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mean jeans orchids: June 2006

Sunday, June 11, 2006

mounting orchids


This is an introduction to a series of videos I am putting together about mounting orchids that I'll have posted in the coming weeks.

First of all, why take an orchid out of its pot and stick it on a tree branch or something? Its a creative and atrractive way to grow your plants. Its fun, rewarding, and a bit of a challenge. Orchids grow this way in their natural environment. You can easily move them around to where you want them in all seasons.

What can you use to mount an orchid?

Just let your imagination go. A tree, a stick, old stump, a rough pitted stone, maybe a fence post, whatever. Different varieties like different conditions. Try to match how the plant grows in nature as your guide.

A common and attractive option is corkboard. Its well suited for a variety of orchids. Such as, Dend, Phals, Bulbophylums, all Cattleya varieties, Oncidiums, and tons more. Corkboard is firm, with lots of crevices to put roots in to, drains easily, and so is not prone to rot.

I like to use pieces of wood that I've found at the beach or into the woods. Its has that aged, rustic look, and lots of crevices for toots to work in to.

What tools do you need? You might need a pair of scissors, wire cutters, small gauge wire, moss, fishing line, shade cloth, a hammer, and maybe a stapler.

What about watering and feeding? Well it all depends, but since you probably won't be using as much medium, as you would with a pot, You'll need to increase your watering and feeding.

Where can you put a mounted orchid? You can hang it under a tree, or on the eve of a patio. Maybe you could set in on a coffee table, in the bedroom, or in your office. Just about anywhere that suits you and the plant.

If you have any comments or questions, feel free. I should have a few how-to videos up in a short while.

Monday, June 05, 2006

This is an introduction to mounting orchids.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Phalaenopsis orchid care

Phalaenopsis orchids are one my favorite orchids. Yes, they're one of the most common that you see, but I still enjoy them. I like them if their hybrids, species, clones, whatever.

You'll see them in the movies, and commercials if you take a close look.

Here I'll talk about their basic characteristics, care, and some growing tips. I'll try to stay away from too many scientific terms and try to communicate in a way that new and novice growers will easily understand.

The phalaenopsis is a warm growing orchid that seems to enjoy moderate light. What does that mean? Well it can grow in temps anywhere from 50-95 and can survive a few degrees either way but not on an ongoing basis. They like light that is bright, but not direct. Direct exposure to the midday sun will kill a moth orchid in no time. They're not vampires though and can take higher doses of light if they're exposed slowly.

What about watering? Moth orchids don't have a psuedobulb to store water. They only have their roots and leaves to hold their food and water. Knowing when and how much too water is one of the most important skills to know about Phalaenopsis. Overwatering is very easy to do. A moth orchid that goes too long without water equally detrimental. So finding a happy medium is crucial for your new orchids future.

You want to have some continuity to you watering. Don't let it dry up for a week and then flood it for a week. That will just throw the plant out of wack. I grow all my Phalaenopsis is Sphagnum moss and I've found that I water about every five days. It varies though, if the weather is cold and cloudy, I might water every 10 days. If its sunny all week, I might need to water every 3-4 days. Basically when you water, you want to make sure it is evenly wet. Make sure all the moss has been soaked and let the water drain out. Check back in 3-4 days and see how it feels and looks. One way to tell is by how heavy the pot feels, or poke your finger in the moss and if you feel moisture, just wait a day or two. You want to water just before its dry. Don't wait until its bone dry and the moss has shriveled away from the pot.

Phalaenopsis like high humidity, so I mist the leaves and top roots once a day.

Feeding your orchid is important too. You've probably heard "weakly-weekly. Its probably best to use a good orchids fertilizer at half-strength once a week when you water. What I do is once every two weeks I fertilize when I water and then in between week I spray the top leaves and roots with fertilizer. That's how one local grower showed me and it seems to work for me.
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