The Joy of Orchids
by Jody Steele
A golf cart ride around Ocean Reef is a journey of beauty to behold. Our subtropical climate is perfect for orchids to thrive. These magnificent plants in a multitude of colors dwell in trees, in pots on patios or porches, and even on the ground. They can be moved to your dining table or will be happy to hang elegantly near your favorite reading nook.
Michael Coronado, Vice President of R. F. Orchids shares his expertise and enthusiasm for this delightful plant and advises orchid aficionados of how to properly treat orchids. His knowledgeable recommendations have saved many an orchid plant from an overly helpful owner. However, Michael is confident that any of us can grow orchids with just a little training. It is always a pleasure to chat with him and hear his words of wisdom.
Orchid roots need to attach to a tree with rough bark, not smooth bark as Michael states because orchids must grab on as they grow. It is also best to choose a tree that can filter the sunshine. Selecting the right spot to place an orchid is key, because you want to have it easily visible when it blooms. The fastening of the orchid should be done gently so the plant is not injured and so it is stabilized preferably against a pad of coco fiber. Michael encourages a careful selection of the type of orchid, as some varieties are well suited to this type of placement and will reward you with repeated blooms once established.
Michael suggests that some orchids can be successful in full sun, but still others prefer some shade, but all crave pots with the right potting material that drains properly. Orchids require regular fertilizing and of course cautious watering especially this dry time of year.
A natural perfume
Most likely you have walked onto a path or on a patio and caught the scent of a very expensive perfume. Michael advocates positioning a fragrant orchid (only some are) where a prevailing breeze will allow it to waft across your path. One particular orchid, “Lady of the Night” only shares its fragrance in the dark. Isn’t that romantic?
Michael suggests the following orchids that do well at Ocean Reef and are easy to grow: Spathoglottis-in an array of colors, Brassavola nodosafragrant, Oncidium epiphytes, and Asocendas that will bloom repeatedly in a year. Other orchids are a bit pickier and bloom either in a particular season with many happy to flower during our Ocean Reef “season”.
So as we are social distancing, another way to treat “cabin fever” is to trek through pathways in your golf cart or on foot and gaze at the exotic orchids that grace us with their beauty. Our thanks to all of the Members at Ocean Reef that have added orchids to their landscape. We consider your gardens as a joyful gift to the community.
Announcing a Virtual Orchid Show & Competition
Orchid Season is in full bloom at Ocean Reef Club and we would love to see your garden! Enter your Orchid in our Virtual Orchid Show. The process is simple, snap the perfect picture and submit it on the ORC Website or email it directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. Michael Coronado from R.F. Orchids will judge each submission and award prizes. Our Awards Presentation will be featured in the Ocean Reef Press on May 8.