Orchids finally bloom in town!

Orchids finally bloom in town!

By Lidia Boque Gousgouni
28 Sep 2017
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For the first time in 12 years, the South & West Regional Orchid Show is back in town, and it’s expected to be blooming marvelous!  It’s being held on Saturday 30th Sept (9.00am – 5.00pm) and Sunday 1st Oct (9.00am – 4.00pm), there are 7 clubs involved including Albury/ Wodonga and Wagga, other clubs are travelling from Canberra and the NSW coast. The theme is “Orchids on the Murray”, and below we feature the Cymbidium Orchid which is widely grown in our area.

The Cymbidium Orchid is an excellent specimen for our climatic conditions tolerating our annual temperature range easily with the right care.  During summer a cooling spray of water in the evening is an acceptable treatment, while in winter plants should be covered. Orchids require constant air movement which is sufficiently supplied by the wind, or a fan if an indoor plant.

50% shading from direct summer sun is recommended, and the lime coloured green leaves indicate a healthy exposure to the sun’s rays making an excellent natural barometer.  During winter grow plants in full sunlight.


Cymbidiums have storage bulbs and spongy roots so don’t dehydrate quickly, watering must be adjusted to local weather and cultural conditions. 18-25cm pots should be watered copiously once every 7-10 days during winter, but daily in summer.

Fertilising should be weekly with Aquasol, Campbells, or Phostrogen, OR apply Osmocote, Nutricote every 6 months. Use high nitrogen fertiliser for young non-flowering plants, high potassium fertiliser for flower initiation, and a good flush with water to prevent salt build up.

Troubleshooting;

1.      Light is needed for flower initiation between the end of September and end of December.

2.      Fertiliser can actually be applied in excess and at the wrong time. High nitrogen fertiliser should not be given after the end of November, However, there are many varied programs for fertiliser applications.

3.      Potting mix can only sustain the plant if it drains well while retaining some moisture.

4.      Pests and diseases should be checked for regularly and treated as soon as you find an issue.

5.      Last season’s flower spike left on can limit new flowering, similar to roses requiring pruning for a new and improved bloom.

For more answers to questions, come to the show and speak to the professional and club orchid growers who have all the best tips. There will be displays of orchids from the area, guest speakers and potting demonstrations, and a variety of orchid plants and seedlings for sale.  Bark, perlite, and pots will also be available to purchase with refreshments and food available as well. Photographic, floral art and craft competitions will also be contested.

Entry fee is $5.00 (under 15 free), and the show is at theMirambeena Centre, 19 Martha Mews Lavington. Sounds like a great day out to me so I’m going, hope to see you there!

 

Photo – The Cymbidium orchid, perfect for growing in the Albury/Wodonga Region.