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Orchids

Orchids were once the expensive interest of the wealthy, but today orchids are within reach of all. Their incredible beauty and diversity captivate people of every walk of life. If you have not grown orchids, you are missing one of natures’s finest offerings.
Kalamazoo Dunes Orchid Society — Please Join Us

The Kalamazoo Dunes Orchid Society is a group of orchid enthusiasts who offer comradery and encouragement to all orchid growers.

The society generally meets the first Sunday of each month at 2:00 p.m. from September through May. Meetings are held in Bronson Athletic Club, conference room #2. Meetings are free and open to the public.


Upcoming Meetings and Events

Nov 5-6, 2016

Michiana Orchid Society Show
Holy Cross College, South Bend, IN

Nov 13, 2016


MEETING DATE CHANGE--SECOND SUNDAY

Dick Wells of Hilltop Orchids will talk on how to grow orchids at home, a must-hear for new orchid growers. Feel free to bring a couple of orchids that appear not to be growing well. Dick is willing to advice you on the issue!

He will bring plants for sale


Dec 4, 2016

KDOS Annual Holiday Potluck

Bring a dish to pass
Bring plants for Show and Tell 
Bring plants for auction


Jan 8, 2017


MEETING DATE CHANGE--SECOND SUNDAY

Edga Stehli from Windswept in Time, presentation TBA

Dec 4, 2016


KDOS Annual Holiday Potluck

Bring a dish to pass
Bring plants for Show and Tell 
Bring plants for auction


 

Fertilizing by the Numbers

Plant fertilizers, including those for orchids, contain three main elements that affect plant growth. Nitrogen (N) is the element that helps with leafy or vegetative growth. Phosphorous (P) is especially good for blooming, as well as for root growth and disease resistance. Potassium (K) promotes root growth and disease and drought resistance. Take note, however, that any fertilizer used on orchids should contain little or no urea.

By reviewing the numbers related to these three elements (N-P-K), you’ll find there are generally three types of fertilizers used for orchids.

  1. Balanced fertilizer, represented by numbers like 20-20-20, is good for mounted orchids or those potted in inorganic potting media like expanded clay.
  2. High-nitrogen fertilizer, 30-10-10 for example, is good to use at the beginning of the orchids’ growing season. It may also be more beneficial for orchids potted in fir bark mixes than balanced fertilizer.
  3. High phosphorous fertilizer, like 10-30-20, often known as bloom booster, is typically applied every other week for four to six applications before the plant is expected to bloom.

How to apply these fertilizers to your orchids varies as much as the orchids themselves. In most cases, following the old saying “feed orchids weekly weakly” will work well. Preparing the fertilizer at ¼ to ½ the label recommended strength would result in a weak solution to apply weekly.

Keep in mind that certain orchids have specific requirements. For example, orchids with a definite rest period like deciduous orchids should not be fertilized after early autumn. Continuing to fertilize and regularly water these types of orchids will keep them in active growth rather than providing the needed rest before producing flowers.

The best advice: if in doubt, ask someone who grows the same kind of orchids as you.