A few weeks ago, my Nelly Isler orchid was put into a semi-hydroponic system to see if it would help her recovery. There was no expectation that this method would save Nelly, but given that she has never been 100% since I purchased her, I thought I’d give this method a go. Very little of my research suggests that semi-hydroponics would save a sick orchid, but I’d rather try.
There isn’t much happening in the orchid grow space at the moment as far as blooms go, but I do have two in bloom at the moment. One is technically cheating because it was a gift from someone I know, so I can’t say that orchid has flowered as a result of the care I have given it. The other is my good ol’ faithful orchid that has been in bloom almost all year so far.
One of my orchids is not doing very well this year. Unfortunately, she was sick when she was purchased which hasn’t helped her recovery. She has been tried with water culture to encourage root production, but to no avail – she absolutely hated it!
A few weeks ago I asked you, my readers, to send in any questions you had for me to put to an orchid nursery. That orchid nursery is Burnham Nurseries, and the owner, Sara Rittershausen, has kindly taken the time to answer your questions.
Starting to grow orchids as a hobby can be a daunting thing. As with anything new, you have so much to learn and absorb that it can sometimes be a real headache. Looking back now, taking on my first orchid wasn’t half so bad as taking on 10 new ones in the space of a few months – all with different care needs which I’m still working out. Yes, you will lose a few along the way, it’s a learning process; it’s going to happen, you will make mistakes. The point is, it can be daunting, but if you know where to find the information you need, the process is easier.
Initially I was sceptical about this particular growing method, mainly because there aren’t orchids in the wild that grow this way. However, what I have learnt from my experiment with water culture is that it is a very efficient way of helping sick orchids to recover from dehydration. The Odontioda Stirbic Red, that had lost all its roots after becoming very dehydrated, responded very well to this treatment.
This month there are three orchids in bloom. One I have never seen in bloom because she is a new acquisition, another is an old faithful that blooms nearly all year round and you have seen her several times this year already (sorry!). The last one is recovering from losing all his roots, but the flowers are a-maz-ing!