This has been a wonderful week for my orchids. Although very hot and dry until today’s afternoon shower, I managed to keep all the orchids well fed and watered. At first I was watering all of the orchids every ten days or once a week as the overseas info sources suggested. I was waiting for their potting media to dry out completely between waterings. However this is simply not beneficial in my climate, especially since some of my older orchids were potted in just bark chips. Here in Gauteng we have high heat and very low humidity. Many of my oncidiums got wrinkled pseudobulbs (a sign of dehydration) and a couple of my phalaenopsis got shriveled roots and floppy leaves. These orchids that I have are tropical plants so one must make adjustments.
I am now watering all the phalaenopsis twice a week or more & the oncidiums are watered every two days or so. I check them almost daily so that I can water at the first sign of dry media. I don’t wait for the roots to turn from green to silver-grey before watering, as the overseas blogs recommend. Again, I am doing what works best for my climate.
I water my orchids with our collected rainwater now, instead of municipal tap water. I have started adding Fish Emulsion to the water as well. I’ve been using fish emulsion for my fruit and vegetables, and recently read that this is very beneficial to orchids. Along with the fish emulsion, the flowering orchids are given a bloom boost fertiliser for orchids and the ones out of flower are given a high Nitrogen fertiliser to boost vegetative growth. This routine is working well. All the orchids hat are out of flower, with the exception of the Phal Japonica, have put out one or two new leaves in the past three weeks.
In the video you can see the gorgeous four phalaenopsis that are blooming or in bud this week:
This orchid is the one in the video that is currently in bud, as it is reflowering:
It is the phalaenopsis I repotted in this video:
The orchids in the first video are all complex hybrid phalaenopsis, but there is a special guest apperance by one of my species phalaenopsis towards the end of the video. If you are in South Africa, you can buy these orchids at Woolworths, although you may have to hunt around various branches to get the exact ones I have. The colours and types change often. I regret not buying at least two of them in the past – a splash patterned one & a warm orange / yellow one) as I haven’t seen them in any of my nearby Woolworths again.
I hope you enjoyed the videos. If you’d like to see all my orchid video updates and more gardening videos as they are published, be sure to subscribe to my channel on youtube and chat with me over there: http://YouTube.com/TheRainQueen