Dear Orchid Doc

With Betty Ashley

Sunday, February 11, 2018

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Dear Orchid Doc:

I would like to know just how long dendrobium (phal) spikes take to emerge. I have seen little round tips in between the top leaves about three months now, but they haven't budged since. I have read that people say this is the time to stop watering, in order for them to bloom, until it looks like it is about to die. I am wondering if this is true, because my neighbour neglects looks dead except for one stalk, but it is blooming profusely.


Dear Patsy

You speak of Dendrobiums, but you have put in brackets Phal. These are two different types of orchids. The body of your letter leads me to believe the plant you're speaking about is a type of dendrobium. However, that one is called Bridal Shower. You refrain from watering during the late November to December months in order that it may bloom.

The spike sounds to me as if it has been blighted by an insect. Some insects cause orchids to stop blooming; you must treat your plants properly. Your neighbour's luck might soon run out. If you neglect your plants, it will only be a matter of time before your luck runs out.

Happy gardening.

Dear Orchid Doc:

I have quite a lot of orchids, also some shrubs, and I have noticed that white flies are taking up the entire yard. Can you recommend something that can be used on both types of plants?


Dear Geraldine:

While you should hurry to get Actara to spray your shrubs, I would not be too worried about the orchids, as orchids are a bit too tough for the white flies; they prefer the leafy shrubs. However, you should get your neighbour involved in the spraying as well; it has to be a community effort, or else you won't be able to get rid of them.

Orchid Cottage
Kingston 8, Jamaica .
Cell # 876-3224585,
Fax 876-931-8805

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