Archive for the 'Problems' Category

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, […]

Office Orchids

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Orchids have been staples of office decor since supermarkets and garden centers began selling mass-produced plants in the 1980’s. Tough, modern hybrids can survive, and even thrive, in work environments which often have less than ideal growing conditions. Check the following tips to keep your office orchid blooming: As always, it helps to know what […]

Orchid Post Mortem: Orchis

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

When I first bought this unusual Japanese species at Pacific Orchid Expo 2009, I didn’t know if I could grow it. My purchase consisted of 3 tiny Orchis tubers, each smaller than a pea. Along with planting instructions for this mini terrestrial, the vendor included its Japanese name, uchouran, meaning “butterfly wing orchid.” I planted […]

Watering Question

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Thanks to Patti R., who recently sent me a question about a confusing orchid care article. Patti was understandably stumped by a gardening column in a normally reliable California newspaper. The column has repeatedly advised Phal growers to water their plants only once every 3 weeks. Patti asked: I know this can’t be right. I […]