It’s taken us a while but here’s our first e-mail newsletter. We hope to put out a newsletter about every three months. Most of the materials will be important to the maintance of your plants.That especially includes how to get your plants to rebloom.
Getting in touch with us
You can still email us about your particular needs for your plants. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Remember that pictures are helpful. Just attach them to your e-mail.
If you ever have any concerns about a plant, do not hesitate to bring your plant to the greenhouse. Someone is usually in the greenhouse to help you. Tammy, our helper, is at the greenhouse Monday, Thursday. and Friday. Phyllis and Don are here Tuesday and Wednesday. Don usually does Farmers Markets during the Summer: he will be happy to look at your plant then. You can check Don’s schedule on the web site. Phyllis is frequently available at the greenhouse on Saturday.
Please fill free to call before coming out: we hate to miss or inconvenience our customers. If it appears that no one is at the greenhouse, please knock on the side door of the house.
We care about what you want
If you have something that you would like to have in the newsletter, please let us know. We would like your input.
Also, we are trying to constantly update our mailing list. If you have changes you want us to make, please let us know.
If you enjoy a post card being sent to you to remind you of a show, you don ‘t need to do anything. If you would prefer being sent an email, please e-mail us.
What should I be doing with my plants now?
If you haven’t repotted you phalaenopsis, get it done now. Put them where they will cool off during the night. (This encourages them to set spikes–especially phals.)
Check you plants for pests, especially if they are outside. Pests multiply rapidly on warm, humid days. And they hide under the old brown leaf sheaths or between leaves.This is especially true of mealy bugs and scale. White scale and mealy bugs look a lot alike: the mealy bugs move, the scale doesn’t. Scale comes in two varieties: brown and white. Brown scale looks like little brown polka dots.
There are three more critters to look for. The first goes by many nicknames. Children call it the roly poly bug. Adults know it as a pill bug or sow bug. It’s the one that curls up into a ball when you touch it. These bugs like to burrow into the mix. And they really love to congregate at the bottom of a pot, especially if you’ve had the pot outside sitting on something. The other pests are the snail and the slug. They do the same kind of damage, eating buds. The easiest way to find them is to shine a flashlight on the leaves at night time. You’ll see a shiny trail if these pests are around.
Your orchids perform best if you provide care on a regular schedule. Don recommends that you check on your plants once a week. Pick up your plants on that day. If they were light, water them. If they are heavy, let them go for another week. Generally speaking you water small pots once a week, large pots once ever two weeks. Five inch pots are the cut-off. Check these the most carefully. We recommend that if you decide to water your plant, you also give it a very weak solution of ferlilizer. Cut the solution down to 1/2 or less of the amount on the directions. Water first, then fertilize.
Repotting should also be done a consistant basis. Most plants need to be repotted when they are going into a growth period. Usually your plant will go into a growth period about a month after it finishes blooming.
After they bloom and go into their growth spurt we can repot them in the mix that bests works for you. Quite often we repot plants that are in moss as soon as they finish blooming. The moss often does not dry out and allow the roots to breath or drain so the roots rots immediately. Generally speaking we repot phals and paphs every year, they do best if their roots if their roots are in optimum good health. Most other plants are repotted every two years.
When you repot, pull your plant out of the pot. If they are really tight, sqeeze the pot. These plans often are full of nice healthy roots. Clean all the old mix off the existing roots. If you have to, go ahead and wash the roots off. Then sterilize your pruning equipment. Get rid of all the old black squishy roots. Keep the nice thick green or white roots. If in doubt, pinch the roots, If there is no substance in the root clip them off. Then take all the good roots and put them in a fresh pot. The pot should be about 1 inch larger than the root ball. Cover the roots with a new mix.
If you have plants that have severe root rot, go to a small pot. If repotting does not seem to be sucessful repot theplant again. The plant may have developed more root rot. Follow the same procedure for repotting. You may want to wash off the roots with soapy water and then rinse them throoughly.
Often our customers come in for repotting when their plants are already in bad shape. We try to do the best that we can, but some of these plants can not be saved.
People often come up to ask me how to learn more about orchids. Please come in and ask any questions that you might have. If you have some free time you might want to come in and spend some time with us. While we will answer any questions you have at the time, we can also give you some practical experience by having you water, repot, or whatever. Call and set up some time with us.
Please give us some feedback about our new newsletter. Also tell us what you would like to see in upcoming newsletters.
Don and Phyllis