Monthly Orchid Growing Advice

Monthly Orchid Growing Advice

Motes Notes - Florida Orchid Growing


Progress of the Season  

    The persistence of high pressure systems bringing temperate zone weather patterns to S. Florida this June has been somewhat unusual but overall beneficial for our orchids. Rather than typical afternoon thunder storms boiling up over the interior of the peninsula, we have seen storms bred on the Atlantic roll in in the mornings. This has suited our orchids just fine; allowing them to dry before nightfall. Overall the volume of rain has been typical and well suited to our plants which are all in heavy growth.
    The typical pattern of afternoon thunder storms seems to be returning, so we will have to depend on ourselves rather than nature to water properly. Always be sure your orchids really need watering before you water. At this time of year, especially, the dictum to err on the dry side prevails. Drying your plants "hard" is always recommend a few times across the summer.
    Be aware that patches of dry weather that evoke us to water are also the times when Thrips are like to seek refreshment in the lush atmosphere of our orchid collections. Control them with the methods outlined in Fla. Orchid Growing.
    Snails will have availed themselves of all that wet grass to travel from your neighbor's yard to yours. The soft new growth on our orchids is fine fodder for them. Control them by spreading bait lightly but frequently. A single pellet per square yard is adequate, if applied at two week intervals.
    Remember the rain cools things down remarkably. Always try to enjoy those cool mornings and also the cool after a late afternoon shower.
    We've been uploading videos to Youtube on growing orchids, with more to come soon. If you're not caught up, check them out here.
    Although the nursery is not open this summer due to our travel and lecture schedule, you can shop our online store 24/7 by visiting MotesOrchids.com. To celebrate the Fourth of July, all of our own Made in the USA hybrids are 25% when you use code USA at checkout plus all orders over $200 ship free. Order fast, sale ends July 8 at midnight!
Motes Notes Florida Orchid Growing

January in Your Orchid Collection

January is somewhat like December but in reverse, with each succeeding day bringing longer hours of sunlight until days are long enough that afternoons return at the end of the month with extra sunshine to warm us after the extra sharp cold snaps. January, like December, is cold and dry, in fact even colder and drier. Dry is good, cold can be very bad. We need to accentuate the positive by especially... read entire article
Motes Notes Florida Orchid Growing

February in Your Orchid Collection

Despite the bloom on the avocados and the burgeoning new leaves on the live oaks, February is not spring in South Florida. Danger of freeze continues past mid month and frost can occur still into March. Even if the weather is balmy, it's too early to let down our guard or take down any protection we have mounted against the cold. The trend however is toward the positive as each lengthening day brings extra hours of warming sunshine... read entire article
Motes Notes Florida Orchid Growing

March in Your Orchid Collection

Signs of spring abound with an abundance of emerging flower spikes and buds. The flush of spring growth will follow soon so plan your repotting program which should begin in earnest this month. The best time to repot is right before the new roots start growing so the plants will reestablish quickly. Watch for signs of mites, particularly on thin leaved orchids like the catasetinae and grammatophyllums, and treat any problems promptly...continue reading
Motes Notes Florida Orchid Growing

April in Your Orchid Collection

Far from the cruelest, April is the kindest month to South Florida orchid growers. The weather in April is definitely settled into warm, even deliciously hot, with passing cold fronts only adding the delight of a pleasant change in temperature. The clean, bright days brimming with abundant sunlight and the low relative humidity create the high drying potential that orchids love. ... read entire article
Motes Notes Florida Orchid Growing

May in Your Orchid Collection

May is a month of transition in South Florida. Early in the month we can expect the driest weather of the year. Because of the clarity of the air and lack of cloud cover, temperatures rise rapidly in the late morning and can reach the upper eighties or nineties by mid afternoon before cooling substantially in late afternoon. Fortunately, over night radiant cooling rapidly dissipates the previous day's... read entire article
Motes Notes Florida Orchid Growing

June in Your Orchid Collection

June is the most dramatically tropical month in South Florida. As the southeast Trade Winds blow cool moist air off the Gulf Stream daily, as surely the heating effect of the center of the peninsula percolates up massive thunder heads. The increased cloud cover drawing a veil across the afternoon sun provides much cooling relief for our plants... read entire article
Motes Notes Florida Orchid Growing

July in Your Orchid Collection

Although it mostly passes unnoticed to millions locked in their air-conditioned bubbles, July in South Florida is quite different from June. While the pattern of afternoon showers built from the moisture of the morning's sea breeze persists in July, the thunder-storms are sharper and shorter. The clouds linger less and the foliage dries more quickly. Less quantity of rain falls in July than in June... read entire article
Motes Notes Florida Orchid Growing

August in Your Orchid Collection

July and August are the two most similar months in South Florida. Most of the advice on watering, disease and pest control in last month's calendar still apply but subtle changes are taking place. Although it may not seem so, as temperatures climb into the low nineties most afternoons, summer is in retreat: each day a little shorter, each night a little longer. With shorter days the importance of watering as early... read entire article
Motes Notes Florida Orchid Growing

September in Your Orchid Collection

September looms as the only truly dismal month in South Florida. Even without the prospect of the unspeakable 'H' word, September disheartens since it is easily the dampest, dullest month in the year. Although more inches of rain fall in June, more hours of rain occur in the often slow, seemingly endless drizzles of September. Frequently a day or two can pass without so much as a solid hour of truly bright... read entire article
Motes Notes Florida Orchid Growing

October in Your Orchid Collection

October is a month of change in South Florida. If the Romans had lived here where we do, they would have named this month for their two faced god Janus. Usually around the middle of the month, and certainly by the end of the month, the first strong cold front pushes into South Florida bringing to a close the monolithic heat and damp of summer and ushering in weather as most of the continent knows it... read entire article
Motes Notes Florida Orchid Growing

November in Your Orchid Collection

In November we can no longer afford to be dominated by the illusion, so easy here at the northern edge of the tropics, that summer will never end. Although Indian Summer persists for the whole winter in South Florida, November is the month to prepare our plants for those short sharp blasts of cold which are inevitably coming as each successive cold front pushes the overall temperature a little lower... read entire article
Motes Notes Florida Orchid Growing

December in Your Orchid Collection

December marks the beginning of the serious dry season in South Florida. While this additional dryness provides relief from the autumnal rains that can bring so many fungal problems, December is also the month of shortest day lengths. This contracted period of light, on the contrary, reduces severely the drying potential for our plants. Nature thus both gives and takes away from us in December. We must... read entire article
by Dr. Martin Motes, from his monthly newsletter and book Florida Orchid Growing. Monthly advice for orchid growers in South Florida. There's lots of information pertinent to North Florida growers too. Subscribe to the monthly newsletter.
The opinions and recommendations published herein are those of the authors. The St. Augustine Orchid Society disclaims responsibility for any losses or damages that may be attributed to the use or misuse of any material or any opinion published in these articles and on the website. This website and the photographs, articles and content are protected by copyright and no part of them may be reproduced or re-used without the permission of the author.