Monthly Orchid Care - April

To Do Now:

1. April is one of the best months of the year for repotting orchids. If you have a lot of orchids to repot, consider getting orchid mix by the box.

2. With Spring comes Orchid Shows and new orchids! Check out our care sheet on new orchid acquisitions for some practical care tips.

3. Spring is when we see new growth and orchids enter their prime growing months. FEED ME! MSU Orchid Fertilizer is ideal for feeding orchids year round.

4. During the repotting process it is critical to keep everything clean and not spread any disease across the collection. Physan 20 is a good general disinfectant, we use it to sterilize cutting tools between plants. We will rotate between 3 clippers allowing 2 to soak while 1 is in use. Be careful if you reuse pots, they need to be sterilized between plants. It is easier to use new pots than it is to try to clean the pot. We will reuse a pot on the same orchid if it does not need a change in pot size but that's about it. Stakes and labels, rhizome clips, etc, can all spread disease if not cleaned or replaced.

Looking Ahead:

1. May is the time to begin feeding at summertime levels. We like to increase food during the orchid's most active growth months by 50-100%. We recommend FEED ME! MSU Orchid Fertilizer for all year-round fertilizing.

2. Many orchids benefit greatly from spending summers outside. Many popular genera such as Cattleya, Cymbidium, Dendrobium and Oncidium really grow better and bloom more reliably when treated to the summer outdoors. One point to consider, if an orchid is classified as "high light" it does not mean the kind of full sun that tomato plants require. "High light" is a relative term and refers to the light requirements of the Orchid Family. Dappled shade is a good bet for many "high light" genera.

3. We now have some really big pots for those really big orchids in your collection. With widths of 12 and 14 inches and a height of over 11 inches these are serious pots for your largest specimens.

4. After a long winter inside, fungus gnats can get to be really pesky. Check out our all natural approach to these annoying pests.

Looking Back:

1. March is a great time for repotting orchids. Take this opportunity, before April showers turn to May flowers, to get your orchid repotting done. Our orchid care repotting clinics, and orchid care videos can help make the task easier.

2. Mounted orchids are fun and beautiful. Take a look at our care sheet on mounted orchid care. We have orchid supplies for all your mounting needs.

3. Orchid pests can be difficult to control indoors, especially in winter, as most insect sprays are too dangerous for indoor use. Staying vigilant and keeping a close eye out for pests is a good way to nip an outbreak right away. Physically removing pests from orchids by cleaning plants under a stream of water works well, however the bugs will likely return since removing adults usually leaves behind their eggs. Treatment for bugs needs to be repeated every week until there are no longer any more signs of trouble. rePotme offers our exclusive all natural GET OFF ME! Pest Control Spray made from cinnamon as seen in Orchids - The Bulletin of the American Orchid Society. This spray can be used alone or mixed 50/50 with rubbing alcohol to increase its effectiveness. Unlike harsh chemicals, GET OFF ME! is all natural and can be used indoors. Follow up treatment with WASH ME! Natural Leaf Cleaner for a comprehensive approach to natural organic pest control.

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