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Orchid Day 2024: Your Questions Answered!

Orchid Day 2024

Thank you to everyone who came to Orchid Day 2024! We were thrilled to see so many people coming to meet Burnham Nurseries, visit the repotting clinic, and enjoy the free talk all about the Wonderful World of Orchids.

As part of the celebrations last Saturday, many of you submitted your questions for Burnham Nurseries to answer. 

This family-run nursery based in South Devon has specialised in growing Orchids for 70 years, offering the widest range of Orchids in the UK. They joined us for Orchid Day on 13th January, along with an extensive range of products... and their incredible expertise! Find out more about these fascinating plants below:

Please can you tell me if it’s possible to take cuttings from an orchid or propagate orchids? 

You can't take cuttings as such. With orchids that grow with pseudobulbs, these will grow into a larger clump of bulbs over time so can be split into smaller clumps, that is the best way to propagate these but it is slow. With orchids without pseudobulbs, like Phalaenopsis, they cannot be divided but occasionally a baby plant may grow from one of the nodes on the flower stem. This is called a keiki and can be removed once it has enough roots to survive independently. 

How often should you water an orchid and how much water should you give them?

The simplest way to look at this is to check your orchids once a week and see how quickly they dry out. Allow the compost and roots to dry out well in between waterings and if in doubt leave for another few days before checking again. On average you should find they need watering every 1-2 weeks. This will also change with the weather, season and whether the plant is actively growing or not. If it is growing in a clear pot you can see how wet or dry the roots look. When damp they are usually green, turning grey/white as they dry out. Run water through the pot from the tap or a watering can and allow it to drain well. Don't let your orchids stand in water all the time as this will rot the roots. 

How do you persuade Dendrobiums to re-flower up the length of the stem as they do when you buy them?

These types of dendrobiums are cool growing and need a drier period in winter. Keeping them too warm and/or wet in winter discourages flowering. So by giving them a good winter rest by keeping them cooler and drier helps to make more flowers. Plus give them a high potash orchid Bloom-type fertiliser in the autumn and this should help too. 

Why do my flower spikes go hard and woody and the buds drop off? 

Flowers and buds are the most sensitive part of the plant so if something isn't right they can be sacrificed by the plant. Being too cold, dark or erratic watering can cause bud drop. Make sure they are warm, plenty of diffused light and only water when dry to help keep them happy and flowering successfully. If they haven't been repotted for a long time they may benefit from refreshed compost too. 

Will there be another Orchid Day next year?

Yes! We are hoping for 11th January 2025!

If you have any more questions, you might be interested to read the FAQs from Orchid Day 2023!

Shop our full range of Orchids in-store at Beetham Nurseries; click here to find us.í

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