Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Crucifix Orchid

I have really wondered about orchids - do they require exra fertilizer besides bark?  Mine just do not seem to flower as  well as I would have hoped.  They are in the shade and I do realise they need a bit of sun when they are ready to flower, but quite honestly I dont have space for a summer house for them!
Would it be better to have them on some sort of screen that could be moved out into the sun to promote flowering?  Mmmm, I do have an old cane arch - that has given me an idea!  I will shelve that idea in the back of my mind, but I can see pots of orchids suspended in a type of screen effect.  Not sure where I would put it..... but having somethign moveable might be the idea.
Before I began gardening totally organically I used to spray my orchids with fertilizers and they would flower twice a year.  Now they get a little seaweed tea, and because they are not in soil where they would get my compost, that is pretty much all they get.  They are in a  mixture of bark, and because they are under the tree they get the occasional dry leaf, which I mostly remove as they can actually pull nutrients out of the soil as they decompose.   I have some that are now in  compost and  I cant say they are doing any better.  Our weekly gardening show said that they must be moved into the sun to promote flowering.   A common orchid here is the crucifix orchid, and a piece that a neighbour gave me is now flowering - it has been out in the sun, so I have to concur that what my orchids now need is a new home! 

You can clearly see the little cross which gives this orchid its name.
I have lots of other different types of orchids though and I want them to flower too!


  1. Oh, I wish I had orchids on my trees! I'm working on letting my encyclia tampensis orchids get bigger before I plant them outdoors. I just add a little fertilizer to my water every now and then, and also to the water in my mist bottle. I have two coming into bloom right now!

  2. That is an awesome orchid! Love that cross, and I find myself wanting a crucifix orchid badly now. Wish I knew the secret to orchids. I have soooo many of them, but can't say I know what I'm doing.

  3. Rainforest gardener, Maybe I should just mist the leaves with seaweed tea more often. I really dont want to use non organic fertilizer, but do want flowers.
    Floridagirl, I admire these people that can make orchids flower exactly in time for the orchid show - how do they do that? I am totally at their mercy.

  4. I can only imagine how wonderful it must be to have Orchids growing outside in my garden. I did have success growing them when I lived in Oregon. I had a very lovely bathroom with a bay window, lots of light and the air was humid, and the orchids loved it there. Moved them with me to Utah and they died. The air is very dry here. So kudio's to you! I hope they will bloom again for you!

  5. Meredehuit, I guess I need to keep telling myself of the benefits of the high humidity we get here!

  6. What a lovely orchid! This is the first time I've seen or heard of a Crucifix orchid. Thanks for posting it.


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