Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Give Orchids Coconut Water For Lush Blooms

orchid potted in a coconut shell
Orchid potted  in an organic coconut shell
Just 6 or 7 years ago, if I wanted a cup or so of coconut water there were only 2 ways to get it: 1) Fly out to Jamaica or 2) Find a local grocery store that sold brown coconuts. Back then, I didn’t drink the coconut water:  I fed it to my orchids and successfully bloomed and re-bloomed plants!

Lot’s of times I wondered if the Jamaican option would be easier because the grocery store coconuts would often be almost dried-up.

Bottled or packaged coconut water was unheard of in most of  America just a decade ago.
Jar of cloned orchid seedlings
Cloned orchid seedlings

The potassium in the coconut water made a huge different during the initial root growth spurt of my miniature Cattleyas. I used coconut water and banana peel organic supplements to successfully bloom my orchids.

I used traditional fertilizers as well but I wanted to wean my plants off of the stronger inorganic fertilizers as much as possible.

I no longer grow orchids because I do not have the proper light conditions.  I always used some supplemental light in the past. But in my current location I would have had to raise them 100% under grow lights. That would have been just too time-consuming, too costly and not esthetic-looking at all.

My Tips For Starting A Successful Orchid Program

  • Buy blooming plants only from dedicated orchid growers.  I have had success with plants from Orchids by Hausermann and Santa Barbara Orchid Estate. Avoid plants from florists, big box stores and grocery stores.
  • Respect the light, water and food requirements of the specific orchid you purchase:  Do some research or ask your grower. If you cannot provide the correct types and amounts of light, food and water, you will not get any blooms and you will condemn the plant to a slow death.
  • Use organic fertilizer supplementation along with traditional fertilizers to save money and to avoid excessive growth which insects love to munch on.

Bicolor miniature Cattleya
Beautiful bicolor miniature Cattleya
 The best organic supplements for any plant, not just orchids, are banana peel, fish emulsion and coconut water. Add these supplements to your orchid program and you will get strong plants with lush blooms.

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