Monthly Orchid Care - October

To Do Now:

1. In many areas it's getting chilly outside, especially at night, and now is the time to think about bringing in those orchids that have summered outside. Planning ahead can make this transition easier for all. We have a nice selection of Humidi-Grow black humidity trays for setting up nice indoor spaces for orchids returning inside. The quad grate humidity tray is larger than most and allows ample space for several orchids. Be sure to have GET OFF ME! Natural Insect Spray on hand for any interlopers that try to hitch a ride indoors.

2. Orchids need natural cues to let them know it is time to set their bloom spikes. Phals in particular need to experience the chill in the air of early fall. Leave the window open a crack in the evening when possible. Many orchids need to experience the shortening days and lengthening nights. Beware of night lights and supplemental lighting that we have in our homes as they rob the orchids of this important cue. Decrease fertilization back to winter levels (weakly, weekly). These three important signals, changes in temperature, light and food, are beneficial here in October.

3. Repot summer bloomers such as Doritis, Doritaenopsis, Encyclia, Miltonia, Miltonopsis, Massdevalia, late blooming Phalaenopsis & Stanhopea when they go out of bloom. Repot seedlings, especially Phalaenopsis seedlings, now that the active summer growth time is done. See our full display of FRESH Orchid Mixes and Orchid Care Videos.

Looking Ahead:

1. Now is the time of year we start thinking about decorations for the winter months and the holiday season. Many orchids are coming into their full bloom at this time. Our ceramic orchid pots make a perfect display as well as an ideal gift. Our large Cachepots make an impressive centerpiece. Flower clips add a decorative touch!

2. We should be looking to have our Phalaenopsis setting spikes by Thanksgiving. Get ready to stake up all those spikes and arching inflorescences. Find an example in our orchid staking tutorial. Not sure if it is a spike or a root? Look for the classic mitten shape as shown here.

3. Reduce watering with the reduction in temperature and light but increase humidity in heated environments. Our Mini Mister creates a blanket of superfine mist while our humidity trays are a great solution for creating a nice environment that allows for watering orchids right on the tray.

4. Repot fall bloomers such as Cattleya, Paphiopedilums and Miltonopsis when they go out of bloom in our Orchid Mixes. If you prefer your own unique mix, our Select-A-Blend make your own custom orchid mix may be just what you've always been looking for.

Looking Back:

1. September is a time of changes, it marks the end of summer growth season and we begin to look forward to the fall blooms. We want to make sure that orchids notice that winter is coming and not be tricked by indoor heating and lighting. For those orchids sensitive to temperature, such as Phalaenopsis, we like to allow them to feel the cooler Fall temps. For those orchids that are sensitive to day length, such as Cattleya, we want to make sure they can notice the shortening days of fall. If orchids are under supplemental lighting, we adjust the timer to match the shortening days.

2. Make sure you have plenty of FEED ME! MSU Orchid Fertilizer on hand. Although we won't continue feeding orchids at elevated summer levels beyond September, we will be feeding "weakly weekly" going forward.

3. In preparation for fall repotting, take a look at our Orchid Mixes. You're sure to find just the right mix for your environment. If you'd like to make your own orchid mix, you can choose the media you want and we'll make up a custom Select-A-Blend mix just for you.

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