Cultural Notes

 The OCNZ is pleased to make available for free download its Culture Book 2024, which has previously only been available in print.  In readiness for its upload here, the booklet has been updated where necessary.

To help you choose an organic option in dealing with pests, OCNZ is pleased to make available for free donwload its popular Organic Sprays Handbook. This booklet offers some practical solutions for dealing with pests throughout the garden.

As well, we are delighted to reproduce the Cultural Notes of Russell Hutton that first appeared in the NZ Internet Orchid Review (ed. Nick Miller) – the links to the quarterly notes are at the bottom of this page, along with a cultural guide to Miltoniopsis in New Zealand by Allan Watson. Thanks to Russell and Allan for their permission to publish their work here. Please remember the 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





Miltoniopsis Culture in NZ by Allan Watson.