Saturday, April 01, 2006


Let's get back into the orchid "mode". There's still a lot to tell.
We talked about watering and we know now that you wait until until the pot almost flies into the air when you pick it up. Practice that so you can tell when to water! It will make a difference.
Planting medium should NOT be spagnum moss here in our climate where we heat our houses a large part of the year. That heat will dry out the plants too much. They like moisture, even if they don't want soggy roots!
So, what should you use to plant them in? I don't know about you, but I'm the worlds ultimate lazy gardener...I'm going for that hydroponic method! The orchids are planted in pottery or crockery "beads" (for want of a better word.) There is a double pot; you water when a little float tells you to, and you don't need to repot, because the medium does NOT break down. I would imagine they need to be removed on occasion to be sure the roots stay IN the pot, and aren't getting soft or unhealthy. So, perhaps that pot needs to be checked every other year anyway. If you don't want to go that route, you can use any orchid potting medium as long as it's moisture retentative and drains well.
What size pot should you use? Determine that by the size of the root. The root should not be crowded, but neither should it have more room than it needs. It should fit comfortably into the pot, so there is room for enough medium to keep the root covered and protected.
How about fertilizer? Use fertilizer that is especially created for orchids because it's WEAKER than the regular fertilizer. If you would prefer to use other fertilizer, that's OK. Just be sure it's a 20-10-10 mix or one of a similar ratio. The first number should be the larger one. That's the nitrogen. However, if it's not orchid fertilizer, only use it half strength. They don't need much and the build-up of the salts is not good for them.
I will re-visit this topic again. In the meantime, here's a link you can use to find out a lot about orchids.


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