Flowering Orchids in Autumn

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

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

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

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?

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…

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

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

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

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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

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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