site site.xsl LongwoodGardens
section nav_section.xsl Passwords
page pg_standard.xsl Home_Gardening_Tips
To keep your orchids healthy and blooming, here is some advice from Marie Viallet, President of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Orchid Society and a seasonal employee in Longwood’s Horticulture Department:
• Know your plant. Orchids are found from the Arctic Circle to the Andes and have different requirements for temperature, light, and dormancy. Be aware of your plant’s origins and tailor its care accordingly.
• Don’t overwater! This is the number one cause of orchid death. Check the dryness by feeling the weight of the pot (should be light) or by sticking your finger in the soil. When in doubt, hold off watering.
• Keep it light. Natural sunlight from east, south, or west windows is best, supplemented by fluorescent light if necessary. Be careful with direct light—plants can get scorched when the sun is too intense.
• Humidify the roots. Some roots will stick out of the pots. Humidity trays (with rocks and water) can keep them moist, as can misting. Don’t mist the leaves, though, or fungus spots can result.
• No drafts, please!
• Repot every 1-2 years right after blooming. Use a mix of fir bark, charcoal, and/or perlite in a pot that can accommodate the root ball plus one inch all around. Shake off the old mix, prune away mushy dead roots, and place in the next pot. Pack orchid mix firmly around and between roots.
“Most orchids are on a year cycle,” explains Viallet. “Some stay in bloom only for a few days, others for much longer. The phalaenopsis, or moth orchid, can bloom for four to five months.”
To encourage your phalaenopsis to rebloom, it helps to expose it to warmer daytime temperatures and cooler nighttime air. Viallet recommends putting the plant outdoors in August and September to take advantage of the natural temperature gradient.
Want to try your hand at growing an orchid? The International Orchid Show & Sale March 26-28 features vendors and growers from around the world. See dazzling displays, learn which varieties are easy to grow, get tips and tricks from the experts and take an orchid home to begin your own collection.
It’s hard to imagine a more dramatic entryway than the living orchid curtain surrounding the doors to the Music Room. This “window treatment” actually consists of 350 orchids, each in its own pot.
“The display used to be a large rectangle over the door,” says Jim Sutton, Display Designer. “In 2009 we refined it to resemble actual draperies, with the purple side panels pulled back and cascading all the way to the floor.”
Longwood’s metal shop fabricated the frame—a series of troughs—and bolted it into place. Once installed, the Main Conservatory crew installed an irrigation system to streamline watering.
To make sure none of the inner workings are visible, greenery and moss fill the gaps and camouflage the pots and underlying structure.
If you want to take a piece of this fabulous “fabric” home, you’re in luck: Sutton says the display plants will be sold to the public “at greatly reduced prices” when the Orchid Extravaganza comes to a close on March 31, 2010.
element callout2.xsl BTGG_Days
Enjoy family-fun activities, an outdoor concert, and behind-the-scenes experiences.
element callout2.xsl Fireworks___Fountains
Get ready for an evening of oohs and ahhs, as Longwood presents spectacular Fireworks & Fountains shows guaranteed to make your summer memorable.
element callout2.xsl CE_2013_Catalog_3
Registration is now open for our 2013 Continuing Education courses!
©2006-2012 Longwood Gardens. All Rights Reserved.