Dear Doc - August 12
We have a friend who lives by the sea, and we'd love to give her some sun vandas. Would they do well by the sea?
Dear Three Sisters
I have had a few experiences of planting orchids by the seaside.
What I have learnt is that you will have to use the building to help you to block all that sea breeze. If you are able to do that then you will have a beautiful orchid garden. However, you will need to shower the plants with pure water every so often, because of the salt build-up.
I have a friend who bought a "blue phal" and insists that it is really a blue orchid. I can see that someone has been fooling around with nature, and being an orchid lover... it upsets me to see people being dishonest by selling them as genuine blue phal. Have you ever seen one? What do you think abut this practice?
Thank you for this question. I, too, have had someone being upset with me because I enlightened him to the fact that his blue orchid was really fake. I don't have a problem with the phal being sold, but when the public is being misled it bothers me. To identify that it is fake, look along the spike... you will see the entry wound; also each time you water the ink will run in the water, and last, the orchid will resort to the original colour - white - over time.
Betty Ashley is an avid orchid enthusiast who has spent decades successfully cultivating orchids for herself, as well as for orchid lovers across the island, earning herself the title 'Orchid Doc'. Send your orchid questions and/or concerns to: email@example.com.