Dear Docs - June 24


Betty Ashley

Sunday, June 24, 2012    

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Dear Doc:

I need help with my orchids; the sun is making them yellow.

Can I put some greenhouse material over them until this heat has passed?

J Hop

Dear J Hop:

If you place the mesh over the orchids and then remove it when the heat has passed, you will have another problem, as they will have got accustomed to too much shade. What I have done in the past is to get a few palm trees and spread it over them, just enough to take off a little of the direct sun. Please use one teaspoon of epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) each week on the ones in a lot of sun; it will help to restore some of the green. Do not spray in the heat as that will result in burning.

Dear Doc:

My shade vanda roots are extremely long. Can I trim them?


Dear Claudette:

If your shade vanda (Strap leaf) roots are extremely long, trim just the older, dead-end roots instead of cutting off the healthier ones too. Many people I have come across admire the plant for its ability to grow long roots. Please try hanging it a little higher.

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:



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