Lifestyle

SO Gardening Dec 2

Sunday, December 02, 2018

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Dear Orchid Doc:

My Phalaenopsis has spikes coming out through the crown and leaves on the spike. Why is this?

Johnson

Dear Johnson:

This is invariably the result of genetics and can seldom be resolved. A logical conclusion is that something went awry during hybridisation.

Dear Orchid Doc:

The tips of my Vanda are turning yellow. Can you tell me what is wrong?

Donna

Dear Donna:

When one sees the tips of Vandas turning yellow, it means something has gone wrong with the root system. Invariably the result of using too much fertiliser! If this is so, you will need to flush the plant with lots of water.

As a precaution, flush once weekly with pure water to get rid of the build-up of fertiliser and other chemicals.

Dear Orchid Doc:

How do I make another plant from a very big orchid?

Karlene

Dear Karlene:

If you are speaking of Sun Vandas, make a slant cut (no settling of water on top) on the main body of the orchid, allowing a minimum of three roots on the new plant. Pot as you would normally with stones mixed with coal if you wish, then put new plant under 50 per cent shade (not too much shade).

Dendrobiums usually put out young plants much easier, eventually with roots. Separate from the parent when the young plants' roots are strong enough to be independent. Pot in stones....not too deep; it is wiser to pack around the Dendrobium, rather than on top of the heart, as this will cause rot. Put in about 50 - 60 per cent shade.

Oncidiums are easier. Just take away a bulb or two, and remember not to bury too deep.

Phalaenopsises usually have their babies on the spent stem. Cut off a piece of the stem and plant in a medium of your choice, using the spent stem to anchor leaving the roots barely on top of the medium.

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