Monthly Orchid Care - June

To Do Now:

1. Native orchids abound and there are hardy varieties suitable for the garden in many areas. We are eagerly awaiting the bloom on our spiking Bletia Striata (pictured above) which grows in the garden next to the Lily bulbs.

2. In June we are at the height of active growth for most orchids, today's new leaf or pseudobulb is tomorrow's new bloom spike. Protect new growth and old from bacterial infection with Physan 20.

3. We have an abundance of Phalaenopsis in bloom right now. Those that are not in bloom were just repotted in our Phalaenopsis AAA Gold Imperial Orchid Mix. We like to get all of our Phals repotted in the Spring and early Summer as they go out of bloom. We're expecting a busy repotting season for the rest of our Phals shortly!

4. It is wonderful to see the Catasetum, Cynoches and Mormodes growing huge new green leaves after their leafless dry winter rest. It is amazing to see these orchids wake up like clockwork with new roots and growth each spring.

Looking Ahead:

1. July is a time of active growth for most orchids and there are very few varieties that are in bloom now. Abundant light and fertilizer help ensure good growth. As the temperatures heat up, increasing air circulation can help orchids beat the heat.

2. Keeping orchids moist can be a challenge as temperatures heat up. The Hydro-Pump Mini and Pro Misters produce some of the finest water spray we've ever seen and do so with a minimum amount of effort.

3. Many Phalaenopsis start to lose their blooms in early summer, learn about which stems to cut, and which to keep, on our Phalaenopsis Orchid Care page. Repot Phals when they go out of bloom. We have several good choices for the perfect mix for your plant. Our Phalaenopsis AAA Gold Imperial Orchid Mix is a unique blend of Monterey Pine Bark, Hydro LECA, Cork, Sponge Rock, and New Zealand Sphagnum. This mix brings with it the best of both worlds, the moisture of sphagnum and the chunky nature of bark. Orchiata bark, from the New Zealand Monterey Pine, is a long-lasting alternative to ordinary fir bark. Blended together with cork and long fibered New Zealand Sphagnum, this mix is perfect for moisture loving orchids. Our Phalaenopsis Monterey Dark Imperial Orchid Mix is great for larger orchids in bigger pots or in moist environments.

4. Mid-summer affords the opportunity to take some time to get organized. Our orchid label system uses colored labels to help keep an orchid collection organized.

Looking Back:

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.

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