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It's easier than you think

Posted: Wed Jul 13, 2016 3:29 am
by niuorchids
Orchids, generally, like the same environment regarding temperature, light and humidity, as humans do. We do not like to be hot (bright sun), wet (rain) and we like a temperature in the mid-twenties to be comfortable. Some orchids can stand full sun and others need some shade in order to do well. Most orchids however, do best in broken shade during the heat of the day, full morning and afternoon sun will do most of them no harm.

Find a place in your garden, balcony or terrace where you would like to spend some time, and your orchid will be comfortable there. If your orchid came in a pot find a secure and appropriate place, such as a bench or a tree, or make up a wire hanger and hang it on a trellis or one of the lower tree branches.

Orchids that have recently been collected from the jungle with bare roots, broken pseudobulbs (stems, canes) and generally do not look too promising of things to come, you should do a bit of cleaning up. With a sharp knife or a pair of secateurs, cut away the broken pseudobulbs, trim off roots and old flower spikes. Now that the plant looks a bit more tidy, you can either pot (never use a pot without holes) it or tie epiphytic orchids to a tree, a piece of wood or tree fern.

Once you have established your orchids in an environment that suits them they should best be left undisturbed and stop fussing. Do not worry unduly as orchids are among the hardiest plants known. They are actually quite difficult to kill. Concentrate instead on watering and feeding them correctly.

Orchids like to be 'wet and dry' meaning that you should water the orchids that you grow in full sun, every morning before the sun gets too hot, so that they can dry off within a couple of hours after watering. Give them a lot of water, not just a sprinkle. Orchids love high levels of humidity and we are fortunate that this part of orchid care is being looked after by our climate.

Orchids are very slow growing and therefore you cannot expect things to happen quickly. Within a few weeks however, you should see healthy new roots, silvery white with green tips appearing, clinging to your artificial tree, the piece of wood or tree fern or spreading in the pot. The leaves should be of a healthy green colour, not yellow or brown and should be tough and leathery.

Normally, all you have to do apart from watering, is to feed them a little fertilizer and check for those little nasties, like snails and cockroaches and other insects, particularly for those that like to bite and disfigure them like grasshoppers and beetles. We do not want any of those and will need to spray them weekly with an insecticide if insects are a problem.

Enjoy your orchids, watch them and get to know them. You will find that orchid growing is a most rewarding and relaxing hobby. There is no need to worry, just be happy!

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