Spring, a period of lush flowering, on the Indian calendar, it begins in March, bringing dry and hot weather over a wide area of the country. At this time of the year, the daily temperature ranges from 27-32 °C degrees in Bangalore. It is bright, warm and new orchid root tips start growing. It is time for you to spring into action!
Acclimate Plants to increased light
Inspect your plants and check for sunburns. Especially after the dull days of winter, the plants need to be moved to higher light gradually to avoid sunburn. Shady places in the winter could be very bright in the spring. Make the plants acclimate gradually to this change by carefully moving them from a shadier place to their ideal spot.
Change your watering and feeding schedule
Warmer and brighter days will mean increased metabolic rates necessitating increased water and fertilizer. The plants will indicate needs by drying more rapidly, which means more frequent watering and fertilizing. Judge watering by finger method (It is as easy as poking your finger into the potting medium and feeling the moisture in the pot). If the medium is moist postpone your watering by a day. You can also make out if the pot feels lighter or surface of the potting media looks dry. When orchids are watered, they should be watered well like flooding the pot. Water should be provided until it runs freely from the drainage holes.
The plants will be now back in action after the winter dormancy and will thrive with proper feeding. We recommend using a balanced formula like NPK 19:19:19 (HighGrow) with additional micronutrients or all-in-one fertilizer (Like Mangala Bio 20) which will provide all the nutrients required to grow and flourish. Healthy plants are less susceptible to pests and diseases as they build their immunity through good feeding.
Increase the Humidity
Virtually all orchids do best when humidity ranges from 40% to 70% in the growing area. Insufficient humidity can stunt an orchid’s growth, and, in severe cases, it can cause brown tips on leaves. Spring could be a dry season for the plants, keeping the humidity at the optimum level is very important during this period.
One of the ways is to try growing the plants on top of a water-tray filled with pebbles. Add water to the tray so that the water level is just below the surface of the pebbles, then put the plants on top of this bed of damp pebbles. Keeping the growing area moist by watering the floor or by spraying the leaves or fogging the growing area at intervals also will help the plants. Adding a humidifier is an alternative solution.
After the winter rest, now that the plants have actively started growing, if you can keep the humidity high, you must make sure that the plants which require a bigger pot or change of potting medium is done at this time of the year. If keeping up the humidity high is difficult, then do all the re-potting in monsoon.
Read the following blogs to know more about selecting the potting medium and re-potting.