by Jody Steele
Whether you leave The Reef in the summer or stay to enjoy those tropical breezes in the warmer months, your orchids that have given you so much joy during the Season need a well deserved break.
Michael Coronado, Vice President of R. F. Orchids, shared some tips on keeping orchids healthy and ready to bloom later in the year so you can marvel at their beauty once again. They just need your TLC.
Humidity & the Rains
As you know, the rainy months are approaching and so is higher humidity. Although orchids love humidity, the summer rains can be too much of a good thing. Michael recommends that orchids tied on trees should have their misters turned off as the regular rains should be enough to keep the orchids irrigated. Orchids under cover or on porches should continue to be watered once or twice a week. Also, watering should be done (when possible) earlier in the morning. It is important to check your orchid plants for appropriate moisture and then stay on a watering schedule.
Orchids need a bit of a breeze— so spending some time to check out the placement of your plants with the prevailing winds is worthwhile. Michael remarked that we are lucky to be so close to the ocean breezes.
Orchids get sunburned, too. It is time to layer on more Spanish Moss all over the orchid leaves to protect them and actually serve as their special sunblock, per Michael.
Fungicide, insect and mite control, and 20-20-20 all purpose plant food can save your plants from fungus, snails that make your leaves look like “swiss cheese”, and root rot. Michael recommends that all of these treatments should be chosen carefully and applied with care sparingly.
As your plants have their last blooms, cut the blooms off to give your orchids a rest. All energy will then transfer to the plant and give you stronger plants with gorgeous blooms in the future.
As Michael Coronado shared, the orchids we all enjoy in our pots, on our trees, or on our dining room table put us in our “happy place”. We only need to give them a bit of extra care over the summer for them to return to their glory next Season.