I have received a number of orchid plants over the years. How many do I have now, NONE. I’ve been told that I kill them with kindness.
I usually receive one for Mother’s Day. First, I look at it with awe, I see it’s beauty and am so thankful for the gift, then I wonder how long can I keep it alive? The first one I received I kept alive for about 6 weeks. This continued over the years until I kept one alive for 3 months!
One of the items on my “bucket list” is to keep an orchid alive long enough to see it re-bloom. I understand that it takes some practice to get really good at it. I have had so much practice killing orchids it’s time to be able to keep one alive.
Orchid Workshop Planned
You can’t get everything you will need to know from reading. Reading is just one way of learning. The most beneficial way is talking to other growers and enthusiasts. On Friday, January 28, 2022 the UF/IFAS Clay County Master Gardener Volunteers will host a day of education “From the Ground Up” . One of four workshops is entitled “Easy Orchids”. Registration is open at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/from-the-ground-a-day-of-gardening-education-tickets-203404487297. Learning what has worked for other people is a benefit that might help you from killing your beautiful Mother’s Day gift.
Overall, orchids can thrive in Florida as many are matched well to our climate or can be protected from some of the colder weather we see in winter for tropical varieties. Some keys to success include:
- Use a loose, well drained potting media such as volcanic rock, fir tree bark, or tree fern fiber to match the needs of your variety. Some grow without any growing media at all.
- Repot orchids when they get too large for the container.
- Do not over-fertilize or over-water.
- Keep an eye for pests and diseases.
- Research your orchid! There are over 25,000 species of orchids growing in a wide variety of climates with different needs. Learn about your specimen and give it what it requires to thrive.
For more information see:
This blog was written by Mary Mattiace, UF/IFAS Extension Clay County Master Gardener Volunteer