General Growing Tips.
Plants will continue to manufacture food during the winter, albeit at a reduced rate. Everything will occur at a slower pace until spring arrives so the need for water and fertilizer is reduced. Indoor growers: pull you orchid away from the window if its leaves are touching the exterior glass.
Outdoor growers: keep an eye on the minimum projected temperatures, such as the hourly forecasts by zip code from Wunderground.
Tie up Cattleya pseudobulbs. Watch for signs of red spider mites on the undersides of leaves or scale in the sheathing on pseudobulbs. Remove the sheathing (cataphylls) carefully so as not to nick the soft tissue of the newest bulbs, which could result in rot or the introduction of disease.
Keep the humidity high around cymbidiums to prevent shriveling of the pseudobulbs and to prolong flowering. Later varieties are beginning to push up their inflorescences. Watering frequency and volume is important to support their development. Cool temperatures are beneficial.
Continue to water sparingly, or not at all, those dendrobium species that require a dormant period before flowering this spring (Den. lindleyi (syn. Den. aggregatum), Den. chrysotoxum, Den. farmeri, Den. densiflorum and Den. nobile or its hybrids). As the buds emerge, gradually increase the watering frequency and amount. Do not expose evergreen-type hybrids to temperatures below 60 F or plants in flower may drop leaves and buds.
Do not allow the roots of paphiopedilums to dry out. On a windowsill, use a pebble tray, with water in the pebbles, to increase humidity. Keep water out of sensitive pouches. Accumulated moisture in the pouch shortens flower life. Watch for insects, particularly red spider mites, on the foliage.
The phalaenopsis flowering cycle is about to start. Constant air circulation is essential to avoid Botrytis-spotted blooms. Water carefully to keep flowers dry and to minimize risks of soft rot in the fleshy leaves. Continue to use a dilute water soluble fertilizer. Monitor for scale and mealy bugs on the inflorescences and undersides of leaves.
Vandas are starting to rest now. You can gradually reduce your watering to every other day and cut back on fertilizer. Ascocentrum aurantiacum may have some beautiful orange to yellow flowers in bloom by the end of the month.
More Monthly Advice
Dr. Martin Motes Notes:
Progress of the Season.
After a chilling start December has settle into the pure delight in the air that keeps those tourist dollars flowing. The fairly constant pattern of stalled cold fronts becoming stationary across the peninsula is unusual... read more
Orchids in January. January is somewhat like December but in reverse, with each succeeding day bringing longer hours of sunlight until days are long enough that afternoons return at the end of the month with extra sunshine to warm us after the extra sharp cold snaps. January, like December, is cold and dry, in fact even colder and drier. Dry is good, cold can be very bad. We need to accentuate the positive by especially... read more
Culture Article by Sue Bottom:
Root Rot from Rhizoctonia
When Courtney gave a presentation to our club, he showed a picture of a cattleya with a
darkening pseudobulb and said it was Rhizoctonia, and then asked if I had ever
experienced this problem. I thought it looked like Black Rot but when Courtney said the
tissue was hard rather than soft like it would be if it were Black Rot, I thought yes
remembering some recent mortalities from the greenhouse...
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 - Orchids of El Salvador, Land of Hidden Treasures, February 3
Guillermo Salazar will speak about the Orchids of El Salvador, Land of Hidden Treasures at our February 3 meeting. If you like miniature orchids, this program is for you! Guillermo was born in Miami but grew up in El Salvador in Central America. He started collecting orchids at the ripe age of 9 years. He is a Landscape Designer with degrees in landscape design and environmental horticulture. He currently works as faculty for University of Florida & Miami Dade County Extension IFAS and he is an Adjunct faculty professor for the Landscape Technology Department for Miami Dade College.
Plant Clinic at Ace Hardware - February 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.
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