Friday, April 19, 2013

Buddy and The Orchid Brigade

Kit Cat Buddy, sniffing the Orchids
Friday is Orchid soaking day.  And, I generally have a little helper named Buddy. He's my sweet little kitty who seems to enjoy gardening as much as I do.

Once a week, the Butterfly (Phaleanopsis) Orchids rest for 30 minutes, soaking in a kitchen sink full of water.

In that water, I dissolve 1-2 tablespoons of fertilizer.

Use a 30-10-10 fertilizer, if growing orchids in bark.

If you're growing them in another medium you may want to considering switching them to bark. They live longer with bark (better drainage) though they require more nitrogen. (Hence the '30' of nitrogen with 10 of phosphorous and 10 of potassium in that 30-10-10 fertilizer mix.)

Water is not that big a deal to Orchids. In their natural environment, they're sometimes categorized as Celestial (found in the high tree canopies) and Terrestrial (found in boggy areas, such as the marshes in Florida.) The orchids posted here need less water than most, though they will surely die if you follow the latest trend of placing an ice cube in their pot - thinking you've done them a favor.

Phaleanopsis Orchids appreciate a deep soak, every 7-10 days, depending upon the humidity in your environment.

* These are all re-bloomers, that I've owned for ages.

PS: I've owned that cat for ages, too. He turns 15 this year!

These photos were taken with my iPhone, hence the substandard quality. I'm really getting lazy about life. So much easier to snap on the phone than rummage through the office mess to find a camera.

Have a great weekend, everybody!


Lona said...

They are just beautiful Kate.Have a wonderful weekend.

A Garden of Threads said...

Hi Kate, Do you soak the whole orchid or just the pot in the kitchen sink? I am thinking just the pot, but you never know. Jen

Kate/High Altitude Gardening said...

Try not to immerse the leaves in water (they speckle from water drops.) I tend to sacrifice some of the older, lower leaves to get all of the roots immersed. Once you have an Orchid that makes more sense, happy roots tend to grow up vs. down. :)

Thanks for stopping by, Jenn.

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

Hi Kate. Your orchids are always lovely. I must fertilize mine more often. Valerie

Anonymous said...

I have three phals. at home and one at work, all that I have had for 1-4 years. I DO water them with ice, but not just one cube, and actually pay attention - one doesn't need nearly as many cubes as the others, don't know why. They have re-bloomed and grown babies, so seem to be doing okay. Thanks for the fertilizer tip - obviously I'm not a very knowledgeable orchid grower. But love them! Deb

Mac_fromAustralia said...

I thought the photos were lovely, and oh, that first one, that's so sweet.

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