Dendrobium laevifolium22

Welcome to the Orchid Files website. I have purpose built this website so I can share my extensive knowledge of Orchids. It is one of my passions and knowing it is hard to discover accurate information which is scattered across the Internet I hope to collate a useful collection which can be easily accessed in the one place.

Most people are not aware of the fact that orchids are really quite hardy and easy to grow. in nature they grow quite happily on trees or rocks or in the ground. Most do not survive because of over-watering, if left alone in a bush-house, with sufficient rainfall, the roots will end up growing in everybody else’s pot so when you lift one pot up about 10 other pots lift up.

EPIPHYTES— are the one that use a tree as a host running their roots all over the trunk and branches seeking out nutrient from decaying bark, bird droppings,dust,fungus and anything else that may die up there.

LITHOPHYTES— are the ones that use a rock as a host running their roots all over the rocks surface,nutrient are from anything that falls onto the rock much the same as the epiphytes.

TERRESTRIAL— are the ones that grow in the ground and receive their nutrient the same as trees and shrubs,but some terrestrials are very specific as to their host, these are called Saprophytic and form a symbiotic relationship with a fungus with which they will not grow, so if you see some orchids in the bush leave them, they possibly will not grow in your conditions.

Your orchids may grow in a glass-house or a bush-house, in a glass-house moving air is essential and of course ventilation,depending on the humidity in the glass-house you may have to water more often than a bush-house, but err on the dry side, if your plants are on a host, wood cork,tea-tree or other they will require watering more often as the water does not remain,  as it does in a pot.

Potting mixes are discussion on it’s own, everybody has their own mix or type of medium, some require this and some require that but for the average orchid,  bark is the most often used. Fertilizing always half the recommended strength and never on a hot day.

If you have an orchid that is not looking happy, move it or it will die, it may die after you have moved it but at least you have tried something different.

If you have an orchid growing very well but it will not flower change it’s aspect,move it to the end of the glass-house or across the other side or nearer the fan or facing the morning sun, growing orchids is trial and error, hopefully catching the error before it is to late, you will have casualties, we all do, but try and learn from them, you will have more success than failure.

Orchids are considered to be either    H,  hot,  I,   intermediate or   C,   cold growers, hot growers have a minimum night temperature of about 12 to 15 C, intermediate growers have a minimum night temperature of about 8 to 10 C and cold growers have a minimum night temperature of  0 C, they will all take lower temperatures providing it is not prolonged.

Orchids have generally 2 growth habits or patterns, Sympodial, which means it grows horizontally or Monopodial,which means it grows upwards.

The nomenclature I am using will be the same as when I was growing, I know there has been a lot of changes since then, between the lumpers and the splitters, for whatever reason and some of my photographs are not as clear as they could be, but they do show what the flower is like,however if you do not like them please feel free not to look.

All photographs shown on this website are subject to copyright and may not be reproduced without permission. If you have any additional information to add to any of my posts please leave a comment.


Ken Blackburn.

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