Supplies play a significant role in determining the healthy growth of your orchids. Some of the things that are most vital include light, misting bottles and pest control products. Let’s take a closer look at these now.
Light is essential for the growth of almost all plants. The most prominent source of light is the sun because of its comprehensiveness and magnitude. There are, however, various other alternative sources that can be used to supplement sunlight.
Fluorescent and incandescent lighting can be very helpful. To determine whether the chosen light is the right one for your orchid plant, you will have to consider the species and be sure you know its specific needs.
Natural light is best because this is what plants are used to and it is readily available for the orchid. The best way therefore to provide light to the orchid is placing it near an opening such as a window which allows a controlled amount of light to reach the plant. If, however, this is not possible, it would be necessary to get a small fluorescent table lamp. This is great because you can effectively control the time of exposure as well.
To ensure that the orchid plants are getting sufficient lighting, it is best if you use a timer which will assist in automatically switching on and off the lights. You can use the incandescent light or florescent light but most professional growers advise the use of both lights.
The reason for using both lights is because the light that is produced by incandescent light bulbs is hot through the red portion of the light bulb. Florescent bulbs produce a light that is more bluish, which means that it is cool. When you combine these two types of lights, they produce just the right light for your orchids.
Since you only need to water most orchids once a week, having a misting bottle is necessary. The bottle is important for spraying the plant periodically and ensuring that moisture levels are optimum. This may be more necessary for certain species than others, but most orchids do best in high humidity.
Misting bottles can be found online or in many retail stores. They have differences in size and volume, making it up to you to decide which one is your preferred choice. If your concern is the effectiveness of the bottle, then you will not have to worry much because any spray bottle will be fine. You only need to be committed to caring for the plant.
Pest control supplies are aimed at shielding the orchids from infestations by pests like snails, spiders, insects, and mites. Most of these are detrimental to the growth of the plant and some are even hard to spot such as scale bugs.
For aphids, mealy bugs, and thrips, touch the pests with a cotton swab soaked with 70% isopropyl alcohol. You can also spray this on the plants directly. You should only use this in cool weather. Alternatively, mix four bulbs of garlic and four hot peppers with two cups of water in a mixer. Strain this mixture and mix it thoroughly in about two gallons of water. You can spray this on the affected plants as well.
For spider mites or scales, take 8 ounces of water and put 1-3 teaspoons of cooking oil and one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid soap in it. Mix thoroughly and spray this liquid on the affected areas of the orchid plants. Repeat the process once in 2-3 days. Again, remember to spray when the weather is cool. Spraying neem oil on your plants occasionally prevents fungi and mollusks from attacking your plants.
To keep slugs and snails away, keep plates containing beer near the plants to lure and drown snails and slugs.
Mary Ann Berdak is the author of the #1 best seller, Phalaenopsis Orchid Care: The Ultimate Pocket Guide to Moth Orchids, now available at Amazon. For more information on growing healthy orchids, download her free report, “The 5 Biggest Orchid Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them!)”, at OrchidCareZone.com.