Orchids as Houseplants

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Learn all about orchids. Take the guesswork out of buying an orchid as well as how to keep those gorgeous flowers coming back, time after time.

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ORCHIDS AS HOUSEPLANTS:

ORCHIDS AS HOUSEPLANTS Phalaenopsis by R. Voelker By: The Orchid Group Scott Berry Marlin Drake Lonna Reynolds Leland Vanderpool

Who We Are and Why We’re Here :

Who We Are and Why We’re Here We’re volunteers and Master Gardener Interns working under the University of Florida IFAS Master Gardener Program and the Okaloosa County Extension Office.   This presentation is part of our certification process as Master Gardeners through the Okaloosa County Extension Office.

PowerPoint Presentation:

A Bench of Orchids by R. Voelker Part I:  What is an orchid? Part II:  Which ones are native to our area? Part III:  What to look for/avoid when buying an orchid. Part IV:  I just brought an orchid home.  Now what do I do? Part V:  Maintenance. Part VI:  Frequently asked questions. Part VII: References.

Part I: What is an orchid?:

Part I: What is an orchid? Orchidaceae Flowering plants Monocotyledons Unique flower structure 56,000 kinds of orchids in 1965 About 1000 new orchids are added each year. Most are perennial herbs Epiphytes grow on trees or shrubs. Lithophytes grow on rocks. Terrestrial grow in the ground. Saprophytes get sustenance from decaying matter. Two are subterranean. Cattleya by R. Voelker

Part I: What is an orchid?:

Part I: What is an orchid? Orchids exist on every continent except Antarctica Temperate orchids are usually terrestrial. Tropical orchids are usually either epiphytic or lithophytic.   Roots types are varied Terrestrial orchids usually have tuberous or fibrous roots. Plants are symbiotic with fungi. As orchids left the ground, roots changed. Became anchors. Became water and food gatherers.   Orchids vary greatly in size   Largest can be over eight feet tall and weigh over two tons. Smallest is two millimeters across and one cell thick Discovered in 2009.

Part I: What is an orchid?:

Part I: What is an orchid? Orchid organizations Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Awards First Class Certificates (FCC) and Awards of Merit (AM) America Orchid Society (AOS) Stenocoryne by R. Voelker

Part II: Which orchids are native to our area?:

Part II: Which orchids are native to our area? In 1950 about 170 species/varieties were known to live north of Mexico   Many more have been discovered or have been introduced. In northern Florida 52 species presently occur, mostly terrestrial. Mostly small, unobtrusive, ground-hugging. Dormant most of the year. Lady’s Tresses bloom in spring. Bog orchids bloom in summer. None should be considered “houseplants.”

Part II: Which orchids are native to our area?:

Part II: Which orchids are native to our area? Greenfly Orchid is the most common epiphytic orchid in Northwest Florida Grows in moist areas in conjunction with resurrection fern. Grows in adjacent states. Protected in the wild and must not be collected. Not showy and should not be considered as a houseplant. Epidendrum conopseum by R. Voelker

Part III: What to look for/avoid when buying an orchid.:

Part III: What to look for/avoid when buying an orchid. What to look for:   Buy plants that will thrive in the conditions that you can offer. Buy healthy, mature plants. Look at the orchid and learn about the type you have chosen.   What to avoid:   Impulse buying. Plants with obvious problems. Distorted flowers or leaves. Bug infestation. Looks unhealthy.

Part IV: I just brought an orchid home. Now what do I do?:

Part IV: I just brought an orchid home. Now what do I do? Variety of Orchid   Orchid type determines water needs and frequency of fertilizing. Common orchid species.   Growing Media   Type of media determines feeding, repotting, and watering needs. Common media types.   Location in Home   Location, location, location. Meeting the needs of the orchid.

Part V: Maintenance:

Part V: Maintenance Light   Inadequate light = Inadequate blooms. Most common reason. Too much is better than too little. Southern sunlight is best followed by east/west then north. Be sensitive to outside shading. Use a light meter when in doubt.   Growing Media   It’s media--not soil--and certainly not dirt! Types are many and limited only by availability, experience, and budget. Osmunda fiber, chopped tree fern fiber, bark, porous stone, and charcoal to name a few.  Select regional mix for best results.  Looser mix for thick roots and finer mix for thin roots.

Part V: Maintenance:

Part V: Maintenance Temperature Range is 55-80 degrees. Temperature drop at night and 24 hour fluctuation of 10-15 degrees are critical for blooming. Placement near windows/turning off artificial light will help this. Humidity NW Florida is almost ideal to satisfy 50% - 70% range. Paphiopedilum by R. Voelker

Part V: Maintenance:

Part V: Maintenance Cardinal Sin #1: Overwater. Cardinal Sin #2: Leave orchid in standing water. Allow media to dry before watering again.   Soak entire media completely until water comes out of drain holes.   Morning or afternoon is best to avoid excess watering. Use room temperature/slightly tepid water to avoid shock.

Part VI: Frequently Asked Questions:

Part VI: Frequently Asked Questions How do I get my orchid to bloom? Lighting. The best types of lighting.   When and how should I repot my orchid? Frequency. Growing media. Timing.   How can I propagate my orchid? Ways to propagate. What are the most recommended ways? Zygopetalum by R. Voelker

Part VII: References:

Part VII: References 10 Common Orchid Types, ( http://www.allaboutorchidcare.com ), Undated Web   Beautiful Orchids, ( http://www.beautifulorchids.com ), 2000-2004 Web Black, Robert, Tips on Growing Orchids in Florida , Gainesville FL, UF/IFAS Extension Document ENH33, 1998 PDF   CITES, http://www.cites.org/eng/resources/species.html Web   Correll, D., Native Orchids of North America , 1950 Print Cullina, William, Understanding Orchids , Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston/NY, 2004 Print Dunmire John R. and the editors of Sunset Books; Orchids , Sunset Books, Menlo Park, California Print   Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids , Faber and Faber Limited, 1965, pg 17 Print Fast Facts About Orchids , Cayuga Sun ‘n Fun, San Francisco, CA Print Free Online Dictionary Web Hood, Robert, Dictionary of Abbreviations of Orchid Genera, 1976 Print

PowerPoint Presentation:

IOSPE, http://www.orchidspecies.com/epiconopseum.htm Web   Jaworski, Henry, Orchids Simplified , Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, NY, 1992 Print   Luer, Carlyle, The Native Orchids of Florida , The New York Botanical Garden, 1972 Print   National Geographic News, October 28, 2010 Web   National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Climatic Data Center ( http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/online/ccd/avgrh.html ), 2008 Web   Orchid Basics: Your Path to Beautiful Orchids, http://www.orchidbasics.com , 2010- 2013 Web   Ortho Books, All About Orchids , Des Moines, IA, 1999.   St Augustine Orchid Society, Orchid Growing Basics or Do Your Know if Your Orchid is Happy? , Undated Print  

PowerPoint Presentation:

Skelsey, Alice and the Editors of TIME-LIFE BOOKS Inc., Orchids , Chicago, IL, 1978 Print   South Florida Orchid Society’s Orchid Evaluation Course , January 1974 Print   The University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, PB1634, Growing Orchids in the Home , Undated PDF   UF/IFAS website, http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/giam/plants_and_grasses/ flowering_plants/orchids.html PDF   Welshans, Jennifer, Growing Orchids, UF/IFAS Extension Website, 2003 PDF  

Want to learn more from a reliable source?:

Want to learn more from a reliable source? Visit the UF IFAS Bookstore at http://ifasbooks.ifas.ufl.edu And search for “Orchids to Know and Grow” Or “Growing Orchids: Easier Than You Think!”

Come Talk To Us!:

Come Talk To Us! Okaloosa County Extension Service Office   3098 Airport Rd Crestview, FL M-F, 8 AM – 5 PM 850-689-5850   Okaloosa County Extension Service Office (Annex)   127 W. Hollywood Blvd Fort Walton Beach, FL  Fridays, 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM 850-651-7476

Questions?:

Questions? Cattleya by R. Voelker

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