As predicted by scientists, freaky weather conditions have become more frequent. Last year, we had very heavy and continuous rains. So much so that even the orchids were struggling. The pests were out of control, especially the white fly. It was unstoppable, when I nearly succeeded in killing these more come over from the neighbour’s. The hibiscus was full of it. We had to cut it down.
This year, however the picture has been different. The monsoons in our city were weak with not much rain as compared to last year, but high humidity made the life easier for the orchids. The pests were more manageable. Now the question is how do we manage our lovelies in such unpredictable times?
Though it is a tough row to hoe, with the increasing frequency of unpredictability, we still have to act according to the prevailing conditions at that particular time. And not according to a time table that we normally follow each year.
Things that need to be taken care of:
1) Lights: Keep a tab on weather conditions. The prevailing conditions should fulfill the light requirements of the orchids. If not, make adjustments according to the needs and requirements of the orchids.
2) Air: As the weather turns freaky you will have to keep your orchids safe in case the air conditions turn very windy.
3) Water: Keep checking the growth medium if more than usual rains, it should not be wet continuously. Shifting it to a little drier place would be advisable as the orchids require a dry spell in between watering or it will start to rot. If the rains fail, keep an eye on the humidity. If it also decreases, then make arrangements (according to your budget) to maintain a higher level of humidity around the orchids, or they will dry out. Many regions are now experiencing floods. It would be better to grow the orchids in hanging containers, rather than putting the pots on ground level. I have no solution if the floods are severe.
4) Nutrition: The growth of the plants depends upon the availability of basic requirements of light, water and air. The fertilization frequency will depend upon the availability of these conditions. Please adjust your time table accordingly. Too much or too little fertilization can be harmful for the orchids.
5) Growth medium: The growth medium needs to be without clumps and needs to be porous. A good medium goes a long way to support the healthy growth of orchids. Constant waterlogging can be bad for the general health of the medium, so keep checking.
6) Containers: Check for any mold growth (fungal or bacterial), blocked water drainage holes etc. Change the container only if you find it not fulfilling its purpose.
Tip: If you see a problem, tackle it symptomatically.