Resources Discussed at the August 2015 Jacksonville Orchid Society General Meeting

At last night’s General Meeting of the Jacksonville Orchid Society, our “Panel of Experts” covered a broad range of topics. References for newcommers featured prominently. Following are several links that I’ve found useful.

http://www.orchidspecies.com – “Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia” – This is my first stop when I’m looking for online information about a particular orchid species.

http://orchids.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page – “ORCHIDS WIKI” – This is often my second choice for orchid information online and often fills in gaps that aren’t addressed by orchidspecies.com.

http://cattleya.wikidot.com – “Cattleya Source Wiki” – I recently came across this source, so only time will tell whether I continue to use it, but it has proven useful so far.

http://www.kew.org – The website of the “Royal Botanical Gardens” is rapidly becoming one of my favorite resources. While it covers flora in general, it also does a wonderful job describing orchids. Take a look – you’ll be pleasantly surprised. As an example, I sold a Dendrobium aphyllum keiki last night at the General Meeting. Searching kew.org yields http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/plants-fungi/dendrobium-aphyllum. Take a look and you’ll see that not only is the origin of plant well described, but for our interests – its care and culture are well described as well.

http://www.hydroponicsgc.com – Grower’s Choice and Hydroponics store in north Jacksonville. Located in two Jacksonville locations (http://www.hydroponicsgc.com/locations.html), it’s easily accessed and sells both “Hydrotron” and “Plant It” in 50L and 45L (and smaller) bags at reasonable prices. Both products are small fired clay spheres with Plant It retaining moisture 3 times as long as Hydrotron (see “Replacing Hydrotron” in the January 2014 edition of the JOS “The Bulletin” – http://www.jaxorchidsociety.org/PDF/2014-01.pdf).
Don’t forget to search Google as well. It will often yield clues and information that other sites don’t provide.

Controlling Difficult Orchids

Newbies Beware!

Contrary to popluar belief, orchids are difficult, cantankerous, and even dangerous! Don’t let any of the “experts” tell you otherwise.

However, in my humble contribution to orchid culture, I’ve discovered a method that will tame even the most difficult and dangerous of orchids — The Steel Cage!

Are you tired of those orchids that get out of control? Wander about all over your green house, or otherwise just can’t support themselves. Again, I offer — The Steel Cage!

Well, okay, maybe they really aren’t that dangerous, but how to take care of those orchids that climb? I’ve taken to placing them inside a wire superstructure that will support and also constrain their growth. As I’ve worked with several of these “Steel Caged Orchids” across the last several years, one of the biggest problems I’ve found it that the “Cage” doesn’t want to stay in the pot. As illustrated in the closeup photo, I’ve taken to wiring the cage into the pot (aviation types will recognize “safety wire”) using just about any type of wire that can be tightened. Once complete, you can also transport the orchid safely by grasping the cage.

Good Luck! Now let’s get those Orchids under control!Caged Orchid 1 Caged Orchid 2