Gardening January 14

Dear Orchid DOC

With Betty Ashley

Sunday, January 14, 2018

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Dear Orchid Doc:

What do you think of the vitamin Superthrive for orchids? Do you still use it? I have been using it on my orchids. As a matter of fact, some years ago you mentioned it in another medium. I don't quite remember what you said, but I think it was something to the effect that it makes “rockstone bloom”.

My problem is this. I have been asked by many people, “What if I stop using the vitamin, will the orchid die? What is your present take on Superthrive?


Dear PW:

Superthrive, the 50-in-one vitamin, I like to tell people, does to the orchid what the banned substance does to the track athletes; it speeds up growth. I still use it, but only on orchids and non-edible plants, because it does speed up everything, and my personal belief is that if it speeds up growth, then it might not be a good idea to put it on edibles.

It has the ability to cut in half the time to fruition.

With regard to if you should stop using it, I guess it would be no different from you not taking your vitamins. But remember in life there is no guarantee; however, I would recommend that it be kept away from edible plants.

Dear Orchid Doc:

How do you keep dogs away from your orchids? I am having a hard time; they chew-up everything in sight.


Dear Andrea:

There is a saying that dogs and gardens don't mix. That aside, dogs can be trained.

Each time they damage a plant I use a newspaper to slap the dog while having it smell the plant, and telling it 'bad girl'. Works fine for me.

You could also put up a picket fence.

Dear Orchid Doc:

The orchid bug can become a serious addiction once it takes a hold of you!

Anyhow, Doc, I have just been bitten and I have been struggling to put the wire onto the basket without the Strap Leaf Vanda falling out. Any suggestions?

P Johnson

Dear P Johnson:

Yes, collecting orchids is really like a disease, only difference is, they have a resale value.

Stringing the Strap Leaf Vanda basket is kind of tricky. Try to hang the wire on to a clothes line with open space below, then you need to bend all four wires at once at about an inch from the end.

Next, spread all four wires apart. Centring the box, please proceed to hook each wire to the nearest connection onto the box. Tie the base of the orchid to the box with twist and tie.

The orchid should be able to stand in the basket without falling out.

Dear Orchid Doc:

Do you think it is better to plant orchids in clay pots or plastic?

R Powell

Dear R Powell

They seem to love clay pots more. They also thrive much better in them, so based on that information, I would have to say, yes, it is better to plant them in clay pots.

An orchid in a clay pot really does not need much more decoration for presentation.




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