Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New terms, new skills

Oncidium varicosum OrchidImage via WikipediaI am coming across many words that I do not use every day, or, to say it more accurately, I have been away from for so long. I have stopped doing gardening, and the technical terms to correctly describe this and that, and all things about plants and their care is, well, they’ve been away from me, too.

But after reading some books, and going through a lot of articles in the web, I am slowly but steadily gaining back the knowledge needed to get me through.


Here are some terminologies that I’m sure are common to those who do and describe them every day.

Heft – to carry with the purpose of weighing: Heft the pot to see if it is heavy with water or not.

Leach – filter through, pass through: Leach the pot to get rid of extra water or fertilizer.

Adventitious – by chance and not an integral part: Orchids not at the right flowering environment may come up with adventitious growths rather than flowers.

Incipient – only partly in existence; imperfectly formed: If an orchid isn’t given the proper treatment during the period of rest, incipient flower buds will undergo a drastic change.

Pseudobulbs and Canes – Specifically applied to orchids, a cane is like a slender stick, while a pseudobulb is like a hand pump, flattened at the ends. Both are for storing water, but the pseudobulb acts like a reservoir. Therefore, use this to determine if you will water your orchids twice a week, or only once. Of course, this is the general guide.


Here are also some skills that you would sure make use of, if you aren’t doing already.

Misting using a spray – Instead of using a shallow bowl or a separate pot serving the same use to induce humidity by filling up with pebbles and water around or below the orchid pots, induce humidity by misting the leaves and roots 2x daily.

Under the sun, out of the sun – growing orchids are placed under the sun, or given their dappled light, or whatever is suitable to your variety of orchid, but when the flowers are out, they only need the bright light, and not the sunlight. Again, this is the general rule.

Growth and rest periods – orchids in general are following a seasonal cycle. When growing, they are provided with the necessary sunlight or bright light, humidity, fertilizer, etc, most of which are cut back when the leaves fall (as in the case of dendrobiums) and the plants go to rest.

A leafless cane is not a useless cane – part of their growth (how can dropping leaves be called ‘growth’?) is to shed old leaves and become dormant for a time. This is to process the remaining nutrients they have stored, in order to use up for new flower buds or new growths. So don’t throw away that orchid simply because all the leaves have fallen. Like the Resident Evil phrase, it may talk back: “Hey! I’m not dead yet!”

Recipe for death for a hard cane Dendrobium – If we are all looking for ways and means to be able to care and make our dendros grow and flower well, one article indicated the recipe to kill a hard cane dendro: Wet and cold. Dendros can take a momentary wetness, or a momentary coldness. But both happening at the same time, being wet and cold, well, that will kill the dendro.

I will continue to read a lot of articles and books, so long as I have the time. I am enjoying both the amassing of knowledge and skills and the real-life experience from hands-on activities.

Enhanced by Zemanta