Most gardeners with a green thumb have a few proven home remedies that truly work. There are countless tricks-of-the-trade, but here are a few things around the house that we know can help with your orchid collection.
Epsom Salts aren’t just for soaking in the tub. Epsom Salts contain magnesium which is an essential element in orchid nutrition. One teaspoon of Epsom Salts added to one gallon of water is all you need to incorporate into your watering routine. This extra boost can help remove the reddish-purple color from cattleya leaves and kick start flower bud formation in most orchid varities.
Many times you don’t need complex chemicals to rid your orchids of pesky pests. Simply soak a cotton ball with 70% isopropyl alcohol and wipe away scale, mealybugs, aphids and mites. The alcohol destroys an insect’s outer waxy covering, which will kill these bugs essentially on contact.
If you struggle with slugs, trying buying them a beer. Place shallow containers filled with beer around your plants. Slugs will be drawn to the yeast in the beer and drown in the container.
Hanging Upside Down
Hanging a Vanda upside down will get it to produce roots when you have a long bare stem.
Cutting Your Orchid
Cut through the rhizome of a cattleya about 3 to 4 bulbs from the front lead while still in the pot to force dormant eyes to break on the older bulbs. Blooms come from the new growths, so this should increase number of flowers and give multiple divisions with new shoots; should one decide to divide.