Notes Taken During this Program: “Cultivating Orchids” by Melanie Knaut-Stanley
Melanie has grown orchids since 2009 and is President of the Eastern Maine Orchid Society. She is connected with Wind Swept Gardens in Bangor.
Tips for growing orchids:
- Melanie suggests using 6 lights to imitate daylight for your orchids. She also uses fans to prevent the plants from getting a fungus or black rot. They may get black spots or bud blast if there is not enough air movement.
- She uses a humidifier to keep things moist in winter. They like a 50% humidity atmosphere.
- The growing season for orchids starts in March. She places hers outside in the summer.
- The temperature is most important. It should be between 80 – 90 degrees during the day and between 65 – 70 at night. Orchids that like intermediate temperatures flourish from 70 – 80 degrees in daytime and 65 – 70 degrees at night and those that like cool temperatures flourish between 60 – 70 degrees during the day and 50 – 55 degrees at night.
- Orchids like best to be in south or east facing windows.
- Symopodals (multi stems) store food and water (ex. Cadalea). They like to be watered, dry out and watered.
- Monopods (single stem) have roots that come from between leaves and blooms too (aerial roots) (ex. Japanese Samari Orchid) They need more water because they do not store it. They like to live in spagmum moss or fine fir bark. Melanie uses Sharks10-15-10 fertilizer. Packing peanuts can be added for drainage and water retention.
- Orchids like a lot of light, from 7:00 am to 5 or 6:00 pm. If leaves feel too warm, move them back a little from the window.
- Orchids may be re-potted after they finish blooming but only go up one size pot.
They emit a fragrance for pollination purposes, attracting pollinators.
- If the core gets too wet, the roots will rot so they like to dry out between waterings. They may also get crown rot at the base of the leaf if standing water is there.
- Cut the spike back to the base if it turns brown. A terminal spike comes off the “mother”.
- Orchids will do alright in a greenhouse until the temperature reaches 45 degrees. Then bring them in.
- Shari Baby is one of her favorite orchids. She also likes the broad leaf phalanopsis.