A QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE TO EASY ORCHID GROWING FOR SPRING & SUMMER – by Linet Hamman
Orchids are easy to grow – don’t be told otherwise. Many parts of South Africa has an ideal climate to grow most of the popular orchids available.
At springtime it is necessary to change some of your orchid growing habits. Here are a few basic tips on culture in the warmer time of the year:
- increase watering to two times a week; mounted orchids can be watered every day
- regular spraying of floors an benches with water can keep up the humidity
- plants can be sprayed lightly with water on very hot days
- fertilising can also be increased to two-weekly or weekly
- switch over to high nitrogen fertiliser (e.g. 5:1:3)
PESTS & DISEASES:
- pests are making their appearance and the appropriate precautions should be taken
- avoid spraying insecticides and pesticides on dry plants
- don’t keep any sprays that have been mixed to use again later. They deteriorate when diluted and you are wasting precious time and money.
- never spray during the heat of the day or if it is very cold.
- it is now the ideal time to re-pot as active root and plant growth is starting
- if you want a lot of flowers, keep the plants large and don’t divide in a lot of small pieces
- when re-potting, remove all dead (soft) roots
- use a well-draining open mix like good quality pine bark or nut shells
- check your mounted orchids – they might need a new mount
If you give your plants some special attention during the growing season you can be sure of some very rewarding flowers.