Orchid Trivia : World’s Tallest Orchid

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What is the world’s tallest orchid?

The tallest orchids in the world belong to the Sobralia genus.  The tallest orchid is the Sobralia altissima of Peru.  This beautiful orchid can grow up to 44 feet tall.  Its flowers can measure up to 6 inches across!

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

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Orchid Care and Maintenance Tips: Broken Leaf or Spike / Stem

Here’s a reblog post from the Just Add Ice blog:

It happens. You drop something on your orchid plant, or perhaps the whole pot gets knocked over or dropped. Maybe it gets damaged on the way home from the nursery, or a pet or child gets a little to inquisitive. Whatever the case, orchids survived and thrived in the wild for a long, long time, so they can’t possibly be as fragile as they seem. Here’s how to deal with broken leaves or stems with proper orchid care.

A broken leaf shouldn’t cause any harm to your Phalaenopsis orchid plant. But if you want to cut it off for display purposes, you should do it carefully. Use a sterile knife or scissor to prevent infection, and cut it a half-inch from the central stem.

If one of the flowering stems has broken, you might be tempted to wrap some tape around it and pretend it didn’t happen, but it’s not likely to stay unnoticed for long. Besides, leaving it like that invites infection, which could do a lot more damage.

Instead, cut the orchid flower spike above where it has broken, and put it in a vase with water, like you would with any cut flower. Then, remove the remaining broken flower spike down to the base of the orchid. This will encourage new flower spikes to grow.

Many orchid lovers recommend putting some cinnamon on the broken end for it’s antimicrobial properties.  (Read about my Listerine Orchid Care home remedy here). New blossoms may take up to a year to appear, but as long as the leaves and roots of your orchid are healthy, you will get new flowers eventually!

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

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

+ Just Add Ice Blog Tip

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How to Care for Orchids in the Summer Q & A

How to Care for Orchids in the Summer Q & A

Question: Can orchids take the blazing hot summer days we have been having lately? — Max C.

Answer: For the most part, epiphytic plants of all kinds love the summers with their high humidity, gentle breezes and warm temperatures.

But this year might be the exception, as triple-digit thermometer readings have become the norm. Orchids are commonly found in tropical cloud forests that rarely exceed 90 degrees.

Cultural extremes can cause botanical stress whose symptoms vary from yellowing leaves to shriveled pseudo-bulbs to droopy flowers. Though permanent damage is not likely to occur, plants may get “stunted” for a year or two before they regain their vigor.

Orchids are slow growers, so they need optimum conditions so they will bloom annually. Daily temperatures of 105 degrees for weeks at a time will certainly stress most orchids.

There are several options when summers get unbearably hot:

•Keep the plants in the shade during the heat wave. Although the light levels may be lower than normal, the temperature will be reduced.

•Spray the leaves with tepid water several times a day (cold water will shock plants) being careful not to let any phalaenopsis crowns remain wet at nightfall.

•Increasing the air movement around the plants can lower leaf surface temperatures. Hanging plants from tree limbs or using an outside fan can assist with this effort.

•As a last resort, bring the plants inside until seasonal weather returns.

You’ll find an extensive temperature chart detailing the ideal temperature fluctuations of over 20+ orchids on page 26 of 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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Quick Orchid Care Home Remedy For You: Listerine??

Today’s Quick Orchid Care post is courtesy of Ryan from Orchids Made Easy.  Hope you enjoy it! :-)

I have a quick home remedy for you today……..and it comes straight from our medicine
cabinet.

Today’s secret is Listerine…

Orchid Care, Home Remedy, How to Take Care of Orchids, Orchid PestsListerine has anti-fungal properties, and the
alcohol content also makes it effective against
bugs!

This “2-in-1″ home remedy can be used as a spray
at full strength for short periods (about 2-3
consecutive days is okay) as a preventative
measure on your orchids.

Simply spray your plant lightly once a week or
so, and you’ll have yourself a quick and easy way
to keep away unwanted pests and disease, and
ensure your plant stays healthy.

Just be sure to ONLY use the original (gold
colored) version, because the flavored versions
have added substances that are not 100% orchid-
friendly :-)

To healthy vibrant blooms!

Ryan “The Orchid Guy”

P.S. Wannna learn MORE great home remedies
like this one?

….I’ve included ALL my little home remedies
like this in our book, which you can learn more
about by clicking on the link below:

Growing Orchids Tips

How’s that for a great Orchid Care Secret!   Thanks a bunch to Ryan for a wonderful guest post!  :-)

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

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Orchid Plant Blooming : Time Lapse Video

A friend emailed me a link to this remarkable video of a blooming orchid.
The video was filmed over the course of 8 days.

AMAZING! :-)

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Orchid Care, Orchids, Orchids Care, Growing Orchids

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My Favorite Gardening Accessory : Fiskars Phone & Garden Pocket

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As most of you know by now, I spend a lot of time caring for my indoor orchids and working out in the garden.  A few years ago, I was flipping through the Sky Mall catalog on the plane and saw something I new I had to have.  Like most things in there, this one was a bit more than I wanted to spend.  With catalog page in hand, I scoured the internet trying to find something similar that was a little more budget friendly.  After just a few minutes of research, I FOUND IT!  The Fiskars Phone & Garden Pocket!!!

Fiskars Garden Pocket, Gardening

I found this absolutely amazin’, simply handy dandy, garden pocket on sale at Amazon for $45.23 (with Free Shipping.)  This little number was a whopping 55% off the regular price of $99.99 (SKY MALL PRICES!).  After reading the reviews (read a few below), I knew it was the one.

Now that I had a brand in mind, I spent a few more minutes trying to find a better price.  And I did….Are you ready????  I found the Fiskars Phone & Garden Pocket on sale for $14.95 and FREE Shipping! 85% off the Sky Mall Price!  Wooohoo!

I use my “garden purse” to hold my phone, keys, water and bug spray! :-)   I absolutely love it!!

Here’s the description from the website:

Fiskars® Phone & Garden Pocket

Fiskars Phone & Garden PocketStrap it around your waist to carry your phone, beeper, pruner, seeds, even bottled water – conveniently while you do your yard work. Padded pocket protects your phone as you work; hear-thru mesh means no more missed calls. Second pocket can hold a variety of garden tools; also features a key latch and pencil loop. Attractive and durable nylon material.     Buy Now

REVIEWS:

“This handy hip caddy holds a phone and other items like pruning shears. It even has enough space for a pencil and note pad! Adjustable strap for a loose or snug fit. This is not just for gardening. Tailgate parties, day at the beach. It goes were you go! Hands free! And it even has a clip for keys. It’s all that and a bag of chips!”

“Bought this almost seven years ago, and it’s still in use today. Have used it for yard work and gardening, working on the car, as a general tool belt and even as an organizer while moving a couple of times. It has an adjustable waist strap, or one can just sling it over the shoulder, and there’s a cinch that will keep your cell phone from falling out in the midst of a dense weed patch… as had happened once before I had this wonderful and handy accessory.

Must admit that I was skeptical about how long the plastic clasp and key ring snap would last, but they’re never failed once, and unlike the “rugged steel hardware” on another product, they won’t ever rust. The phone pocket is padded on the inside, protecting an expensive cell phone from being damaged by other sharp items you might be carrying. There’s plenty of room for carrying garden scissors, snippers, pruners and much more in the larger pockets, and the rugged plastic mesh on the bottom of the pouch keeps various tools and implements well ventilated, eliminating moisture damage.”


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 – Pests and Diseases : Mealybugs

Growing Orchids, Orchid Care, Orchid Pests, Orchid Diseases, Mealybugs on Orchids

Question: What is that white stuff on my orchids?

Answer: Mealybugs! :-(

Mealybugs are serious pests of orchids and next to scale insects are probably the most difficult to control pests of orchids.   Most definitely, they need to be dealt with immediately upon discovery.

DAMAGE CAUSED:
The damage done to plants by mealybugs is considerable, causing a loss of vigor and a weakening and loss of leaves, buds, and flowers through their feeding. In addition, mealybugs create copious amounts of honeydew which make plant parts sticky and attracts ants.  (Want to get rid of ants?  Check out the other posts in my How to Care for Orchids – Pests and Disease series.)

REMEDY:
Probably the most popular home remedy against mealybugs is to swab and daub plants with a cotton-Orchid Care, Growing Orchids, Orchid Pests, Orchid Diseasestipped swab or ball of cotton dipped in isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. On hard-leaved plants, gentle rubbing with the fingers, a cotton ball, cotton-tipped swab, or a soft infants toothbrush is effective. Remove all mealybugs, large and small. Afterwards, you will still need to repeat the alcohol treatment to remove the tiny yellowish spots which are the recently hatched crawlers. Pay particular attention to the folds, crotches, branch bases, midrib areas, and roots. Spraying the alcohol with a misting bottle or small pump sprayer is effective, but dribbling alcohol into tight areas is necessary as eggs are often well hidden, hence the need for thoroughness and repititon.

Many home growers will mix with alcohol a small amount of mild liquid dish detergent, and sometimes mineral oil, neem concentrate, or horticultural oil. Vegetable oils will work, too, but in sunlight they can turn rancid quickly, and become smelly and lose effectiveness. One recipe for a 1.5 liter spray bottle is to mix a 50:50 solution of isopropyl and water, with a few drops to about a teaspoon of liquid soap to act as a spreader, and a teaspoon of one of the oils.

ps. Don’t forget to check out Ryan’s Free Growing Orchids Tips. He offers incredible advice all about Orchid Pests & Diseases!

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Orchid Care, Orchids, Orchids Care, Growing Orchids

+ Courtesy of South Dakota State University

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Orchid Trivia : World’s Most Popular Orchid

What is the world’s most popular orchid sold in the US today?

(Continue reading to find out!) :-)
Continue Reading »

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Orchid Care and Maintenance Tips : Temperatures for Orchids (Part II)

As I briefly mentioned in Part I of my Temperatures for Orchids series, a change in temperature should always coincide with a change in humidity.  For example, you’ll want to make sure there is sufficient humidity when increasing temperatures and vice-versa. 

You can keep things in check by using a simple hygo-thermometer.  A hygo-thermometer lets you check humidity and temperature levels at a glance.  I bought the Extech 445702 Hygro-Thermometer and Temperature Monitor years ago and now own three of them.  It makes monitoring the humidity and temperature environments of your orchids really easy.   The digital LCD display is large and easy to read.  The device is portable or can be mounted on the wall–near your orchids.

Extech 445702 Hygro-Thermometer and Temperature Monitor

If you’d like to just monitor the temperature, you can’t go wrong with the waterproof pocket-sized thermometer.  The great thing about this little guy is that you can take fast, accurate temperature readings with just a push of a button.   It’s great if you have to have to monitor a few orchids in different locations.  At less than $20 each, they make great gifts.
Thermometer - Waterproof Stainless Steel Pocket-size Thermometer

These are my favorite devices for monitoring the temperature/humidity levels for my orchids.  Do you have any favorites you’d like to share?  Send me an email at carol (at) orchidcarelady (dot) com.  Hope to hear from you soon!

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :-)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

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Orchid Care and Maintenance Tips : Temperatures for Orchids (Part I)

If you follow me on twitter, you’ll know that I spent the weekend working in the garden.  My hands are a bit sore from all of the weeding and trimming I did, but I’ve managed to type my latest Orchid Care and Maintenance Tip.  This one is all about temperature–hope you enjoy it! :-)

One of the most frequently asked questions from orchid newbies is “How do I get my orchid to rebloom?“  You’ll find all sorts of solutions on the internet dealing with water, fertilizer, maybe light, but rarely do you see someone share what I feel is the true secret to getting your orchid to rebloom….TEMPERATURE!

It is a fact!  Proper temperature is EXTREMELY important for orchids, and here’s why:

Orchids will ONLY bloom when they are maintained in their optimal daytime and nighttime temperature ranges!

That’s right!  Orchids enjoy different daytime and nighttime temperatures–they need these daily fluctuations in temperature to grow and bloom! (Just like eggs need to incubated within a narrow temperature range in order to hatch!)  See my post on bud blast to learn what happens when temperatures fluctuate too much for orchids.

Orchids are typically classified into three different temperature categories: WARM, INTERMEDIATE and COOL.  You know I like to keep things simple around here, so I’ve typed up a chart that shows the ideal temperature range for each category.  (You’ll notice that daytime temperatures are at least 15 F higher than nighttime temperatures.)

ORCHID TEMPERATURE CATEGORIES

  • WARM (Vanda and Phalaenopsis varieties)
  • 65 F or higher (Nightime)
  • 75 F to 90 F (Daytime)
  • INTERMEDIATE (Cattleya and Paphiopedilum varieties)
  • 55 F to 60 F (Nighttime)
  • 70 F to 80 F (Daytime)
  • COOL (Cymbidium and Dendrobium varieties)
  • 45 F to 55 F (Nighttime)
  • 60 F to 70 F (Daytime)

* You’ll find an extensive temperature chart detailing the ideal temperature fluctuations of over 20+ orchids on page 26 of Orchids Made Easy.  Learn more about his free orchid care email newsletter here.

Just a quick reminder that a change in temperature should always coincide with a change in humidity.  Make sure there is sufficient humidity when increasing temperatures and vice-versa.

That’s all I have for you now.  Don’t miss Part II of my Temperatures for Orchids Series.  I’ll be showing you the two handy little devices I use to monitor the temperature and humidity levels for my orchids.

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :-)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

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