June brings us into the beginning of our long warm summer days. If you have noticed, our orchids are drying up faster and we will need to up our watering schedules. This is due to the longer days, stronger tradewinds, and of course less rainfall. Especially if you are growing your orchids mounted or hanging in baskets, they will need to be watered daily, if not more often.
So a question often asked is, “How often and how do I water?” Most of the orchids we grow are epiphytes, or plants that grow on other plants. These orchids have a thick coating around their roots called velamen, that act as a sponge absorbing and holding on to water. These roots like to dry between watering, and since most orchids growing in the wild are growing on tree branches, they receive a lot of rain, but they also dry quickly.
If you are growing your orchids in pots, you will want to allow your potting medium to dry before the next watering. When it is time to water, you want to thoroughly water your orchids, allowing the water to drain through the drainage holes. A second good watering will allow you to wet the whole root ball and help to flush damaging salts from accumulating in the media.
The exception is terrestrial orchids that grow in the ground. These orchids like to be kept evenly moist at all times during their growing season. They have a different kind of root that lacks velamen, but have fine hairy roots.
The best orchid growers notice the changes in seasons and adjust their orchid culture accordingly. This results in an abundance of flowers year round!
Keep it growing,
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.