Search:



Patience a virtue for thriving orchids

Posted: 10am 21 May 2021

Patience and persistence are useful – but not essential – when it comes to growing orchids, according to Redcliffe District Orchid Society member Margie Beckett.

“I had a flowering orchid given to me for our 25th wedding anniversary – we’ve now been married 47 years – and it didn’t flower again until we moved up to Caboolture a few years ago,” Margie laughs.

“It was on its last legs, and then it flowered.”

Margie says while orchids are hardy, they are quite particular about being kept in the right conditions to thrive.

“I have grown up on the Peninsula and that’s where I lived most of my life, but then we moved to Caboolture and there’s a temperature difference of about three degrees each way.

“Cymbidiums like a cooler climate and I’ve found they’re flowering a little bit better up here.”

One plant at a time

Margie’s passion for the exotic blooms was sparked by one plant about 40 years ago and her collection grew slowly while she was working.

“You might go along to an orchid show and something catches your eye and you buy one, then you buy another one.”

With more than 60,000 species grown across the globe, orchids are the largest genre of flowering plants.

As she started learning more about growing orchids, Margie expanded to raising them from seedlings, as well as hand pollinating.

“You have to be patient – a Dendrobium might take three years from the time you pollinate and a Cattleya takes seven years.”

Now, she has about 700-800 different orchids across three orchid houses.

“My largest house is 12x6m and covered with solar weave to I can control how much water they get, whereas the other two houses are open to the elements.”

Go easy on water in winter

Margie says while winter is reasonably low-maintenance for orchids, a dose of fish emulsion can help prepare them for growing season in spring.

“With my orchids I water them once a week because if you water too much you haven’t got as much sunlight and they don’t dry out as quickly.

“They need to dry out otherwise funguses can grow.”

Orchids also need good air flow around their roots, or they are at risk of scale, aphids and mealy bugs, she says.

“You’re trying to replicate what they like in the wild – sometimes you don’t have success so you need to move them around and change their potting mix.”

Orchid Show scheduled for September

Margie says preparations are in full swing for this year’s Orchid Show, which was cancelled last year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“It was our anniversary show because last year we turned 50,” she says.

Members are readying their orchids for this year’s show, scheduled for September 18 and 19.

“A lot of orchids only flower once a year – hopefully when you want them to,” Margie says.

Top Tips

  • Well-drained potting mix is essential
  • Water less in winter
  • If an orchid doesn’t thrive, try moving it to another spot
  • Tackle pests such as aphids and mealy bugs with white oil
  • Fertilise with a fish emulsion

Read more local news here.

Share

Trending

Silver lining for business

When faced with threats to two of his business interests due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Josh Kindred fast-tracked a project he’d already been working on. The result? He protected his team’s jobs and now has a service making a mark globally.…

Potted plants are popping back up in homes across the region

Potted plants are making a big comeback, with young women driving the revival. Peter Popenko, owner of The Plant Shack, says that more young women uncovering the benefits of indoor plants has helped boost the resurgence, which has been gathering momentum for the past year and a half. …

More you might like:

Trending

Local News   •   1-9-2021  •   Kylie Knight

Story behind attention-grabbing playing surface

The NRL action on the field at Moreton Daily Stadium has been exhilarating, but the playing surface itself has grabbed the attention of players and officials. This is the story behind the glorious field of green which will be in the spotlight again this weekend.…

Local News   •   4-8-2021  •   Kylie Knight

Top 15 things to do in lockdown

Lockdown bored already? Need a to-do list? Here’s some ideas to get you moving, keep you busy and make the most of the chance to get some stuff done.…

Local News   •   2-8-2021  •   Kylie Knight

Eggcellent tips for keeping chooks

Keeping chickens is good for the soul, garden and kitchen, according to ‘The Chicken Lady’ Helen South. She shares tips to get you started and to raise happy chickens.…

Gardening   •   21-5-2021  •   Jodie Powell

Patience a virtue for thriving orchids

Loads to love about orchids…

Local News   •   10-5-2021  •   Kylie Knight

Explore edible garden trail

If you’ve tried growing fruit and vegetables in your garden at home, without success, it might be worth taking a drive to Samford on May 16 for meandering along The Samford Edible Garden Trail.…

Gardening   •   27-4-2021  •   Kylie Knight

How to grow fruit trees

Now is the perfect time to plant fruit trees, with the worst of the heat behind us, but it is not as simple as just sticking one in the ground. Redcliffe Garden Centre horticulturalist Tylor Elmsley says there are some key rules to follow, which differ depending on the type of fruit tree.…

Your free local community newspaper, home delivered fortnightly.

Read Latest Edition

Close