12. Avoid skin problems after working in the garden by rinsing your hands in white distilled vinegar.

13. Increase the acidity of soil by adding white distilled vinegar to your watering can.

14. Eliminate anthills by pouring in white distilled vinegar.

15. Cure a cement pond before adding fish and plants by adding one gallon of white distilled vinegar to every 200 gallons of water. Let sit three days. Empty and rinse thoroughly.

16. Sanitize outdoor furniture and picnic tables with a cloth soaked in white distilled vinegar.

17. Kill slugs by spraying them with a mixture of 1 part water and 1 part white distilled vinegar.

18. To catch moths use a mixture of 2 parts white distilled vinegar and 1 part molasses. Place mixture in tin can and hang in a tree.

19. Keep rabbits from eating your plants. Put cotton balls soaked in white distilled vinegar in a 35mm film container. Poke a hole in the top and place in the garden.

20. Remove berry stains on your hands by rubbing them with white distilled vinegar.

21. Clean plastic patio furniture with a solution of 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar to 1 gallon of water.

22. Wash fresh vegetables with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar in 1 ½ quarts of water.

23. When cleaning an outdoor fountain, soak the pump in white distilled vinegar to remove any mineral deposits.

24. Clean a hummingbird feeder with white distilled vinegar—soap or detergent can leave behind harmful residue.

25. Remove mold from terra cotta pots by soaking in a solution of 1 cup white distilled vinegar, 1 cup chlorine bleach, and 1 gallon of warm water before scrubbing with a steel wool pad.

* Traditional white distilled vinegar found at your local supermarket is 5% acidic.  You can purchase a stronger 20% acidic vinegar (great for killing weeds) at a local nursery, farm supply company, or wherever organic gardening supplies are sold.

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :-)
The Orchid Care Lady

+ Courtesy of Vinegar Tips

Orchid Care, Orchids, Orchids Care, Growing Orchids, Orchid Care and Maintenance

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Flowering Orchids in Autumn http://www.orchidcarelady.com/flowering-orchids-in-autumn/ http://www.orchidcarelady.com/flowering-orchids-in-autumn/#respond Thu, 16 Sep 2010 11:40:22 +0000 http://www.orchidcarelady.com/?p=918 Autumn brings shorter days and cooler temperatures.  Vandas, cattleyas, oncidiums, dendrobiums, phalaenopsis, paphiopedilums (and their hybrids) are just a few of the autumn-blooming orchids.

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Orchid Care, Orchids, Orchids Care, Growing Orchids, Orchid Care and Maintenance

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How to Care for Orchids: Repotting Orchids Tips for Beginners http://www.orchidcarelady.com/how-to-care-for-orchids-repotting-orchids-tips-for-beginners/ http://www.orchidcarelady.com/how-to-care-for-orchids-repotting-orchids-tips-for-beginners/#comments Tue, 07 Sep 2010 12:45:29 +0000 http://www.orchidcarelady.com/?p=911 This little tip can keep your orchids happy in their pots for months!

USE FOAM PACKING PEANUTS TO HELP YOUR ORCHIDS GET BETTER AIRFLOW TO THEIR ROOTS

Using Styrofoam packing peanuts (not the biodegrable ones) at the bottom of your pot when you repot an orchid can help provide airflow to your orchids roots!  A few packing peanuts placed at the bottom of the pot allows air to get to the roots and prevents the roots from sitting in soggy saturated potting medium.

Packing peanuts can also be used in a decorative larger pot (allow at least 1″ all around the actual pot your orchid is planted in) to help hold up and stablize your orchid.  Simply use packing peanuts below and around the pot your orchid is planted in, to fill the space in the decorative pot.  Then simply cover lightly with moss.

** Sign up for Ryan’s Growing Orchids Email Newsletter to receive even MORE Tips to about how to repot your orchid.

Of course, you can get all the tips & secrets right now in his book… (including all his “juiciest” primo tips – which are NOT covered in his newsletter…)

The book is available in either downloadable, ebook format, or as a “real” hard copy book sent
to you in the mail.

AND, for a limited time, you’ll receive 2 FREE BONUSES with your book when you order today.

To order or simply learn more, visit: Orchids Made Easy.

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

+ Sacramento Orchid Society

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Growing Orchids Anatomy & Terms : Pseudobulb http://www.orchidcarelady.com/growing-orchids-anatomy-terms-pseudobulb/ http://www.orchidcarelady.com/growing-orchids-anatomy-terms-pseudobulb/#respond Thu, 02 Sep 2010 12:30:21 +0000 http://www.orchidcarelady.com/?p=893

I’m continuing my series on orchid by writing about terms every person growing orchids should know and understand.  Today’s orchid anatomy and term lesson is pseudobulb.

The pseudobulb is a storage organ derived from the part of a stem between two leaf nodes.

It applies to the orchid family, specifically certain groups of epiphytic orchids, and may be single or composed of several internodes with evergreen or deciduous leaves along its length.

In some species, it is hardly swollen at all and looks like a normal stem with many leaves while at the other extreme, some genera such as Bulbophyllum have single, spherical pseudobulbs with one (or two) leafs at the apex of each.

Whether cane-like (with many joints) or spherical (with one or few joints), they are all produced from a long lived creeping stem called a rhizome which may itself be climbing or pendulous.

The pseudobulbs are themselves relatively short lived (1–5 years), but are continually produced from the growing tip of the rhizome.

The other growth habit used by tropical epiphytic orchids is known as monopodial orchid.

Want to learn a few tricks about how to care for orchids?  Sign up for Ryan’s Free Orchid Care Email Tips–he shares his best secrets with his readers.  You’ll learn secret orchid care techniques expert growers use to super-charge their plants!

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

+ Wikipedia

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How to Care for Orchids : Trivia Fun http://www.orchidcarelady.com/how-to-care-for-orchids-trivia-fun/ http://www.orchidcarelady.com/how-to-care-for-orchids-trivia-fun/#respond Tue, 31 Aug 2010 12:29:41 +0000 http://www.orchidcarelady.com/?p=887

The world’s smallest known orchid (pictured)—just over 2 millimeters (0.08 inch) across and nearly see-through—has been discovered nestled in the roots of another flower in Ecuador.

Lou Jost, an ecologist with the EcoMinga plant-conservation foundation, has studied the plants of the South American country’s mountainous forests for 15 years.

Earlier this year he’d collected an orchid of a larger species to study in his greenhouse. “Several months later I saw this tiny plant,” he said.

Ecuador’s mountains are havens of biodiversity, where plants on one mountain may be entirely different from those on a neighboring peak.

In the region where the tiny orchid was found, Jost also recently discovered 28 new orchids in the Teagueia genus, a group previously thought to contain only 6 species. Ecuador as a whole is home to 4,000 known orchid species—a thousand of them discovered in the past 12 years alone.

The newfound orchid, part of the Platystele genus, hasn’t yet had the type of scientific review that would lead to its official designation as a new species. But, Jost said, orchid expert Carl Luer, a researcher affiliated with the Missouri Botanical Garden, agrees that the plant is a unique species.

The bloom has, for now, no name. “It’s just sitting here with lots of others that need to be described,” Jost said. “These forests are just filled with new things.”

Want to learn a few tricks about how to care for orchids?  Sign up for Ryan’s Free Orchid Care Email Tips–he shares his best secrets with his readers.  You’ll learn secret orchid care techniques expert growers use to super-charge their plants!

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

+ NationalGeographic.com

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Orchid Care Basics: What Kind of Orchid Is it? http://www.orchidcarelady.com/orchid-care-basics-what-kind-of-orchid-is-it/ http://www.orchidcarelady.com/orchid-care-basics-what-kind-of-orchid-is-it/#comments Thu, 26 Aug 2010 12:18:22 +0000 http://www.orchidcarelady.com/?p=879 The best way to care for your orchid is to know exactly what kind of orchid you have.  But what do you do if you don’t know what kind of orchid you have?  Easy!  Narrow things down by determining your orchid’s growth pattern.

How Do Orchids Grow?

There are two basics growth types for orchids–Monopodial and Sympodial.


Monopodial (Latin for “single foot”): Orchids with a main stem that continuously grow upward.  Flower spikes, or inflorescences, alternate from one side of the stem to the other.  Angraecus, Phalaenopsis, and Vandas are monopodial orchids.

Sympodial (Latin for “many footed”): Orchids that grow sideways along the surface.  Psuedobulbs grow from the base (the connecting stem is called a rhizome) and mature at the end of the growing season by flowering.  Cattleyas, Dendrobiums and Paphiopedilums are sympodial orchids.

Learn more about these Orchid varieties with Ryan’s Free Orchid Care Cheat Sheets. They come in so handy when I just want a quick refresher on orchid care!

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

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Orchid Care & Ice Cubes :Why You Should Not Use Ice To Water Your Orchids… http://www.orchidcarelady.com/orchid-care-ice-cubes-why-you-should-not-use-ice-to-water-your-orchids/ http://www.orchidcarelady.com/orchid-care-ice-cubes-why-you-should-not-use-ice-to-water-your-orchids/#comments Tue, 24 Aug 2010 12:10:21 +0000 http://www.orchidcarelady.com/?p=582

There is a big debate going on out there in the world of orchid care. The topic? Orchid care and ice cubes.

I know this method works for some, but most AOS orchid growers I’ve spoken to live by the drench and drain method. (You can read my post on watering orchids if you haven’t already read it: Orchid Care: How to Water An Orchid.)

So, what’s so wrong about watering your orchid with ice?

Officially….nothing. I couldn’t find any hard evidence that proved watering your orchid with ice would cause serious damage to your plant.

Why should you not use ice to water your orchids?

There are a host of reasons….

1. Most experienced orchid growers will tell you that the first major reason would be the sudden change in temperature. A rapid change in temperature can cause orchid bud blast, that’s why I recommend watering orchids with room temperature water.

2. Cold and wet roots can invite pests and diseases. These problems can spread from plant to plant.

3. Overwatering Orchid/Underwatering Orchid issues. Ice cubes vary in size and the environment varies from one windowsill/counter/shelf to another.  So, using 3 ice cubes every other day might be too little for one orchid and too much for another.

My orchids have been happy for years using the drench and drain method.  I’ve watched them bloom year after year and have had few (if any) water related problems.

What do you think about using ice cubes to water your orchids?  Does it work for you?

Of course, everything you need to know to about orchid care is covered in Ryan’s Orchids Made Easy book. (Including a few VERY important things you need to watch out for involving watering and temperature— and one thing even experienced growers often overlook.)  Sign up for his Free Orchid Care newsletter HERE.

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

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Orchids Care and Maintenance Tips: Vanilla Orchids http://www.orchidcarelady.com/orchids-care-and-maintenance-tips-vanilla-orchids/ http://www.orchidcarelady.com/orchids-care-and-maintenance-tips-vanilla-orchids/#comments Thu, 19 Aug 2010 11:34:47 +0000 http://www.orchidcarelady.com/?p=835 I recently received an email from a reader in California wanting to know a little more about Vanilla Orchids.  I’ve never cared for a vanilla orchid before, so I decided I would take the opportunity and learn a little more about them.  I ran across a great Vanilla Orchid Care Sheet that instructs you on harvesting the vanilla pods and thought I’d share it with you!

Natural vanilla comes from the seed pod of an orchid plant. Vanilla planifolia is a vigorous, vining orchid that can reach up to 300 feet. Keep the plant in a warm, brightly lit area with plenty of water. The vanilla plant starts producing fruit only when it is mature, generally larger than 10 feet. The vine produces greenish-yellow flowers at the leaf axils, in clusters from which one or two open at a time over a two week period. They are short lived and must be pollinated during the first day when they are fully open and most receptive. Fruit pods grow to about 6-9 inches long and are harvested in about 8-9 months after flowering.

To pollinate the vanilla use two toothpicks. Remove the entire pollen cap from under the hooded anther on top of the column with one and place it on a clean piece of paper. Now rub the end of the toothpick on the hairlike portion of the frilled petal lip. Its sticky secretion acts as an adhesive in picking up the pollinia. The drawing shows where to find the pollinia in the pollen cap. Pick it up with the sticky toothpick.

Pry and hold open the top flap of the rostellum with the other toothpick. Place the sticky end of the first toothpick (with pollinia) up and into the stigmatic opening under the rostellum flap. Remove the toothpicks and the rostellum flap snaps closed, trapping the pollinia.

The seed pods, or “beans”, will take six to nine months to mature and should grow up to nine inches in length. Beans are ready to harvest when the green tips begin to turn yellow. They will have no vanilla fragrance until the curing process activates the enzymes and produces vanillin.

Kill the seeds by placing them in boiling water for about two minutes. Find a piece of clean wool and lay the pods on the cloth in the morning sun. About noon wrap the pods in the cloth, allowing them to sweat. Put them in an airtight box overnight. Repeat the process until the pods shrink, turn dark brown, and give off a slight vanilla odor. They will be very rubbery at this stage. Store the pods in a container that is air tight and light proof.

Discard the beans if they split or develop mold since the mold may develop a toxic substance. Prevent mold by daily rubbing the beans dry with a cotton cloth.

To use the beans, boil them in water for about 15 minutes. Split the beans lengthwise with a knife several times, then place 5 to 6 beans in a 750 ml bottle of vodka or bourbon for thirty days. If you wish, you can add more vodka or bourbon as the vanilla extract is used.

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

+ Vanilla Orchid Culture Sheet

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Orchids and Growing or Planting Fragrant Varieties http://www.orchidcarelady.com/orchids-and-growing-or-planting-fragrant-varieties/ http://www.orchidcarelady.com/orchids-and-growing-or-planting-fragrant-varieties/#respond Tue, 17 Aug 2010 11:30:17 +0000 http://www.orchidcarelady.com/?p=826

Orchids and growing or planting fragrant varieties.

Aerangis
These are smaller sized orchids that are very fragrant in the evening hours.

Aerides
These tall lanky orchids can have good fragrance that need to be careful because some of them do not.

Ancistrochilum rothschildianum
This is a small species that is deciduous during winter.

Brassavola
The popular lady of the night orchid is out of the Brassavola species which include other orchids that give off their sense in the night.

Brassia
Not only smells good but it is striking to with its large spiderlike flowers.

Brassidium
These brassia hybrids are nicely scented and very popular today.

Brassocattleyas
A cross between cattleya and barcarole, these files can be very strongly scented.

Catasetum
This large deciduous plant bears male or female flowers and has many species that are quite fragrant concluding the tenebrosum and pileatum. There are also many popular hybrids that are very fragrant as well.

Cattleya
The most fragrant species this orchid can be iricolor, bicolor, dowiana, labiata, maxima, schilleriana, warscewiczii and mossiae. Some of the hybrids can be intensely fragrant.

Clowesia
These orchids lose their leaves during the winter time and have many species which are scented.

Dendrobium
A popular genus of orchid having tall canes which those leaves in winter. Most of this species of orchid or scented and you might recognize some of the more popular ones which include monoliforme, speciosum, nobile, kingianum, loddigesii and parishii.

Dendrochilum
these orchids have chains of tiny flowersand many of the species assented including the magnum, glumacaeum and cobbianum.

Gongora
These small and highly fragrant species can be rather short-lived.

Haraella odorata
These of a popular miniature orchids which are very fragrant.

Sedirea japonica
Cultivated in Japan these orchids can be on the small side and rather long but are highly fragrant.

Vanda
these orchids are harder to grow in northern regions and a big long a real roots. The smaller scented species include suavis, denisonia, cristata and tessellata.

Zygopetalum
Consisting of complex hybrids the species are highly scented with wonderful fragrance.

Planting orchids or growing them in pots can be a challenging but rewarding experience and with these species you’re sure to get a nose-full!

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Orchid Care, Orchids, Orchids Care, Growing Orchids, Orchid Care and Maintenance

+ Article Base Gardening

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Identify an Orchid: Q & A http://www.orchidcarelady.com/identify-an-orchid-q-a/ http://www.orchidcarelady.com/identify-an-orchid-q-a/#comments Fri, 13 Aug 2010 11:30:22 +0000 http://www.orchidcarelady.com/?p=789 Question: Is it possible to identify an orchid from a photo? I have a plant that my mother left me when she died 30 years ago, and I have never known its name. — Norman H.

Answer: Plants with lost name tags are a common occurrence in the orchid world. Though the original grower always puts a ‘genera/hybrid/variety’ identification label on each plant in production, it seems that this important information often gets lost along the way.

Over the years, the orchid may be re-potted and split into pieces but the owner doesn’t write a new tag for each division. Before long, there are nameless plants in circulation everywhere.

Some orchids are immediately identifiable by an expert seeing the flowers. Occasionally, the foliage alone yields the name. The vast majority of no names, however, remain as such due to the hundreds of thousands of possible hybrids.

A rank novice can determine the genera of common orchids strictly from the foliage. Cattleyas, dendrobiums, and oncidiums all have tell-tale pseudo-bulb shapes while phalaenopsis and paphiopedilums have uniquely tapered leaves. Even less common types such as cymbidiums, miltonias, and vandas are easy to identify.

The exact hybrid name is much more challenging unless the plant was mass-produced by cloning, in which case the variety might also be known.

Need to identify an orchid?  Check out Ryan’s Free Orchid Care Sheet Cheats when you purchase his book Orchids Made Easy.   Learn more about his free growing orchids email newsletter here.

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

+ Arthur Chadwick Richmond Times Dispatch

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3 Simple Ways to Get Longer Lasting Blooms on Your Orchids http://www.orchidcarelady.com/3-simple-ways-to-get-longer-lasting-blooms-on-your-orchids/ http://www.orchidcarelady.com/3-simple-ways-to-get-longer-lasting-blooms-on-your-orchids/#respond Wed, 11 Aug 2010 11:35:59 +0000 http://www.orchidcarelady.com/?p=601

1. Keep your orchids away from ripening fruit.

When fruit ripens, it releases ethylene gas, and ethylene gas can cause the flowers on your orchid
to fade… and many times even collapse!

3. Keep your blooming orchids cool.

You can extend the blooming period of your orchids by introducing them to *slightly* cooler temperatures – not above 75F (24C) – once they begin blooming.

4. Keep blooming orchids away from pollinating insects.

As soon as orchid flowers come in contact with bees or other flying insects, they’ll begin to die
almost immediately after they’re pollinated.

** Sign up for Ryan’s Growing Orchids Email Newsletter to receive even MORE Tips to Strrrretch the blooming period of your orchid even further…

Of course, you can get all the tips & secrets right now in his book… (including all his “juiciest” primo tips – which are NOT covered in his newsletter…)

The book is available in either downloadable, ebook format, or as a “real” hard copy book sent
to you in the mail.

AND, for a limited time, you’ll receive 2 FREE BONUSES with your book when you order today.

To order or simply learn more, visit: Orchids Made Easy.

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

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