Manual How to grow orchids: Cattleya, Dendrobium, Oncidium, Paphiopedilum and Phalaenopsis

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  • How Orchids Grow!

The following winter, he acquired a handful of cymbidiums. They didn't do too well exposed to full sun and reflected heat on the patio, so he had a workman build a basic framework to give the plants a little shelter. About the same time, he built "rabbit hutches," also covered with shade cloth, to shelter some cattleyas. The cymbidiums still weren't doing too well, so he moved things around.

A comprehensive guide to orchid care

The cymbidiums went out to their present location along the walk to the front yard, and the cattleyas were placed under the shade cloth. That winter was cold, windy, and rainy, with temperatures down into the 30s. To protect the plants under the shade cloth, Ellsworth bought 3-mil plastic at a local building supply store.


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  8. With this, he covered the framework and enclosed the sides. The area is against the west side of the house but has no source of heat except for the sun. Ellsworth has come to believe strongly that many orchids can take the coldest air temperatures but not the cold winter rains. That seems to be borne out by Phalaenopsis Eileen Kay 'Blanc de Blanc' x Easter Moonlight 'Baldy', which had more than blooms during the long season.

    ORCHIDS CULTURE

    He now takes the plastic down in early May and puts it back up in October when the temperatures start dropping. During his fourth season of orchid growing, Ellsworth began using teak and wire baskets. The plants in them did well, and he's been expanding their use ever since. Epilaelia Cordicoro tends to lose its roots in a pot, but it does well mounted on cork, as do a number of other epidendrums, laelias, and cattleyas. Plants still in pots are in the standard mixes sold by Stewart Orchids.

    Ellsworth started to install a watering system with overhead sprinklers when everything was on the bench. Now he feels the area is too crowded, and plants would stay too wet. They would probably bloom better. Now, because of work, he waters less than that. Seedlings are crowded together with the other plants so they don't dry out as much as they did a few years ago.

    In the summer of , he misted approximately every third day for about 10 minutes and watered about every two weeks. These mistings help to keep the ground wet underneath the benches, and this helps keep the humidity higher. Peters has a higher phosphate level and that means you don't have to switch back and forth [between other formulas]. Growth has been stronger. It's too much hassle to use something different on different batches of plants, so they all get the same. If he has the time needed to fill, operate, and clean a chemical sprayer, he uses diazinon.

    Lacking time, he uses diazinon crystals for ant control. Safer's soap is good for smaller things because it's easy to use and has the additional advantage of being safer for the environment. He is a manufacturer of athletic bags, gym bags, and tennis racket covers. Although he's been growing orchids since , he didn't start growing them outside until out of necessity - he didn't have a greenhouse.

    Stewart's house sits at an altitude of approximately 1, feet and looks southward over Monrovia and the San Gabriel Valley. This is a thermal area where the cold air flows downhill onto someone else. The last hard frost was in , so the area may be about due for another. Stewart's plants get light reflected from the south-facing retaining wall. Saran cloth also helps to break the force of the wind and distribute it more evenly.

    This is critical because winds often peak at miles per hour during storms in January and February. To handle watering chores, Stewart currently uses a regular lawn sprinkler system, but recommends installing a mist system to help provide the necessary humidity. Because of the dryness of his area, he generally waters twice a week in summer and may mist as often as three or four times a day if someone is at home.

    Orchid Plants

    The weight also is a plus in keeping the plants from being knocked over by the winds. For terrestrials, pumice can be used as an additive to the same mix used for cymbidiums or pahiopedilums. It comes from northern New Mexico just north of Santa Fe and is used mostly in agriculture. It seems to have more minerals in it," Stewart feels, "manganese and other trace elements that orchids like. The one problem is that the company will sell it only by the truckload. When Stewart has a pile of the stuff on hand, he willingly sells pound bags to anyone who's interested.

    When fertilizing his orchids, Stewart prefers to use dichondra food without herbicide. A slow-release fertilizer helps to avoid salt buildup, "Using 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of that per pot, depending on the pot size, gives initial root tip burn, but then the plants jump right out of the pot. The unlabeled plants you get are fine for providing cut flowers for around the house.

    Left to their own devices with a reasonable amount of care, they do quite well. Try the more hardy cattleyas, Laelia tenebrosa from Brazil, the Mexican laelias," he advises.

    How to Grow Orchids, Growing Orchids, Orchid Care | pernacocdoo.cf

    The healthier a plant is, the better it will acclimatize. Putting a plant out in spring or summer, of course, gives it more chance to get used to the outdoors and the gradual change of night temperatures. Most orchid plants will take a very low temperature if they are dry. Also, a Bletia species grows next to the fish pond. The jewel orchids are moved inside in November when temperatures begin dropping into the 50s at night. Stewart doesn't recommend phalaenopsis for outdoors unless you can move them in and out as winter weather condition change.

    He built the retaining wall and set the beams that now hold up the saran shade cloth. Sometime in the future, he plants to add a fiberglass roof to make the area into a garden room. Of course, then he'll no longer be growing his plants outside. Harry Chittick has been growing orchids actively for almost nine years. He started growing them himself because someone gave him a plant. Then he acquired several cymbidiums and became interested in other types of orchids. The front of Chittick's house faces north-northwest, so the back yard gets lots of sun.

    Reed-stemmed epidendrums, Oncidium sphacelatum, Oncidium forbesii, Oncidium leucochilum, Encyclia adenocaula, Encyclia hanburii, Dendrobium kingianum, Laelia anceps, Laelia albida, Hexisea bidentata, Brassia Rex, Odontoglossum pulchellum, Chysis Chelsonii 'Gubler's' x bractescens, and a scattering of cymbidiums do well on the patio with a shady corner harboring some Paphiopedilum hybrids.

    The small lean-to greenhouse on the side of the house gets a fair amount of light, too. In the front, the cymbidiums, odontoglossums, and cattleyas do well. The plants in both front and back get some protection from the sun from overhead lattice but are exposed to whatever wind, rain, or hail that occurs. Still, Chittick moves the more tender plants indoors if necessary on the coldest nights or throws plastic over everything if the forecast indicates a real chance of frost. Smog is not a big problem, although he occasionally loses a few buds on some of the more delicate plants. Mexican laelias bloom in the dry season, the fall, so you cut down on the watering at that time, and they'll do wonderfully.

    Drip irrigation tubing mounted with mist heads works off the lawn sprinkler system's main computer control on a secondary program, providing the orchids with a thorough soaking every five days, and a couple of minutes of mist every morning around Along with the other growers I talked to, he would like to be able to make a list of those species and hybrids that can be grown outside in southern California. Orchids are just very slow-moving animals. They get up and move. If they don't like something, they'll tell you about it. Look for robust plants, healthy clones when you intend to grow outside," Chittick advises.