Thursday, March 1, 2018

MCP Orchid Show: The Jewels of Winter, Growing Tips

Now through March 11, 2018, The Fellows Riverside Garden Center of Mill Creek Park is hosting Jewels of Winterthe annual orchid show.  This is the best orchid show in the area, so if you have any interest in orchids, this is the place to be.

Orchids have a reputation for being hard to grow. I have not found that to be true. Maybe these new varieties are hardier than the old ones. 

They are strikingly beautiful and lend a modern, elegant air to their surroundings.

 That said, orchids DO have certain requirements. They do not like to be wet. You can't water them on a schedule like other houseplants. 

Water them only when they are dry. This means you need to stick your finger down into the pot. If it's wet or damp, leave it aloe. Make sure the holes at the bottom of the pot are open so drainage can occur. If it is dry, water it. 

I started by given my first orchid two ice cubes. Now I can judge what two ice cubes of water looks like.

 Orchids like light, but not direct sun. Yes, they grow in the jungle, but they attach themselves to trees or other large plants under the canopy of the trees. 

They don't grow in soil. They grow naturally is a bark medium where their roots get plenty of air.

Orchids don't do well in drafts. Mine don't like the air from the furnace blowing on them. They will drop their flower buds.

They also don't like being up against the window if the outside temperature is fluctuating or if it's cold. The leaves will droop and become lackluster.

I use a commercial grade spray orchid food and I spray them once a week during growth season.

You will notice little green tendrils poking out of the holes in the orchid pot. These are new roots. Leave them alone.

Also, green leafless shoots will sprout out from the crown of leaves. Do not cut these off! It is on these shoots where the flowers will form. 

Orchids can bloom for months, usually during the winter. 

These photos were taken from this year's orchid show. If you like orchids, don't miss this show, free to the public at our wonderful Fellows Riverside Gardens Center, Mill Creek Park, Youngstown,

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