Byron Orchid Society

HINTS ABOUT ORCHID CARE IN THE WINTER

1. It is best to water plants in the morning so leaves will be dry by night- time.

2. Watering should be less frequent in winter, though some orchids like Slipper orchids (Paphiopedilums, etc.,) & Miltonia orchids, have no storage pseudo bulb & hence need regular watering all year round the same applies to other orchids with no swollen storage stems or bulbs.

3. Fertilising done with a weak solution of most fertilizers every 4 weeks, may help your plants if in good growing conditions though if plants are not fed during winter will not be a great loss.
Some orchids will not flower if fed during winter, so do your home work first e.g. Soft cane dendrobium orchids & hard cane dendrobium orchids often will not flower after feeding in winter? These orchids need a rest from fertilizer in autumn & winter.

4. If humidity is low it may be necessary to dampen the floor of the orchid house or mist it. Only important in some orchids.

5. Most tropical orchids &/or warm growing orchids prefer minimum night temperatures to be above 10 oC, if your temperatures stays below 5 oC at night then some plants may suffer cold stress.

6. Spraying plants with 'Envy' (Available from rural farm outlets) will give them some protection in the cooler weather, it can reduce the effects of frost & dehydration. This is like giving orchids an overcoat.

7. Plants that need a bit more protection such as Vandas & Hardcane orchids, could be put under cover during winter if cold is a problem in your area? A plastic covered orchid house may give them get more protection, If in cold areas that experience frost or extreme cold. In areas like near the beach is usually not necessary.

8. The most important requirement for successful growing of orchids is the potting mix & the growing area. A poor growing medium will never produce a quality plant, Insufficient or too much sunlight. Will mean your plant will never gain the strength to produce quality flowers.

9. If your plants are growing one way towards the sun (stretching their foliage to get more light) then this implies that you have insufficient sun light so move your plant into more sun, not turn it around as this will eventually lead the plant to suffer from starvation. Remember that the sun intensity in winter is much lower than in summer, so if you move your plants in winter into more sun then possibly it.

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Unfortunately many orchid growers are for some stupid reason reluctant to give good information regarding growing your orchids, if this is the case go to a reputable commercial retail / wholesale nursery & ask the qualified staff how to resolve your problem.

Happy growing, Allan Ladd

A friendly club for orchid growers for over 60 years

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