Summer Orchids Care

June 13, 2019

“Heat stress is a condition that occurs in orchids and other plants when excessive heat causes an imbalance in transpiration, the process by which moisture evaporates from the plant’s tissues. When that rate of evaporation exceeds the pace at which moisture is being replaced through water taken up by the orchid’s roots, the plant becomes dehydrated — leaves soft and wilted, pseudobulbs wrinkled and ridged.” -AOS

Summer is here and it is time when you need to keep eye on your orchid placement and hydration. Be aware of dehydration and hit stress signs.

Last week I rescue one orchid which was planted in soil with black mulch and had sun burns on the lives. Ones again I realized that there are many people who does not know a bit about orchids care.

So sad to see that…any questions could be answered by simple internet search. YouTube is a great resource to use for any questions.

Couple tips for these who might find my post here and interested to learn a little bit about orchids care.

Different media and type of pots responding differently to water and heat. Clay pots, leca and lava rocks dries faster that bark, coconut husk and moss in plastic pots. Plastic pots should be placed into the cover pots to prevent the root burns.

If you see shriveled, desiccated yellowing leaves or reddish-purple tint or freckles it can indicate underwatering, sunburn or overheating dehydration. This may simply be due to the fact that you are not providing enough water for the orchid-pot-media-location combination or plant is under the heat stress.

I you noticed any signs of dehydration or sun burn first move plant to shaded location, than soak it with pot in clean water (distilled, rain) for 20-30 min. Start to water the plant more frequently but make sure all water dripped of the pot at the end, and roots are not sitting in water.

Orchid can show the similar signs of dehydration because of the poor roots condition which cannot transmit the water. This is another case and usually the result of overwatering, or old broken-down potting media which compacted around the roots. If orchid wasn’t re-potted for more than 2 years, consider checking the roots and repot it.

Summer is here! Just be aware of your plants condition and grow your orchids strong for future blooms.

Feel free to leave a comment or any questions you have.

If you local to DC, MD, VA area and would like to share your orchids’ experience and learn more from other, please join FB group https://www.facebook.com/groups/DMVOrchidsLovers/

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Let’s talk Orchids

June 6, 2019

If you are new to the Orchids’ lovers world you probably would need to understand the terms people use all over the internet when talking about Orchids.

When I started to learn about Orchids it was very confusing to recognize what people are referring to by saying: keiki, crown, spike, backbulb, etc. It’s like a different language. I decide to put some information together which might help one to better understand these terms.  Here is some of the terms and definitions you may see people using when talking about orchids:

Orchids, Aerial Root

Aerial Root– a root which develops from the stem above the medium.

Orchids, Flower Spike

Flower Spike– a single or branched stalk with buds and flowers.

Orchids, Crown

Crown: the area where the leaves join with the base of the plant. Spikes and roots come from from crown for Sympodial Orchids.

Orchids, Happy Sap

“Happy Sap”: small beads of sticky sap that appear on parts of an orchid. In the absence of insects, this means that the plant is happy and is sending sugar to the area of the plant where the sap is visible. The presence of this sap can indicate that the orchid is gearing for reproduction.

Orchids, Rhizome

Rhizome: horizontal, underground plant stem capable of producing the shoot and root systems of a new plant.

Orchids, Side shoot

Side shoot: a new spike that sprouts from the node of an already established flower spike. Often produces more blooms.

Orchids, Backbulb

Backbulb: an old, often leafless, sympodial pseudobulb that is still alive and can be used for propagating a new plant.

NOID: an acronym for “no identification”. This is used for any orchid whose exact species is unknown. Most orchids available for sale at big box stores are NOID.

Sympodial orchids: such as Oncidiums, Cattleyas, Zygopetalums grow new pseudobulb from rhizome horizontally.

Monopodial orchids: such as Phalaenopsis, Vanda grow new leaves vertically from the stem.

If you are local to DC, MD, VA area and like to share your experience with orchids and learn more please join the FB group https://www.facebook.com/groups/DMVOrchidsLovers/

Orchids Care: How I Fertilize Orchids

orchidOrchids like people need to eat to be healthy and reproductive. There are so many information and recommendations could be found on Internet these days. I am not advising anyone to change the way they hydrate and fertilize their plants, just sharing how I do it.

This is what I learned, experimented and adopted for my orchids and seems it works well.  By “orchids” I refer to different types I have: phalaenopsis, dendrobium, oncidium, cymbidium and epidendrum. Hope to extend in future to other types.

Most of the orchids are light feeders and do not need high amount of food, but it should be constant. I am rotating fertilizers I have feeding ones a week and each forth time just flashing with clean water. By clean -I mean rain, distilled or dehumidifier water. All clean water I use have less than 25 pps.

I know that proper PH is very important for orchid to except the nutrients. You may use the finniest cocktail and orchid won’t take it if PH is not in between 5.5 and 6.5 which is slightly acidic. As I learned, dendrobium nobile can tolerate up to 7.5 PH.  I tried to use PH meter for a while and give up because of the constant calibration requirements. But I know my water now (usually 7-8.5 PH) and know that adding regular fertilizers are lowering PH to required range.

I do a quick flash to let roots get wet and then in about 15 min soak pots in high trays with fertilized water for about 20-30 min. The ones in leca or lava rocks may stay a little bit longer. Very important to do this in a morning and run a fan or keep outside for drying out by evening. Otherwise some problems might start with root or crown rot.

To measure the concentration of nutrients in water I am using the TDS meter which shows the parts per million results. I try to stay in 160-180 ppm for my mixes picking up the ingredients. I am watering during summer every 3-4 days and during winter ~ 7 to 10 days. TDS meter is very easy to use I might add another article on how I use it and what my starting water results  TDS meter I use

Ok, now WHAT I am using… here is the list:

  • Epsom Salt -it’s actually a Magnesium Sulphate which helps for proper chlorophyll syntheses in leaves. It is very important as well as calcium for cell development in new leaves and other tissues You can see deficiency when leaves have yellowish spots or foliage discoloration. I use ~30 ppm for each watering and foliage and aerial roots spray (avoid spray on flowers). Epsom Salt I use
  • Organic Lime– this is a major source of calcium. It is very important as well as magnesium for cell development in new leaves and other tissues. I take a pinch and spread it over on top of the media ones a month at the summer time during the grow period and hot weather. It is slowly dissolving during watering and absorbing by roots. Organic Lime I use
  • Seaweed/Kelp Extract– seaweed is an organic, low-nutrient fertilizer with some essential micro-elements, less likely to burn orchid roots and leaves than chemical blends. It aids in decomposition and release of nutrients. I add 15 -20 drops per gallon of water. Seaweed/Kelp Extract I use
  • Better-Gro/Grow formula (20-14-13)- high nitrogen content fertilizer applied during active growing periods promotes healthy foliage and plant vigor. I use about 60-80 ppm. Better-Gro/Grow formula I use
  • Better-Gro/Bloom formula (11-35-15)– orchid flower production is enhanced by high potassium levels. I start to use in in early fall about 60-80 ppm. https://amzn.to/2HxSbyJ
  • Dyna Grow/Bloom– I just recently learned about this brand. Seems it is very easy to use, and it has the calcium/Ca which usually not present in Better-Gro formulas. I just bought this sample on Amazon. Dyna Grow/Bloom

Please let me know if you want to hear more about anything else or have questions. I am learning too and will be glad to share with you what I know so far.

If you are local to DC, MD, VA area and like to share your orchids’ experience and learn more from other, please join our FB group https://www.facebook.com/groups/DMVOrchidsLovers/

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48-that-looks-yummy
Since I bought the Instant Pot/IP- my mornings start with yummy oatmeal in a lazy way ….

Almost every evening I combine all ingredients in the glass ball and place it into the IP on wholegrain (35-45 min) with delay option. (I add a little bit of water in the base pot than place the glass ball with all ingredients on the steam rack).

My recipe:

I like my oatmeal with some milk.

1 cup of milk ( any kind you like and depends of how you like your oatmeal you might add more)

4 cubes of ice ( to keep milk cold overnight and  mix milk with water)

1 TBS- Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats

1 tsp-Hemp Hearts Raw Shelled Seeds

1 tsp- Black Chia Seeds

1 tsp- peanut butter

1/2 tsp- raw sugar

pinch of salt

pinch of cayenne pepper or turmeric

Here we are…… in a morning fresh and yummy oatmeal… I like to add dry cranberries right before I eat it….. Enjoy!!!!!!

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Yoga and Healthy Life on FB

Ginger-Ale-1Natural old-fashioned Ginger Ale
A naturally fermented old-fashioned ginger ale contains beneficial pro-biotics and enzymes.
Ingredients:
• A 1-2 inch piece of fresh ginger root, minced. Adjust this to taste.
• 1/2 cup of sugar
• 1 tablespoon molasses for flavor and minerals.
• 1/2 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
• 1/2 tsp sea salt
• 8 cups of filtered (chlorine free) water
1/2 cup fermented ginger (Ginger culture))

1. Place 3 cups of the water, minced ginger root, sugar, molasses, and salt in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
2. Simmer the mixture for about five minutes.
3. Remove from heat and add additional water, allow to cool to room temperature.
4. Add fresh lemon or lime juice and ginger culture (see instruction below).
5. Transfer to a 2quart air-tight lid jar.
6. Leave on the counter for 2-3 days until carbonated and transfer to the fridge.
7. Ready to drink….

Ginger culture

Ingredients:
• 1-2 fresh ginger roots
• 1/2 cup white sugar
• 2 cups of water
• Quart size air-tight lid jar

1. Chop the organic ginger root about 1.5 inches long to make 2-3 tablespoons of grated ginger.
2. Place the ginger in a quart size jar and add an equal amount of white sugar (2-3 tablespoons) and add 2 cups of filtered water to the jar.
3. Stir with a non-metal spoon and lightly cover with a coffee filter and rubber band.
4. Each day for the next five days, stir the mixture at least once and add 1 tablespoon of grated ginger root and 1 tablespoon of sugar.

The culture is active if there are bubbles forming around the top of the mixture. If the mixture hasn’t taken on these characteristics by the 7-8th day, you need to discard it and start again.
Once the ginger culture is ready, it can be used to create fermented sodas and drinks.
Notes
To keep the bug alive and continue growing it, you will need to feed it regularly. Add 1 teaspoon of minced ginger and 1 teaspoon sugar per day if kept at room temperature. You can also “rest” it in the fridge and feed it 1 tablespoon each of ginger and sugar once a week. To reactivate it, remove and let it reach room temperature and begin feeding it again.

I always wanted to try one the hanging strawberries projects. Here  we are:) . I was using Fiber Grow Pots; added some egg shells and used coffee grounds  as  a fertilizer. Will post later the results with berries ….if any:)

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