The long days of summer, what to do? Let’s take advantage of the weather, by keeping your orchids well watered and fertilized. Re-pot ones that are actively growing and sending out roots.
While re-potting, check the condition of the label. Make sure that it is not brittle. Try to use longer lasting vinyl labels instead of plastic. Always write using #2 lead pencil because with pens, the sun's UV rays will make indelible ink fade. Use a hole punch and firmly wire the label to the stake of the plant. Grandchildren and bad weather can separate the orchid from its label.
The label contains several things. On top, there may be a nursery's code. Then, an abbreviation of the hybrid name, and the orchid's registered name. There may be a varietal name in single quotes, and then a possible award designation.
It is important when copying a label, that it is copied exactly as it is written. Abbreviations and hybrids will be in capital letters and lower case. While species (non-hybrids), will be in all lower case.
Why keep a label? Unlike other plants, orchids have been hybridized and registered by the Royal Horticultural Society, in Kew England, since the late eighteen hundreds. With the name, one can research the orchid's genealogy back to its species. This is really important if you begin to breed orchids. And since orchids are highly collectible, having them correctly named could greatly increase the value of your collection.
To familiarize yourself with the abbreviations and registered hybrids, refer to the Sander's List of Orchid Hybrids or software such as Orchidwiz.
If you are still having trouble deciphering your label, bring it and the orchid to the next meeting and test the knowledge of one of the "Old-timers"!
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.