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Orchid Care 101

       Most of cultivated orchids are epiphytic or air plants, because they have develop water storage organs called pseudobulbs and have large fleshy roots covered with a spongy water-retentive velamen; That’s why they can live on trees or adapt easily to open areas with good air circulation like screened porch, hanging pots under trees or anywhere outside or inside where they don’t get direct sunlight because they will BURN.

In general, cattleyas, dendrobiums, vandas and ascocendas like filtered or bright indirect sunlight and phalaenopsis, paphiopedillums and oncidiums like filtered to medium sunlight and cooler places.

       When your orchid is in bloom, bring it inside close to a window (southern exposed is usually ideal) but keep it away from hot places and air conditioning vents. Temperatures changes more than 20 degrees between night and day will stress your plant and cause bud and flower damage. Blooms will usually last 1-2 months for most orchids except cattleyas (2-3 weeks).When blooms die, cut off the spike ½ inch above the first node from the bottom; this will encourage the plant to either put another spike at the node or put a new spike from beneath of the leaves.

Because most orchids media like bark, coconut, moss, rocks, fern fiber Etc, are hard to get wet, we recommend that you drench your orchid every 7 to 10 days depending in your media weather and location.

       Vandas and ascocendas need to have their roots mist every day if possible; cattleyas and dendrobiums like the dry side so allow the media to dry out between watering; Phalaenopsis, paphiopedillums and oncidiums like to keep evenly moist, so never allow media to dry out completely. In general, most of the orchids require a little more water than usual while in bloom. Do not water your orchids late in the day to avoid diseases, we recommend morning hours to give flowers and plant time to dry out.

        To fertilize your orchid you could used any water soluble fertilizer like 20-20-20 to keep and maintain your mature plants; 30-10-10 with lots of nitrogen if your orchid doesn’t look so good or when the plant is in its active growing season in summer time; And 10-30-20 to encourage them to bloom or need to restore the root system of your orchid.
In general more frequent fertilizer (every 10 days or twice a month) is good under high temperatures and bright like conditions. In the other hand fertilize only once a month when temperatures are cool and your plant is not in active growing season (fall-winter).

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Bromeliad Care 101

Bromeliads are easy to care for, because they are remarkably tolerant to extreme heat, cold and drought, some even grow at the seashore and some are epiphytes “Air Plants”. You can keep them anywhere like screen enclosures, outside in shady areas, or even in full sun. When inside your home, place them close to a window.

In general, the hard, spiny thick leaved Bromeliads like in the genus of Aechmeas, Neoregalias, Tillandsias, and Ananas (Pineapples) require less watering and tolerate lots of bright light. Softer, thinner foliage bromeliads like guzmanias and vrieseas require more watering and less light.

To water your bromeliads, it is not necessary to pour water in the cup since the plant will absorb adequate water through its root system. If you choose to water the cup, don’t allow it to get old or your plant will rot. Change it once a week. Allow the soil to become nearly dry before watering.

Bromeliads only bloom once in their lifetime, after blooming is complete, it will die very slowly over the next year or so but it will replace itself with new plants call pups. Remove pups when they are about half of the size of the mother plant, to do so cut with sharp knife cutting as close as possible to the mother plant, then choose the right pot size and plant it using Bromeliad Mix for best results and faster growing.

For better results growing your bromeliads use slow release (6-7 months) fertilizer pellets. For example Nutricote 18-6-8 to establish your plant, and then continue with Nutricote 13-13-13 afterwards to strengthen them. Spread fertilizer in the soil around it but away from plant so it wont burn. For 4”- 6” pot use 1 teaspoon, for 8” pots 1 Tablespoon, and for 3 Gal pots 2 Tablespoon.

For insects like mealy bugs/scales/mites/whites Fly’s use Triple Action Neen Oil or Malathion.

For fungus use Captan Fungicide or Dithane M-45 never use anything with copper on bromeliads because copper will damage your plant. Never dip your plant in a bucket of water you will spread decease to other plants, Drench them separately. Always make sure you read the chemical label first.

Greenery 101
 
Ivy
Indoor ivy plants need a lot of light, but try and avoid full sun and direct light. Still, getting enough light is one of the most critical aspects of ivy care. Place your plant somewhere where it gets lots of medium-light to bright light, such as near a northern or eastern window. 

Ivy plants do best with moist soil, so be careful not to overwater your plant. Always check your plant’s potting soil before watering and avoid having the plant sit in soggy soil. Soggy soil could lead to root rot or mold.

 You should water less frequently during the fall and winter and more often during the warmer months. Also, you can use a pebble tray with ivy plants to generate enough humidity for the plant. When the water evaporates from pebbles, it generates additional humidity around the plant, which ivy plants enjoy.

Pothos

Traditional potting soil works best for a pothos plant. One tip is to place the plant in a container with suitable drainage holes. Drainage holes at the bottom of a container reduce the risk of root rot, a common disease for this plant. Being native to southeast Asia and Polynesia, a pothos plant enjoys humid environments. Consider placing this plant in a bathroom that has a shower since it will appreciate the extra humidity. If you can’t put the plant in a bathroom, you can mist, use a humidifier or a pebble tray to create a more humid environment. 

You should water a pothos plant when the top inch or so of soil is dry. The plant does best when the soil is between a dry and soggy state. If the plant is in a room with almost no humidity, you can mist the plant instead of top watering it.

 Overwatering the plant is common for most plant owners. Common signs of overwatering a pothos plant include soggy soil and the leaves turning yellow. If you suspect that you are overwatering the plant, here are a few things to do.

Monstera

The plant does best with bright and indirect light. Avoid having this plant sit in an area with direct sunlight since it can scorch the leaves. If the indoor plant receives a few hours of direct sunlight during the day, you should put other plants in front of it or place a curtain over the window to reduce the sun’s glare. A Swiss Cheese houseplant thrives in an area with high humidity. To create a high humidity environment, you might want to place this plant in a bathroom with a shower. A hot shower will create a very humid climate, which this plant will enjoy. 

This plant enjoys having moist but not soggy soil. To water the plant properly, you should ensure that the top inch or so of soil is wet. If the first inch or two of soil is dry, you will need to water the plant. Overwatering is a common problem for new plant owners. Overwatering this plant can cause problems with root rot, so make sure you are only keeping the top inch of soil moist. Anything more than this, and you are giving the plant too much water.

Anthuriums

Anthurium plants thrive in areas with indirect light. Placing your plant in a spot in your home that receives low light will lead to a slow-growing plant with fewer flowers. A signal that it is not getting enough light is when it has dark, green leaves. While anthurium plants require regular watering, they are especially susceptible to overwatering and root rot. You should only water tropical plants when the top of their potting soil feels dry to the touch. When kept inside, this will happen about once a week. Keep watering until the water comes through the holes at the bottom of your pot.

Philodendrons

Avoid placing your philodendron in direct sunlight. These plants prefer indirect light, such as near a sunny window. They do great in hanging baskets that elevate them off the floor and allow plenty of growth. Luckily, these temperatures align with what we keep in our homes with most of us. That makes philodendrons great house plants because they thrive in these indoor temperatures. Philodendrons originate from tropical environments like the rainforest, so they enjoy humidity. Therefore, they do best in humid rooms, such as bathrooms or near a sink. You can also consider investing in a humidifier or humidity tray to add moisture to the room and simulate the tropical environments the philodendron desires. 

Philodendrons grow best in soil that is moist but never wet. So let the top inch of soil get dry in between waterings. But don’t let the entire pot go bone dry. Before watering, stick your finger in the top inch of the potting soil to test how dry it is. You never want to water a philodendron’s potting soil so much that you get to standing water.

Alocasia

Indoor elephant ear plants thrive with lots of indirect sunlight. You should place your pot in an area of the home with bright windows that will cast a lot of indirect light on the plant. Avoid too much direct sunlight, as too much harsh sun can bleach or discolor the leaves. 

These plants require lots of water and don’t mind living in moist soil. You may need to water the plant daily during the growing season and ensure that the soil does not dry out entirely during the warmer summer months. However, you won’t need to water the plant as much during the winter months. In general, they need at least 2–3 inches of water per week. Keep in mind, the more water you give the plant, the faster it will grow. However, be careful about overwatering the plant as that can lead to root rot. Root rot occurs when a plant’s roots are sitting in soggy water for a long time.

Succulents

If you keep this plant outdoors, you can place this plant in a rock garden. The rocks in the garden will help allow any excess water to drain away from the roots, which is critical to reducing root rot concerns. 

Full sun or partial shade works best for a succulent. If possible, place this plant in an area of your home that receives hours of the full sun since that will give a pink hue to the blue-gray leaves. One tip is to gradually increase the hours of direct sunlight for this plant each week to reduce the risk of sunburns on the leaves.

If you leave this succulent plant in an area in your home that doesn’t receive enough light, the plant will become leggy. A leggy plant means reaching for more bright light, which can cause leaves to drop since the plant is straining for additional sunlight.