SO Gardening Oct 14

Sunday, October 14, 2018

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Dear Orchid Doc:

How much humidity do orchids need?


Dear Michelle

Phalaenopsis orchids enjoy 50 per cent humidity. If your home is dry because of winter heat or summer air conditioning place a small humidifier near, or a humidity/pebble tray under, your plants to maintain optimum humidity. Grouping plants together will also help maintain humidity around your plants.

Dear Orchid Doc:

I have had a few cymbidiums for a long time now but they won't bloom. What advice can you give me to help the situation? They look quite healthy otherwise and extremely fat with multiple bulbs.


Dear Stacy:

The fact that your plants look quite healthy and have multiple shoots would suggest that you have the growing and fertilising aspect of it down pat.

However, I have to tell you that there are some cymbidiums that refuse to bloom in the warmer climates, though there are some hybrid types that are more tolerant of the heat and will therefore bloom at a temperature of higher than 80 degrees.

The older types require a drop in temperature at nights of about 10 to 15 degrees before a spike will initiate; however, when they bloom they last a very long time. The hybrid types are usually very short.

So it might be a good idea to send the plants up to the cooler areas for at least 30 days during the blooming season, to initiate the buds. Best of luck.

Dear Orchid Doc:

I have been trying dendrobiums, but I find that they grow slowly and I am discouraged by this. Do you have any suggestions?


Dear Beverley:

I am hazarding a guess here, but it would appear that you might need to introduce some humidity. There is a greenhouse plastic that will be able to help. You should see improvement within a month. It is a clear plastic made for greenhouses which can be found at most garden stores. Please note that too much sunlight too early retards the growth of dendrobiums.

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