Archive for the 'Problems' Category

Orchid Post Mortem: Myoxanthus

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Every now and then, I’m reminded of the adage that you’re not an orchid expert until you’ve killed your weight in orchids. I passed that milestone long ago, and while I kill fewer now, occasionally a weight is added to the scales. For example, I lost this Myoxanthus over the past winter. It died after […]

Ice Cubes and Orchids

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

The Oregon Orchid Society has a helpful webpage about the problems of watering orchids with ice cubes. They offer the same advice as me: don’t use ice with orchids! Their article debunks arguments made by the pro-ice set. Proper orchid culture doesn’t involve freezing. It includes thorough drenchings with room-temperature water and great drainage. Orchids […]

Cutting Off Orchid Roots

Monday, January 20th, 2014

As air plants, many orchids grow roots outside their pots. Popular varieties like Phals and Vandas prefer to grow this way. However, some people find exposed roots unattractive. “Can I cut off my orchid’s roots?” is a common question. Usually the query includes an explanation that the roots stick out of the pot, look ugly, […]

Orchid Light Levels

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Autumn is a good time to check orchid light levels. As days grow shorter and the sun weakens, natural light levels fall sharply. Low light can prevent orchids from blooming. To compensate, growers in temperate latitudes should increase illumination during fall and winter. Your orchids will reward the extra care with strong growth and blooms. […]

Adjust Your Latitude

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Orchids can grow just about anywhere, but growers need to consider their latitude. Degrees of latitude show distance north or south from the equator. Sunlight levels and day length vary greatly at different locations, and knowing your latitude helps you understand how much or how little sunlight is available over the seasons. Find your latitude […]

Shrinking Orchids

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

Are your orchids shrinking instead of growing?┬áChanging your orchid care can help your plants grow larger. Healthy plants expand over the years. Added leaves can translate into added flowers. While bigger isn’t always better, it’s often an indication of vigorous plants. Address any of these potential problems which can cause orchids to shrink: Low light […]

Orchid Urban Myths

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

Orchid myths are nothing new. Some myths cause problems for growers, so I’m going to bust these common misunderstandings about orchid care. Myth: Orchids are only suited for gardeners with greenhouses or tropical climates. Growers who have an understanding of basic care can make orchids thrive anywhere. With diverse choices from cool growers to warm […]

Five Common Orchid Growing Mistakes

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Considering the incredible diversity of the orchid family, it’s surprising how the same few mistakes crop up over and over. Try to avoid these five common problems: Too much water — Orchid roots and potting material should dry out between regular waterings. Kept too wet, they’ll rot. Most orchids sold today are Phals, or Moth […]

Sanitize Pots, Tools to Prevent Plant Viruses

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

The Winston-Salem Journal posts a thorough response to an orchid virus question. The column covers a lot of details, including how to kill orchid viruses by sanitizing pots and clippers with a 10% bleach / 90% water solution. Streaked colors on flowers and deformed growth might mean an orchid virus has infected a plant, and […]

Orchid Care During Heat Waves

Monday, August 20th, 2012

With record-breaking heat waves and droughts the new normal, orchid growers need to adapt. High temperatures can damage or kill plants, and prevent most types from blooming. Adjust orchid care during excessive heat to keep them healthy and growing. Most importantly in high temps, maintain good humidity and air movement. Warm growers, like Phals, Vandas, […]