Cultural Notes

Our thanks to Russell Hutton for allowing reproduction of his Cultural Notes first published in the NZ Internet Orchid Review (ed. Nick Miller). Please remember these notes are a guide only, as seasons change and temperatures vary considerably down the length and across the breadth of New Zealand.

General Notes:
Orchids grown on mounts or in baskets will need watering more often. A good rule of thumb is: If in doubt during the warmer months DO! If in doubt during the cooler months DON’T!

Regarding shade percentages,  try this on a bright sunny day:

  • 30% shade – if you hold your hand about 25cm above the plant and spread your fingers, that should give you a rather distinct shadow slightly fuzzy around the edge
  • 50% shade – doing the same thing will give you a very indistinct shadow.

A balanced fertiliser is one where the N:P:K proportions are roughly equal, e.g. Miracle Gro, which has an NPK rating of 15:13:12. 

  • N = Nitrogen for general growth of leaves and stems
  • P = Phosphorus which promotes root development
  • K = Potassium (the ‘K’ comes from the Latin name Kalium for the element) which promotes flower production

Watch for pests – snails, slugs, aphids, mealybugs, scale, etc – throughout the year and deal to them as you see fit (spray; not spray).