Archives for posts with tag: Orchid growing

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Everything looks pretty healthy, although a couple of plants are coming up for re-potting. The only surprising thing (which can clearly be seen on the photo) is the fact that one of the ‘twins’ is still refusing to flower in spite of looking ok otherwise. I am sure it will start to flower again pretty soon however.

The original ‘Flare Spots’ on the left has a healthy flower spike which will soon be in bloom.

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I thought it may be a good idea to reiterate some earlier stuff on orchid growing as I believe that many beginners think that orchids grow in a similar way to other house plants, this is a misconception and will undoubtedly lead to problems growing these unusual plants.
The first picture shows a phalaenopsis orchid growing in its natural habitat and the second growing in my bathroom. Aerial roots can clearly be seen on the first photograph where the orchid is growing on a tree branch in the tropical biosphere at The Eden Project.

My orchid is growing in a bark medium which simulates the bark of the tree, which they grow on in the wild. On the right of picture 2 is a flower spike in bud and on the left a keiki or plantlet with its own flower spike. Eventually this plantlet will grow aerial roots and become a separate plant.

Orchids are parasitic and derive some of their water and nutrients from the host plant, which is why you need to simulate these conditions carefully in order to grow them successfully.

Things are mixed with the orchids here in January. The miniature ‘twins! have refused to behave as such now, one is about to flower, whereas the other has shown no signs of flowering for several months.

The single miniature has a new flower spike and has lost all the flowers from the old one. The keiki which is still attached is now producing a flower spike too.

The oldest pink orchid still has a good display of blooms and the original ‘flare spots’ has lost its flowers, whilst it’s detached keiki is still in flower.

The other large phal still has two flowering spikes.

I thought it was a good idea to show you the foliage of all the orchids clearly and also a shot of the roots through a clear pot, in order to show the exceptional greenness throughout.

 

How time flies!
It is nearly the end of September and my phalaenopsis orchids are nearly all flowering again.

The only two not in flower are the ‘twins’ and they have not produced a flower spike as yet. You may remember that their flowers look like this in stereo.

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Twin miniatures.

Looking at the other flowers above:-
From top left the first is a faded flower on a plant which has just produced two new flower spikes, the second is one of these new flowers.
The next spike of flowers is on the single miniature, which has just started a new spike too.
Number four is on the oldest plant which is massive now and has a flower spike with three flowering branches.
Five and six are ‘Flare Spots’ and its ex-keiki,¬†the flowers are more or less the same size on both.

During the resting period since June I have not changed the growth conditions whatsoever and spend the same half hour per week on all seven orchid plants.

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I have been growing phalaenopsis orchids for around ten years now and the one shown above is a mature plant of the variety ‘Flare Spots’.
This plant had a keiki (plantlet) which I removed and repotted and is now flowering itself.
I have seven orchid plants which flower almost continuously, though they are in a regeneration mode at the moment, and although many have flower spikes only three are in flower at the moment.
I thought it would be useful to go over my growth conditions once again for those who are new to my blog, and especially for beginners.
At the present time the orchids are grown in a shower room which gives it some humidity and also the preferred filtered light, provided by the obscured glass windows.
For most of the time I just enjoy the beauty of the plants but once a week I do my orchid care regime as follows:-
1. The day before I fill a plant waterer with rainwater from the butt, in order to let it equilibrate to room temperature.
2. On regime day I pour some rainwater through the orchid roots inside the pot to wash them.
3. I spray the aerial roots with more rainwater at room temperature. (Do not cut off the aerial roots).

4. I mix the remaining rainwater well (about 500 mls) with 8 drops of orchid food.
5. I give each of the orchids some of this liquid feed.
6. I feed the leaves with an orchid leaf spray.
7. Using secateurs (sterilised with boiling water) I cut off any dead leaves or dead stems.

This regime takes between 20 minutes and half and hour per week for seven plants and produces pretty good orchids.

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With this orchid blog it is and always has been my intention to prove to people that phalaenopsis orchid growing can be relatively straightforward, easy even – and need only take up 30 minutes of your valuable time each week.
All you need is a good supply of rainwater, a place to grow them out of direct sunlight, an orchid liquid feed and a foliar feed, (these both last for quite a long time), – the liquid feed is diluted eight drops in around 500 mls of rainwater each time.

Here we are in late July and although there are few flowers left, the foliage is exceptionally green and there are a total of seven flower spikes already appearing. In fact the only two plants not developing flowers as yet are the two miniature ‘twins’ which are busy producing new leaves at the moment. The ex keiki¬†from the ‘flare-spots’ orchid for instance has two new spikes, as does the newest orchid which still has two mature flowers in addition.
I hope that this small blog will encourage some new growers to take part in what has proven to be for me, a very rewarding pastime.

Many flowers have died back and in mid June most of the foliage is looking good.
The original ‘Flare Spots’ plant has one flower left and already has a new flower spike. (large photo)
Apart from a couple of the plants that will need re – potting quite soon, nothing else is needed apart from the weekly regime of feeding and watering.
It won’t be long before the orchids are building up to a new flowering period.
The beauty of phalaenopsis orchids!
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