August brings us more warm weather, maybe even warmer than July. If you have noticed, our orchids are really growing fast. I hope we are all taking advantage of the long days to water and fertilize our orchids.
It is also prime time for repotting orchids. If you have not done it for two or more years, you are asking for problems. Old potting media breaks down and often becomes soft and water logged. Salts tend to build up if you fertilize a lot. The pH of the media normally becomes acid (low pH) in time. Old roots often die and begin to rot and sometimes there is no air space in the media when they are taken up by roots. All these factors contribute to your media “crashing”. Once this happens your root system and orchid can possibly die.
Watch for initiating roots, this tells you that it is the best time for repotting. After repotting let the orchid dry for a few days, to let the damaged tissues dry and heal. Resist the urge to water right away, this often leads to rotted roots and possibly the loss of the whole orchid. When repotting, inspect the root system carefully. Remove old soft media and dead roots. If the root falls apart when you tug on it, it is probably dead.
On sympodial growth orchids (Cattleya, Dendrobium, Oncidinae, Grammatophyllum, etc), find the lead growths and trace back at least two more growths. Normally three bulb divisions will have minimal set back and could flower on the next growth. Pot into the smallest pot possible and fill firmly with your favorite potting medium. Place the oldest bulb against the pot edge, allowing extra space for the front lead to grow.
It is always a good idea to stake the orchid so that it is firmly anchored into the pot and does not move. If the orchid is wobbly, it will take longer for it to reestablish.
For monopodial orchids (Vanda, Phalaenopsis, Rhynchostylis, Renanthera, etc.), the orchid can be topped if you have a minimum of three good new roots. Set it down deep into a new pot and fill with the appropriate media. The bottom or old part of the orchid can be kept, as it often will send out a new growth.
Ewa Orchid Society - 68th Anniversary, Orchid Show and Plant Sale
Friday and Saturday, July 20th and 21st (9 a.m. -4 p.m.) and
Sunday, July 22nd (9 a.m.-3p.m.)
Plant sales close at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Ewa Elementary School
91-1280 Renton Road
Free Admission (Donations Welcome)
Educational Sessions: Schedule subject to change
Friday, 10 a.m. General Orchid Culture; 2 p.m. Insect Control
Saturday, 10 a.m. Cattleya Orchid Culture; 2 p.m. Honohono Orchid Culture
Sunday, 10 a.m. Dendrobium Orchid Culture
I bet if I do everything just right, I can get that daggum orchid flower to come out of that plant. I know it’s in there because I’d seen it before. It was a sweet little thing that made me smile to look at it.
OK, let’s see here. Now, Scot says what you need to pay attention to is:
#1- Don’t leave your plant soaking in water all day. It’s got to dry quick or the roots will rot.
There are tricks for that. You put the plant in a pot with stuff like Styrofoam (not kiddin’) for the bottom and around the sides. Then, add some bark or gravel to take up the space in the middle of the pot and get that plant in there all nice and snug, so it won’t wobble around. Get it? This stuff’s not gonna hold water very long at all.
And, the most important thing is to use a little-bitty pot. That way, there’s no way for water to accumulate. If that plant is still wobbly, put a stake next to a stem and twist-tie them together. If the plant wants to fall over, put that little pot into an empty bigger pot.
#2-Blah, blah, blah…
That’s a lot of words.
Don’t you wish someone can just show you how to do this?
Well, you are in luck.
Go watch Scot, or another orchid sage, in person at a Windward Orchid Society Saturday Workshop at Dot’s house. It’s better than a YouTube video because you can ask questions and even bring your own plant and fix it up under expert orchid tutelage.
And bonus, bring a yummy dish to share and enjoy a potluck lunch and talking story after the workshop. This is more fun than reading about orchid care…really.
Watch for more details about these workshops in your Windward Orchid Society newsletter.
Of course you need to sign up and be a member to get our newsletters.
Here’s what happened at Dot’s last Workshop:
Larry Yamamoto, from the Kunia Orchid Society, shared his knowledge and experience on the topic of General Orchid Care.
Larry has a degree in Agriculture from the University of Hawaii and 30 years of experience with the US Department of Agriculture.
He grows Cattleya, Vanda, Slipper Orchids and other orchids.
WOS Cook Book
Available at all WOS events for $15.
Orchid Doctor If you have questions about your orchids or have orchids that are not doing well, please bring them early (7:00p.m.) to the General Membership meeting and our orchid doctor (Scot) will gladly identify the problem and try to answer your questions.
General Questions For questions about the Windward Orchid Society, see Craig Nakahara (wearing a florescent green shirt) during our General Membership Meeting.
Refreshment Contributions Sign up sheets are at the refreshment table or you can email Toni Walker at email@example.com.
Mail correspondence to: Windward Orchid Society, Inc. P.O. Box 23 Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744 The WOS meets on the first Wednesday of every month at the King Intermediate School Cafeteria.
Windward Orchid Society Display Won 3rd Place at the Ewa Orchid Society's "Back In Da 50's" Orchid Show
The Windward Orchid Society meets at 7:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month at the King Intermediate School Cafeteria, located at 46-155 Kamehameha Hwy. in Kaneohe.
Become a member
Join the Windward Orchid Society to help promote, educate and show an appreciation of one of the most beautiful and exotic of all plants. The Orchid.