General Growing Tips.
Signs of spring abound with an abundance of emerging flower spikes and buds. The flush of spring growth will follow soon so plan your repotting program that should begin in earnest this month. The best time to repot is right before the new roots start growing so the plants will reestablish quickly. Watch for signs of mites, particularly on thin leaved orchids like the catasetinae and grammatophyllums, and treat any problems promptly.
Several species flowering now are C. amethystoglossa with its large heads of crimson and white blooms, C. aurantiaca that delights with clusters of small yellow to orange star-like flowers, C. skinneri carrying many clusters of lavender or white blooms or the natural hybrid of these last two C. guatemalensis. Soon sheaths will emerge on C. mossiae hybrids. Monitor their development so that moisture does not accumulate in the sheath causing bud blast.
Flower spikes are starting to develop and should be trained for their best display, although they are tender and easily broken. Arching or upright spikes display better if trained upward at first growth; some growers place a name tag in front of the developing spike to guide it. Pendulous cymbidiums should be allowed to grow naturally and downward without any type of training.
Onc. papilio, the butterfly orchid, may be putting out the first in a series of many buds that will bloom through spring and early summer. Do not cut the inflorescence because it will continue to produce flowers year after year. Even though Onc. papilio has hard leaves suggesting it will tolerate a lot of light (like cattleyas), it is better grown under bright phalaenopsis conditions.
The hybrid moth orchids seem to last in perfection for months. Certain species are starting to bloom like the pink Phal. schilleriana and spotted Phal. stuartiana that are both fundamental to many modern hybrids. If grown in New Zealand sphagnum moss, make sure the moss does not deteriorate before the flowering season because a healthy root system is important to sustain the many flowers.
More Monthly Advice
Dr. Martin Motes Notes:
Progress of the Season.
January began warmer and drier than usual and ended cooler and drier. The occasional but voluminous rain that usually is wrung from cold fronts colliding with warmer moister air has not occurred this year. Overall this cool dry weather is beneficial... read more
Orchids in March. Whilst March never comes in like a lion in South Florida, occasionally it slinks in like a bob cat. Frost is not unheard of in the first few days of the month. The more cold sensitive genera, hard cane dendrobiums, phalaenopsis and vandas may well need some protection even into the middle of the month. Overall, however, March brings us some of the most ideal orchid growing conditions... read entire article
Culture Article by Sue Bottom:
Why Do You Grow the Orchids You Grow?
Has your taste in orchids changed over time? When you first start growing orchids, you buy
everything in sight. You know what day the Sun Bulb plants are delivered to Home Depot so
you can have first pick. Courtney says there is something about orchid growers...
Monthly SAOS Meeting Subscribe to Our Newsletter|
We normally meet on the first Tuesday of each month at Watson Realty, located at 3505 US 1 South in St. Augustine. The meeting begins with a plant sale at 7 pm followed by a presentation by an orchid expert at 7:15. The meeting closes with a plant raffle and auction where members can expand their collections. It's fun and informative for beginner and experienced growers. Here's a membership form if you want to join. Visitors and guests are always welcome!
Here's a video of one of our meetings!
Next Monthly Meeting - Neofinetia and Its Hybrids, March 3
Peter T. Lin of Diamond Orchids in southern California will speak about miniature vandaceous species and hybrids, with an emphasis on the charming Neofinetia falcata. Neofinetias are native to Japan and have been grown there for centuries. They are highly treasured and come in many flower forms and leaf forms. It has been used with other vandaceous genera.
Peter is an accredited judge with the American Orchid Society. Due to limited growing space, Peter likes to specialize in miniature orchids, both species and hybrids, and has received numerous AOS awards. He maintains a collection of a thousand or more orchids at his home in Southern California in 3 small greenhouses, outdoors, as well as an offsite greenhouse. Save your shekels, Peter is offering a 10% discount on preorders submitted by February 27 that he'll deliver free of shipping at the meeting.
Plant Clinic at Ace Hardware - March 7
The first Saturday of the month from February through November, Master Gardeners and St. Augustine Orchid Society members will be available to talk with you, answer questions and help you repot orchids. We will be at the Ace Hardware at 3050 US 1 South in St. Augustine from 9 am until 1 pm.
Here's a video of a repotting clinic!
St. Augustine Orchid Society Happenings
Gail Marshall puts together the SAOS Happenings each month so you can easily find all the orchid events around town.
Donate to the SAOS
Your information source for growing orchids in North Florida. The SAOS is a Section 501(c)(3) not for profit organization for the development, improvement, preservation, cultivation and hybridization of orchids. All donations are tax deductible.
Search the site using the site map or search box.