Make a checklist of what you will need to repot and check your supplies. If you need bark or any orchid supplies you can pre-order by May 10, 2018 (10% discount) from Kelley's Korner. Supplies will be delivered at the potting workshop (no shipping charges). (see complete details see Spotlight Orchid Vendors)
Meeting location: THE ADMINISTRATION BUILDING OF THE CAPE COD FAIRGROUNDS
1220 Nathan Ellis Hwy, (Rt. 151) East FalmouthMA02536 (White fences on North side of Hwy.)
Repotting:. You should only repot orchids when you NEED to repot orchids. Many orchids resent the root disturbance that comes with repotting, so it is not a good idea to repot needlessly. The following reasons are the only times you should consider repotting : 1)The potting mix has broken down; 2)Your plant has a health problem, so the roots need to be examined; 3)The plant was accidentally dropped and got damaged or unpotted in the process; 4)The plant has outgrown it's pot. ("Outgrown" orchids like to be tight in their pots and thrive best when this is the case. In fact, Cattleya alliance plants actually bloom best when they are 1 or 2 growths off the edge of the pot, so repotting them sooner deprives you of a nice display of flowers.)
When to Repot Consider the growth habits and culture of your orchids. The optimal time to repot is after the plant has bloomed and is beginning a new growth cycle. The emergence of a new leaf, new roots, or a new pseudobulb signals this time.
Early Spring – This is the best time to repot most orchids as the days are getting longer; you see new growth; and they are no longer blooming. It the time to check your Brassavola (Winter - Spring) , Cattleya(Spring/Fall), Catasetums, Cymbidiums, Dendrobiums, Epidendrums, Encyclia, Ludisia(Winter-Spring), Masdevallia, Oncidiums, Paphiopedilum, Phalaenopsis (Spring-Summer), Sophronitis, Stanhopeas (Spring/Fall)
Repot in Fall – Doritaenopsis (Fall-Winter), Miltonia, Miltoniopsis, and Vanda.
Other times repotting may be necessary: Repotting may be required if an orchid is infested with bugs. If bugs keep recurring it is sometimes because they have taken their operations underground and are munching on the roots or in the media. Removing all of the old mix, carefully cleaning and examining the roots and repotting in fresh mix is often a critical step in eradicating a persistent pest issue.
Pot size: should be selected according to the size of your plant’s root mass and growth habit. When potting epiphytes (tree-dwellers), these are lateral or shallow rooters, so choose pots that are not as deep as they are wide. When potting terrestrial types (ground dwellers), they will want to root deeply, so choose pots that are deeper than they are wide. If the current pot is the right size, then you should clean it and re-use it!
Feed Me From the April 2013 issue of Orchids Magazine Prepared by the AOS Education Committee with Photographs by Greg Allikas
The Basics of Choosing a Fertilizer and Application
IF THEIR OTHER REQUIREMENTS are met, orchids will grow and flower for fairly long periods without fertilizer. Witness the people in tropical areas such as South Florida who grow them mounted on trees and let nature do the rest. Indeed, that is how epiphytic orchids grow in nature. But hobbyists generally try to give their orchids more than the bare minimum so that the plants flower at or above their potential.
There are many different points of view on how to fertilize orchids and what fertilizer to use. Everyone has a favorite fertilizer or supplement. There are so many variables that how and when you fertilize depends on what kinds of orchids you grow and how and where you grow them. This article will offer a brief explanation and general guidelines on fertilizing orchids. For more specific application, join your local orchid society and ask someone there who grows the same kind of orchids as you. It is unlikely that you will kill any orchids with orchid fertilizer so following the recommendations here will provide your plants needed nutrition.
If you are a gardener you are probably familiar with the N-P-K listings on fertilizer bags. Orchid fertilizers have them too. Let’s go over these three elements and see how they affect plant growth. Nitrogen (N) helps make plants green and helps them grow faster. It is the element responsible for vegetative growth (the leafy parts). Phosphorus (P) is good for root growth, disease resistance, seed and fruit growth, and especially for blooming and flowering. Potassium (K) helps with increasing root growth, drought resistance and disease resistance.
There are three main types of fertilizers used for orchids: balanced, high nitrogen and bloom booster. OPTIONS
Balanced ♦ fertilizers have been traditionally recommended for use with orchids potted in inorganic potting media such as lava rock and Aliflor, and tree fern (which has fallen out of favor due to conservation concerns). Plants mounted on cork bark or other substrates also benefit from using a balanced fertilizer. An example of a balanced fertilizer would be represented by the numbers 20-20-20.
High-nitrogen fertilizers ♦ have long been recommended for use with orchids potted in fir bark or fir bark mixes. The reason for extra nitrogen is that the bacteria that cause the bark to decay use up much of the available nitrogen, thus depleting the orchid. This practice has recently come into question. Nonetheless, using a high-nitrogen fertilizer, especially in spring at the beginning of the growing season, can promote strong vegetative growth under ideal conditions. An example of high-nitrogen fertilizer would be 30-10-10.
Bloom or blossom-booster formulas are high ♦ in phosphorus. Typically, high-phosphorus fertilizers are applied every other week for four to six applications the season before expected bloom. For winter–spring blooming orchids, bloom booster is usually applied in the autumn. Vandaceous hybrids and other orchids that bloom throughout the year can be given bloom booster every third or fourth fertilizing. An example of a bloom booster would be 10-30-20. Fertilizers used on orchids should contain little or no urea. This is because soil organisms must first convert the nitrogen in urea to a form useable by plants, and since orchids do not grow in soil, this conversion does not occur efficiently.
How fertilizer APPLICATION is applied varies as much as orchids themselves. Typically, plants are fertilized once a week during spring and summer and every two weeks in the autumn and winter. Regardless of the fertilizer that you choose, most experienced growers use ½ the label-recommended strength. Remember, in nature epiphytic orchids’ roots are exposed and the only nutrients they receive are from bird and animal droppings, decaying insects and detritus. The old saying about fertilizing orchids is: Feed them weekly weakly. Fertilizer is best applied in the morning on sunny days. For mounted orchids, or orchids with exposed roots, such as vandas in empty baskets, many growers routinely first water the plants and then follow with fertilizer a half hour later. The watering before fertilizing prepares the spongy velamen of the orchid roots to better utilize the fertilizer. Orchids in pots are usually not watered first but some growers have their own techniques.
There are requirements specific to certain orchids. For instance, do not fertilize nobile-type dendrobiums after early autumn. This rule actually applies to all orchids that have decided rest periods and all deciduous orchids. Fertilizing them while in their rest period keeps them in continual growth instead of resting before producing flowers. In other words, you may get a lot of growth and no flowers.
There are also many secret recipes growers use that supposedly produce stronger plants or more flowers. Certainly, vitamins and micronutrients are as essential as the building blocks of plant growth mentioned above. Elements such as magnesium, boron, calcium, carbon and others are required for strong plant growth. All in all, although there are certain practices that are documented as being helpful, it has not been proven that supplements actually contribute to improved growth in orchids — but it probably doesn’t hurt to use them.
Vandaceous orchids that were under fertilized (left) and received adequate fertilizer (right).
Most experienced growers use fertilizer at ½ the label-recommended strength
American Orchid Society Webinars
WHAT ARE WEBINARS? Webinars are an Internet conference where you can hear the speaker and view his presentation, ask questions, and hear interactions from other members of the audience. You can join either on your computer or by phone. You can join from anywhere, via your Mac, PC or even your mobile device. Audio is included, so attendees can phone in or use VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). You will need a microphone for your computer to use VoIP
American Orchid Society: Greenhouse Chat with Ron McHatton Thursday, March 29th, 2018 @ 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM EST Open to all
Please join Ron McHatton, American Orchid Society Director of Education and Science Officer, who will discuss a variety of topics on orchid culture based on questions submitted by attendees. Please send you questions to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, March 26th.
American Orchid Society: Greenhouse Chat with Ron McHatton Tuesday, April 24th, 2018 @ 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM EST Open to all
Please join Ron McHatton, American Orchid Society Director of Education and Science Officer, who will discuss a variety of topics on orchid culture based on questions submitted by attendees. Please send you questions to email@example.com by Saturday, April21st.
Note: After registering, you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing information about joining the seminar.
WANT TO LEARN, BUT CAN’T MAKE THE DATE? The live webinars will be recorded and posted on the AOS website, where you will find a link allowing you to view the webinars at your convenience.
American Orchid Society Judging
American Orchid Society provides judging to New England, New York and Northern New Jersey.
The Northeast Judging Center of the American Orchid Society sponsors 2 monthly judging events at the following venues:
1) First Saturday of the month - Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston MA
2) Third Saturday of the month - Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens, Stamford, CT
On these days, each site holds educational forums and discussions in the morning beginning at 10:30 on a wide range of topics related to orchid judging. Plants being submitted for judging should arrive no later than noon that day; actual judging of plants begins after a lunch break, generally no later than 1 PM.
In addition to our monthly judging, we participate in a number of orchid shows throughout the center, providing AOS judging as well has taking part in ribbon and trophy judging at the show.
Finally, we have many knowledgeable and helpful individuals in the center who can speak on a wide variety of topics related to orchids and judging. We encourage all of the orchid societies in our region to utilize this resource.
From Orchid Fever, by Eric Hansen
can get off alcohol, drugs, women, food, and cars, but once you're
hooked on orchids, you're finished. You never get off orchids...never".
CAIOS is an officially affiliated organization of the American Orchid Society and the Orchid Digest.