HANAPEPE — Carol Kanna’s large exquisite orchid specimen greeted patrons to the Spring Fantasy Orchid Show and Sale at the Hanapepe United Church of Christ on Friday.
“If I were a voting judge, I’d give it the ‘Best in Show,’” said Neill Sams of Orchid Alley. “It’s definitely deserving.”
The judges agreed, presenting Kanna the Best in Show award for her large “Lc Gold Digger’s Fuch’s Mandarin” specimen which filled a large pot to near capacity.
Dennis Fujimoto – The Garden Island
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Ants are notorious seekers of sweet substances. You may have noticed in the summer months that a swarm quickly forms on and around a soda spill. In much the same manner, ants are attracted to honeydew. There are two ways in which honeydew may be present on your orchid plant, thus attracting ants. First, honeydew is secreted on some orchid species’ spikes such as cymbidiums. Secondly, as aphids or mealybugs feast on an orchid’s sap, they themselves secrete honeydew. Either way, ants are annoying, particularly inside, and you will likely want to remove them as soon as possible.
If you find upon closer inspection, that the ants are feeding on a primary pest infestation, such as aphids, you should first deal with the ants. Because ants tend to shield sucking insects, it is always a good idea to take care of the ant problem as a first defense. There are a vast number of home remedies posted on the internet and you will likely find many opinions about what works best. In reality, any insecticide meant for ants, typically carbaryl-based or acephate-based will do the trick. For minor infestations, it should be sufficient to spray a diluted solution of the insecticide on the plant in an outdoor area. Remember to keep your orchid in a shady spot to protect the leaves now wet with insecticide from sunburn.
In extreme cases, when the ants have laid eggs in the potting medium, it may be necessary to repot your orchid. After the ants are eliminated, you can turn your attention to the primary infestation, if one exists. An easy and efficient way to keep those pesky ants from your plants in the future is to set your orchid in a shallow tray of water. Add a small amount of mineral oil or mild dish soap to the water. Make sure the orchid roots are not touching this mixture. This simple, easy solution will keep the ants on your plants from coming back any time soon.
Think surgical. Think precision, sterile and great care when you consider trimming back or cutting your Orchid plant stems. Orchids are known for being more difficult to care for. It takes precise attention to details such as humidity, water, medium, and sunlight. So it should come as no surprise that cutting your Orchid requires as much attention to detail.
Orchids are very susceptible to fungi, viruses and bacteria. This is the very reason you should think sterile. Many people love their garden shears. They are frequently a thoughtful gift from children or acquaintances and often invoke a smile when we think about the loved one who gifted them. However, for an Orchid the pruning or garden shears can be dangerous and destructive. Plant eating viruses can sometimes linger on these blades for weeks or months. In addition, even though it may appear they have been cleaned well, tiny, unseen particles of potentially unsafe fungi or bacteria can remain. Another poor choice for Orchid pruning, household scissors, which crush and bruise instead of offering a clean cut.
What then is a safe an acceptable tool for removing deadheads from your Orchid plants? Razor blades! These handy little blades offer the perfect solution for your Orchid trimming. Not only are they inexpensive, they are guaranteed to be free of plant bacteria since a new one can be used for each plant. On the Internet, single edged razor blades often come in packs of 100, and start at just under $4 per package. An economical and uncontaminated solution, find peace of mind knowing hidden pollutants are not being transferred to the plant. Many people just starting to cultivate and grow Orchids in their homes may not have more than one Orchid plant. In that case, a pruning shear dedicated solely to a single plant could work. However, once you start growing Orchids your appreciation and love for them is likely to grow and you will find that one just isn’t enough!