orchids

Bud Blast

Question:

All the buds fell off my new orchid. Could leaving the plant in a hot car for two hours be the cause? The leaves still look good so I’m not giving up on it. I fertilize it lightly and water every 10 days. Pat H.

Answer:

Heat stroke can happen to plants as well as animals! Hot cars are notorious for capturing the sun and can reach nearly 200 degrees under the right conditions. The first casualties involving orchids are the delicate flowers and buds which, technically, the plant can afford to lose since they are replenished each year.

Shipping Orchids

Question:

I received a Cattleya orchid in the mail that was supposed to be in bud or bloom and there is nothing but leaves! Where are the flowers?! What can be done? Ronald S.

Answer:

Shipping orchids in the mail is a little tricky. It requires some clever packing techniques and considerable knowledge of botany to be successful. In addition, the shipping company and the weather both have to cooperate.

Miltonias

Question:

My daughter gave me a lovely Miltonia last fall and I am afraid that I have hurt it. I have it on the porch facing east but there must have been too much light as three of the six leaves have turned brown. What can I do to prolong its life? Maggie B.

Answer:

Care in the Winter

Question:

How should we care for our orchids during these cold winters? Diane F.

Answer:

One would think that tropical plants and snow storms are highly incompatible. Yet millions of orchid hobbyists across America are able to bridge the gap to successfully grow and bloom a wide range of orchid genera by creating healthy horticultural microclimates within their homes. The months of December, January, and February offer the greatest challenges, as well as the greatest rewards - if executed correctly.

Florescent Bulbs

Question:

I am very confused about the different ‘grow lights’ required for orchids. I am planning to mount florescent bulbs under shelves for Dendrobiums, Paphiopedilums, and Phalaenopsis. What kind and how many bulbs should I use? What duration should they be on? Scott M.

Answer:

Queen of Cambodia's Orchid

Question:

I heard that the future King and Queen of Cambodia received a special orchid during their visit to Virginia last month. Can you tell me about that? Linda L.

Answer:

One of our clients, a relative of the Cambodian royal family, suggested that it might be nice to honor Princess Yinneka Norodom with an orchid hybrid bearing her name in anticipation of her impending ascension to the throne. The royal couple had scheduled a Sunday morning meditation at the Quan Am Phat Dien Buddhist Temple in Chesterfield County.

Fake Blue Phalaenopsis

Question:

I thought I was going to pass out at the grocery store after seeing what looked like an entire display of blue orchids! They don’t look real but what exactly am I seeing? Debbie T.

Answer:

Just in time for Easter. Put away your eggs. It’s time for dyed orchids!

My father recalls a time when cut white carnations were soaked in dye and passed off as pink. Or red. Or orange. They sold like hotcakes. Of course, no one had to be concerned with what the cut flowers looked like on their next blooming a year later.

Orchid Shows

Question:

What’s the best orchid show to attend these days? I’m just getting into the hobby. Jennifer B.

Answer:

There are few floral events more compelling than a good orchid show. Thousands of blooming plants all arranged to perfection with colors that baffle the mind. Longwood Gardens, Santa Barbara, and Miami International are commonly thought of as the best the sport has to offer.

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