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Orchid Growing Tips #6

This is a continuation of the Tips articles which were posted previously. If you have any tips you’d like to contribute, please send me an e-mail with “Tips” in the subject line. I would like to thank the members of the AOS Forum, Orchid Dreams Forum and the Houston Orchid Society for the tips they contributed.

Tip to help out dehydrated orchids.
In order to help revive a dehydrated orchid, it needs energy rather than water. Try soaking the plant for several hours in this solution and then wash it in clear water.
2 parts sugar
1 part drinking alcohol (any kind)
7 parts cold water
1 pinch of Epsom salts
1 drop Superthrive™
1 drop liquid dish soap

Give plants more light to promote blooming
If a plant is not blooming as it should, the first thing to try is giving the plant more light. Give most orchids as much light as possible just short of burning the leaves. Yellow coloring or spots of sunburn indicate too much or possibly too intense a light. Give your plants good quality and quantity of light all day long, not just in the morning or afternoon for an hour or two. In Cattleya orchids, a slight reddish color on the leaves indicates that they are at the upper end of their light needs—this should ensure maximum blooming.

Provide good air movement
Most orchids can develop several types of bacteria and fungal problems. Air movement is the best solution. Place a small fan in with your plants. This should prevent any of these problems. If you do notice what appears as a soft area on the leaves, try cinnamon powder sprinkled on an infected area or Neosporin ointment to help seal a wound.

Sanitize your Hydroponic Kits Properly
Wash the pots and water level indicator in hot sudsy water with a little bleach. Rinse them well and let them air dry. Spread out the clay pebbles in a roasting pan and let them air dry. Then bake them in a preheated oven at 450F and bake for about forty (40) minutes. Let them cool and then they are ready to use again. This tip is from Interior Water Gardens used with permission.

Clean the leaves on your plants
Instead of using commercial products to clean the leaves of your plants and possibly clog up the pores in the process, try these cleaning tips:
Pineapple juice or milk can be used straight to wash the leaves. Rinse off the residue.
Mayonnaise will give a wonderful shine as well as help remove calcium.
Tea can also help remove calcium deposits.

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