Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Orchids: Tips and Tricks for Growing...

Orchids are so exotic looking that they seem as if they would be hard to grow.
Well nothing could be further from the truth. The biggest trick is good light (not direct sun) and infrequent watering (every other week at the most). I also feed my Orchids one time per season with Superthrive plant food. Buying healthy Orchids is key. I pick up my orchids many places. Some of the best specimens have come from wonderful high end nurseries. I like to spend an hour or so perusing their Greenhouses which typically are filled with Orchids and other interesting plants. The upside is this, the plants have been cared for and there is usually someone who is an Orchid Expert that can answer any of your questions. Now for some "On the Cheap" buying tricks and tips. Trader Joe's and Home Depot both have selections that can at times be terrific or sketchy depending upon the day. However, when they get a good batch of Orchids in they are a true bargain.
You can pick up a Phalaenopsis Orchid for 13-20 dollars! The downside is they have not been cared for as closely as those grown in a local greenhouse so be careful with your selection. Make sure the flower stalk has healthy fat buds that will continue to give you blossoms and that the leaves are a dark and shiny green. The following tip is very important. When you get the Orchid home put it into the sink and water thoroughly with warm water. Then pop the whole container into a zip-lock bag, cover only the container, this becomes a liner so the water does not leak into the cache pot or container you are setting your Orchid into. I always place some Spanish Moss around the base of the plant, it helps to keep the soil/bark moist and it looks like you picked it up at a Florist!
There are many varieties of Orchids some of my favorites are Phalaenopsis, Cymbidium, Oncidium, and once in a while Cattleya's The photos shown in this article are all different varieties of Phalaenopsis.
Many of my Orchids have been blooming for a year or more. They are simple to grow and a joy to collect. Go ahead and start your collection today.

No comments: