Hurricane!…? Maybe not, but…
Yes, we do live in Florida, and that means we occassionally get visited by Hurricanes. Next week’s coming event will be wet, but probably that’s about the size of it. However, it also pays to be prepared – especaily if you have Orchids gowing outside.
This weekend is your opportunity to get ready. With that in mind, and especially if you are new to Florida (or missed out on the last Major Rain Event), consider preparing your orchids and growing spaces now!
A couple of recommendations:
Loose items – Move any loose items inside a protected space. That means Orchids, but it can also include grills, chairs, and anything that can become a projectile.
Hanging Orchids – If you have hanging orchids (like myself and others), make sure they are secure and won’t get blown loose. If there is any doubt – move them inside!
Saucers – If your orchids are sitting in saucers, empty the saucers at least once a day. Orchids don’t generally want to be wet, and although they love Rain, they aren’t aquatic plants. Give those roots an opportunity to dry out. (Thanks Cammy!)
Anti-Fungal. After the blow passes by, treat all of your outside orchids to a dose of anti-fungal. It can’t hurt and may help to control fungal blooms that are common after long periods of wet.
You can probably come up with your own thoughts and recommendations. The point here is that don’t just let the wet weather happen; plan for it before hand, and take action before, during, and after!
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.