SO Gardening Oct 21

Sunday, October 21, 2018

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Dear Orchid Doc:

Is there an orchid named carousel spider orchid?


Dear Asania:

Yes. Caladenia Arenicola, commonly known as the carousel spider orchid, is a plant in the orchid family Orchidaceae and is endemic to the south-west of Western Australia. It has a single erect, hairy leaf and up to three red, white and green flowers on a flowering stem up to 60 cm (20 in) high. It is a common species on the Swan Coastal Plain, where it grows in sandy soil under trees. Flowering occurs between late August and October and is followed by a non-fleshy, dehiscent capsule containing a large number of seeds.

Dear Orchid Doc:

Is it safe to water orchids with water from the washing machine?


Dear Marlon:

It would depend a lot on the type of chemicals used in the water. In general, plants are not fussy when it comes to water, but I would bear in mind the amount of chemicals that were put in the water… say bleach, for example.

Dear Orchid Doc:

I was really looking forward to seeing my lovely Schomburgkia orchids bloom, but sadly all the buds are drying up before they have come to the blooming stage. I have waited over three years since they were babies, only to be confronted by this distressing situation. They have been sprayed with many different chemicals, but I just cannot get rid of the problem.

Please help.


Dear Merle:

Schomburgkia orchids are indeed a beautiful species. They take about the same amount of light as dendrobiums. I believe that your orchids may be suffering from mites and thrips.

Just as one medication cannot be used to treat every ailment in humans, the same is true of insects. Some insects are the sucking type, some are the biting type and some have to be killed on contact.

Against this background, please get a miticide at the farm store; a good one is Newmectin, and a general (not specific to a particular insect) is Caprid, which takes a bit longer to fix the problem, but which is less expensive.

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