Psychosis Mendon Hall: This orchid has wide thick leaves that have a slight purple and green mottling. The butterfly-like flowers are large and can be 5 to 6 inches in size. The spikes are from 2 to 3 feet in height and can produce flowers many times throughout the year for several years on the same spike. This plant is easy to grow and flower if you follow the guidelines.
Light: This plant requires light similar to Phalaenopsis but can be grown in somewhat shadier conditions at about 1800-3000 foot candles. If your plant has large leaves and fails to bloom, moving it to more light will probably initiate flower spikes. . An Eastern window exposure is recommended or can be successfully cultivated under either fluorescent lights.
Water: When the moss or bark mix just dries out. When in spike or flower water as the mix approaches dryness but do not allow the mix to become completely dry between watering. Overwatering can cause several problems such as root rot and infectious bacteria/fungus in the potting medium..
Fertilizer: Fertilize every other watering in the summer and every third watering in the winter. Be sure to flush the mix with clear water only once per month to prevent fertilizer salt build up.
Repotting: They prefer a well-drained mix with a lot of air. Clay pots are good for larger plants. Change the mix only as it breaks down; approximately every two years. The best time for repotting these plants is in the spring months or when new growth is beginning to appear, as this is when the new roots will break at the same time. Potting mixes can include New Zealand sphagnum moss (with clay pots) or a medium grade bark mix.
Temperature: Recommended ideal night temperature (fall, winter, and spring months) is 60°-64° Fahrenheit and ideal daytime temperature is 90°F. They prefer high humidity, as much as 85% but will tolerate 50% humidity. The use of humidity trays or humidifier may be beneficial. They also require good air movement.
Daryl's Enviornmentally Safe Bug Mix
Daryl’s mix - I mix three tablespoons of Dr. Bronner's Peppermint soap and 3/4 cup of Isopropyl Alcohol into a one quart spray bottle. Fill the remainder of the bottle with water and shake well before using. It's a VERY oily soap that will smother and kill them. Works great with aphids and scale. I add the alcohol because that makes it more effective on mealy bug also. It works great and you can't get any safer than that!
“Do I need a greenhouse to grow orchids?”
I'd love to introduce you to the 70+ orchids growing on my windowsills!
Sometimes it is difficult to convince orchid newbies that orchids can be successfully grown outdoors and on windowsills.
Don’t have large, sunny windows in your home? Why not supplement the existing light with artificial light?
The next lesson in this series will deal with this alternative for growing orchids.
And then it’s on to the must-have elements of orchid culture.
Good growing, Your Fellow Orchid Enthusiasts at the American Orchid Society
Neofinetia falcata – Fu-ran Care
Neofinetia falcata – Fu-ran, the Japanese Wind Orchid - This plant can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. In the spring and summer, daytime temperature should be 70º F or above, with a 10 to 15 degree difference at night. During winter months, day temperatures below 65º F are preferred. Neofinetia falcata will tolerate winter temperatures in the upper 30’s! Neofinetias bloom mostly from spring through fall. The inflorescence may have from three to 15 flowers. Most forms have white flowers with a long nectary/spur. They will last from one to two months, and are extremely fragrant both day and night. There are also pink, green, cherry-red, and yellow-colored forms, as well as those with variegated leaves and different growth habits.
Light: Neofinetias prefer medium light levels, (1500 – 3000 foot-candles). If you are growing under fluorescent lights, keep the plants about 6″to 8″ from the tubes. Under high-intensity lamps, grow approximately 4 feet from the fixture. This plant can be grown on windowsills, given an east, south, or west exposure. Plants may be grown outdoors in the summer with filtered sunlight.
Humidity: 40 to 60 percent. Use humidity trays or a small room humidifier when growing on windowsills.
Water: Use clean water, such as rainwater, distilled or reverse osmosis water if possible. Flush the plant regularly, especially if using municipal or well water. Never use artificially softened water. Let the plants dry out between watering. Use ample water in spring and summer while the plants are in active growth and in flower, reducing quantities during cooler winter days.
Fertilizer: Use a balanced fertilizer year-round, preferably urea-free. If using rain, distilled or reverse osmosis water, add some municipal or well water to supply the necessary calcium and magnesium. Fertilize very lightly every other watering during the growing season, once a month during the winter rest period.
Repotting: Preferably done in the spring and early summer, every two years. Either clay, plastic or net pots or wood baskets will work. Sphagnum - Use a good-quality, long-fibered sphagnum moss, place the root ball over a small amount of moss or a foam peanut. Wrap the root ball loosely but securely in sphagnum moss, so that the plant does not wobble. Keep the base of the plant higher than the rim of the pot. Plants can be similarly planted using osmunda fiber. When growing in a basket, line the basket with a thin layer of sphagnum or coconut fiber to keep the mix from falling through the slats. Plants may also be mounted on cork or tree fern plaques, or on wood branches like oak, sassafras, etc. You can mount the plants with a little sphagnum or osmunda to help keep them moist. If kept humid, some growers plant Neofinetias on rocks with live moss.
Here you will find Questions and Answers to new inquiries or former questions which were previously asked and answered, but a member may have lost the information or a new member is looking for the same information.
The Use of Sugar Water: In the May 2016 Newsletter the Membership was asked if anyone had an experience using sugar water to aid the roots of their orchids which had been overwatered. A member had read an article which suggested, “Soaking the roots in sugar water (1 Tbsp. of sugar in 1 liter of water) will help.” I received a few responses. I contact Ron Hutton an expert from AOS for an answer, in addition to other members who responded regarding their experience who have tried it. Here are the responses.
Here is Ron’s response which was also answered during one of the AOS Greenhouse Webinar chats.
Ron’s response: “The theory behind this is that the sugar is taken up by the plant and it, in effect, helps tide the plant over while the roots are recovering. There is no evidence, I know of, that orchids are able to metabolize sucrose and, if this does anything, it's because the sucrose is broken down by the fungi in the environment and turned into simpler compounds that the plant can take up. That's fine if the roots are healthy - just damaged - and likely won't hurt anything. If, on the other hand, the roots have been damaged by root-rotting fungi, it's that fungi that are going to be fed and encouraged to grow. The bottom line, in my opinion, is that it's not necessary, likely doesn't really help and, in some cases, could be counterproductive. Soaking the roots in a solution of rooting hormone would likely be better.”
Here is the response from Members: The few which have tried it said they were successful in saving their orchids. However, they all indicated that they had only used the sugar water treatment once on one plant.
What is a peloric orchid?
A peloric orchid is one that has a genetic mutation that causes the petals to mimic the shape of the lip.
One defining characteristic of orchids is that that are bilaterally symmetric, meaning that if you draw a vertical line down the center, it will look the same on either side of the line.
Peloric orchids actually begin to look more star-shaped or radially symmetric, meaning that you can draw a line along any plane of the flower and each segment will look about the same. Peloric orchids don’t tend to be perfectly radially symmetric like daisies or lilies, but they are much more so than orchids without the mutation.
Member wants to know about growing New Guinea Type Dendrobiums.
High Elevation New Guinea Type DendrobiumsThe species are primarily the mountain cloud forest inhabitants of some Oxyglossum as well as the cooler Pedilonums & Calyptrochilus members. This information is primarily related to species such as: Dendrobium cuthbertsonii, Den. vexillarius, D. violaceum, D. hellwigianum, D. masarangense & D. seranicum, etc. of section Oxyglossum (OXY) and D. subclausum of the Calyptrochilus (CALY), D. caliculimentum, D. alaticaulinum, etc. of section Pedilonum (PED) just to name a few.. New Guinea Dendrobium orchids do experience definite seasonal wet/dry periods. Their "summer" or growing season may experience day temps between 55'-85'F. (depending on elev.) with humidity upwards of 90% day and night. The "winter" or "dry" season often receives 50'-65'F. days with dips as low as 32'- 40'F. on clear nights. Below is general care information:
Light: It is recommended for best results, (as a general rule of thumb) to provide good light (1800-2200 footcandles). Not enough light results in weak, easily damaged and disease prone foliage, poor blooming and lack of growth.
Humidity:Most prefer fairly high humidity 70% is ideal. Too little and the miniature plants will dry up quickly, and too much and they are a potential for disease and/or root loss. You should strive for a lightly damp media the never becomes “bone dry” or remains wet for extended periods of time.
Water:Water quality is a concern because these orchids do not appreciate a high mineral content in their water. Water when the media just approaches dryness which is approximately every 5-7 days depending upon you individual environment.