Posts Tagged ‘Orchid Care’

Orchid Care Video: Helpful Spices!

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?

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

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!

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 Tips: Non-Toxic Insecticide

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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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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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 & 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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