Posted by: marinvit | December, 2009

Growing Orchiid (part 2)

Watering frequency depends on the medium in which they are potted. Most orchids cannot survive prolonged drought and should be watered often. However, some require a “dry season” of six to eight weeks during which watering is reduced but not stopped.

This “dry season” must occur immediately after maturation of the current season’s growth and is often necessary to initiate flowering. Nutrients must be provided in dilute concentrations when orchids are grown on inert media. Moderate air circulation is required for best growth. Be aware that many factors may prevent flowering in orchids.

Insufficient light is the most common reason. If there is too little light, the leaves become a deep, lush green. With too much light the leaves turn yellow-green. For proper flowering, the leaves should have only a slight yellow tint. Some orchids may not bloom if the nighttime and daytime temperatures are the same.

Consistently warm temperatures are good for vegetative growth, but may suppress flower development. A 10 to 15 degree reduction in the night temperature for two weeks in the fall or spring is needed to initiate flower development. Dry air may result in failure of flower buds to open and death of plants in extreme cases.

A relative humidity of 60 percent will alleviate the problem. Orchids are affected by many of the same pests and diseases as other houseplants. Insects such as mealybugs and aphids can be controlled with the proper insecticide. Good cultural practices and the purchase of healthy plants will reduce the chance of disease although most fungal and bacterial diseases may be controlled using commercially available fungicides and bactericides.


Responses

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