Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Springtime and Your Orchids


With warmer temperatures and the sunlight increasing spring cannot be far away. This is when many cattleyas bloom. And as you know, cattleyas are the known for their fragrance.

On some of the plants you may see a yellow sheath which is protecting some of the buds. This sheath can be removed to allow the orchid to bloom. Be careful when it is removed so the bud isn't damaged. You will be rewarded with a wonderful flowering orchid.

Light in the spring will play tricks on us. It is nothing to have bright days following a day of rain. With the bright days comes a chance for the plant to become "sun-burned" and damage the looks of the orchid. It is advantageous for the cattleya to have some partial shading so this can be prevented.

With the days getting longer this means the plants will require perhaps more watering and also will need more fertilizing. It should be done every week with a weak solution of fertilizer. What is meant by weak? Instead of following the directions for full strength, cut the fertilizer used in half. This gives you a half-strength solution which can be used weekly.

Once the season has past for the winter bloomers you should re-pot if it necessary. For orchids re-potting need only be done every 2-3 years. To see some examples of these orchids go to:


This is the month you will see your phals be at their peak for blooming. There are wonderful displays of wide arching phal and the blooming can go on for over a month with the flowers staying for 2-3 months. Now is when you will need to do some careful staking of the spikes. It will not only help the plant but will display it so the flowing arches looking fantastic.

Remember again, more water and fertilizer are needed during the blooming season. The plants metabolism really revs up during this budding time.

Diseases are another potential during the blooming season. Especially, mealy bugs and scales. This may be spotted by the slimy exudates they leave on the branches. Treat these early so they don't destroy the flowers or the treatment doesn't harm the flowers.

Paphs / Lady Slippers

For our paphs, especially those that are summer bloomers, it is a good time to see if they need to be re-potted. Also, check for disease on these orchids. Mealy bugs are the most frequent visitors. It is great time to treat the plants. Most plant lovers set up a time, usually weekly or monthly to thoroughly look at the orchids for any sign of disease. If you do this on a regular basis your plants will certainly be able to treated early and easily.

The longer light of the day gives more energy to paphs. You will see the spikes develop and the buds start with the help of longer days. It's great to see how these wonderful orchids grow in front of your eyes.

About The Author
Robert Roy
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