It’s October already and only three months left of the year.
October is a great time for the cattleya family, the C. Portia, and C. Porcia’s will all be in bloom this month. This group of bifoleate cattleya’s are so showy, with there large heads of beautiful blue or lavender flowers are definitely eye catchers.
Remember, The Huntington Show this month if you are planning to enter plants it’s time to start getting them cleaned up and ready to go. See you all at the meeting.
Leaftip Burn - AOS
I’ve noticed the tips of the leaves of some of my orchids are brown, and guessed it was due to over-fertilizing. This morning, I discovered two small (not tiny) brown spots on a dendrobium leaf. The cane has at least seven to eight leaves, and the spotted one is top-most. By looking at the back of the leaf, I found the center of the brown spots became thinner than the leaf. Are the spots an indication of sunburn or fungus? I have the orchid at an east window, so it shouldn’t be receiving too much sun. — Elizabeth Hsu
The leaf-tip burn you
describe is not unusual in orchids grown in the home or under very
dry conditions, nor is it necessarily indicative of
over-fertilizing, but rather of salt-related damage. This occurs
when the salt concentration in the soil solution reaches a certain
critical point, either through accumulation by over-dry conditions,
or by the excess application of fertilizer. Keeping the plants more
evenly moist, and flushing thoroughly with clean water can also help
to reduce this sort of injury to orchids. I doubt that the symptom
you describe on the top leaf is fungus, and even if it is, it sounds
like a type that is the result of a secondary infection that is
rarely more than a cosmetic problem. Unusually cold water can bruise
the softer tissue of a developing leaf, making it susceptible to
infection in the same way that a cut on your hand is liable to be
infected. The infection usually stops on its own, leaving the type
of lesion you describe. — Ned Nash
Epsom Salts - AOS
I have recently learned that
Epsom salts work well for getting phalaenopsis to bloom. My
You will not read much on this topic in regard to
orchids for there has been little research done. As so often is the
case, the myths and misinformation get spread widely, often by
people selling something. However, this much is true: Magnesium is
an essential element in orchid nutrition. In Europe, fertilizer
formulas are often expressed as N-P-K-Mg, indicating that it is
considered as a macroelement rather than a micronutrient. It can be
made available to orchids in many forms. Potting mixes will often
contain dolomitic lime for a slow-release source. Growers either
top-dress with magnesium sulphate in the spring or they apply it
dissolved in water in the autumn as a stand-alone application at
1tbs per gallon. Sophisticated growers will usually add magnesium in
a chelated form to their liquid-fertilizer solutions. Plant need can
be gauged by tissue analysis but this is probably more complex than
most hobby growers can be bothered with.
Monthly Ribbon Judging
You may have a new plant (less than
6 months) that has produced beautiful blooms that you would like to
share with the other SGVOH members. You may bring it and
display it on our NEW ARRIVALS table. It will not be
judged, but you will receive a raffle ticket.
Our members work very hard watering, fertilizing, and making sure their plants are bug free so we can view them at each meeting. Please do not touch or rub the plant leaves or flowers. Be courteous, treat other peoples plants like you would like them to treat yours.
Members may purchase a personally
engraved SGVOH name badge for $15.00 each.
Members wearing their name tag at our regular meeting can obtain a special ticket for that evening’s Plant Opportunity Table.
How do I feed my orchid?
Orchids need to be fed regularly. Growers suggest using a "balanced" fertilizer such as 20-20-20 that includes all "necessary trace elements." Regardless of the fertilizer formulation you choose to use, it should contain little or no urea. If you are unsure of what fertilizer to use, you can generally use any fertilizer you would for your other container plants. Orchids will do far better with too little fertilizer than with too much. Many growers recommend the "weakly, weekly" approach, applying a dilute (1/4 strength) fertilizer each time they water, rather than applying a full dose once a month. Also, it is best not to fertilize a completely dry plant as the fertilizer can burn the dry roots. Water first then follow with fertilizer solution.
When Should I Repot?
When an orchid plant starts to grow over the edge of the pot, it is time to repot it!
Orchid plants need repotting for one or a combination of two main factors: Potting mix breaks down, often evidenced by dead roots, or the plant outgrowing the container. In the first case, a larger pot may not be required, simply replace the growing medium. In the second case, the plant may need dividing or may be shifted into a larger pot. Fresh media should always be used. A good general rule of thumb is to pot for the bottom of the plant, the root system, and not for the top, the foliage.
•Divide or Repot?
•Keikis & Air Roots
•Potting a Keiki
•Recognizing Mite Damage
•Recognizing Virus Symptoms, part 1
•Removing a Damaged Leaf
•Removing a Keiki
•Repotting a Cattleya
•Repotting a Healthy Orchid
•Repotting an Unhealthy Orchid
•Selecting an Orchid
•When to Repot?