Orchid Care : 3 Tips for Beautiful Orchids from our Vermont Greenhouse

Warm weather has arrived and with it the greenhouse at our Vermont bed and breakfast is filled with many orchids in spike and bloom. Soon they will be taken out to the deck and gazebo where they will enhance the outdoor dining experience here at The Inn at Weston. We are often asked by guests about proper orchid care, so here are a few tips:Vanda tricolor orchid

1)      Feed your orchids with fertilizer particularly during the warm growing season. A weak solution weekly (“weakly,weekly”) of a balanced (20-20-20) fertilizer like Peter’s or Miracle Grow works well.

2)      Take your orchids outside for the summer. They respond well to the natural light cycles, air movement, and summer humidity. Wait until all threat of frost has passed as orchids will not survive that, but cool evenings (50’s) are fine and are even a stimulus for  flowering. Be careful of pests and particularly slugs. Do not allow exposure to direct mid-day sun, as the leaves will burn. Filtered sunlight is best, though some orchid species like more light than others. Many books on the topic are available, or we are happy to provide advice.Bulbophylum orchid care

3)      Most showy orchids live in the rain forests and tropical regions of Southeast Asia, South America, warm, moist southern regions of the US, and Africa. These orchids are epiphytes, which mean they grow on other things such as trees to which their roots attach. This means that orchid roots are exposed to the air, a condition which terrestrial plants could not survive. By inspection, orchid roots can be seen to be much thicker than ordinary terrestrial plants. This is because in orchids the true root is covered by a substance called velamen, which is why the root looks so thick. Velamen is a defining feature of orchids and is not seen in any other group of plants. Velamen is a spongy tissue which holds water, always available in the rain forests, and protects the enclosed true root from drying. Growing orchids in bark or moss filled pots is not natural, but is necessary because our Cattleyas orchidhomes do not provide the humidity that the plant’s natural habitat does. That bark, after repeated watering, begins to break down, particularly at the bottom of the pot where you can’t see it. When it does, it remains perpetually wet, and the roots rot, eventually killing the plant. To prevent this, repotting orchids into new bark is essential, about once per year, and spring is a great time to do it. Simply remove the plant from it’s pot and carefully remove the old bark. I like to use a hose with gentle stream to help accomplish this. Once the old bark is removed, hold the plant in position in a new pot, with the roots down in the pot, and carefully place the new bark filling the pot. Tamp the new bark down as you do so to remove air pockets. Plants often respond very favorably to repotting with new growth and flowering.

Good luck! If you have any questions, or need assistance with repotting, we are always happy to help here at The Inn at Weston.

Our Southern Vermont Inn Offers Deals in Honor of the Weston Playhouse

southern Vermont inn

Welcome to our new Inn at Weston blog, where we hope to bring you information regarding the our southern Vermont inn, the town of Weston, our wider area of southern Vermont, and sometimes just some topics of interest to us, and we hope to others.

Speaking of topics of interest, the summer season for our very own southern Vermont Weston Playhouse Theater Company is upon us! Last August, the lower level of the Playhouse building, which included the Café at the Falls Restaurant (where we run in the Playhouse during the Theater season), the Cabaret room, and storage and workspace used by the Theater Company, was completely destroyed by the floods which accompanied Tropical Storm Irene. With help from the entire town, clean-up of the area was completed in just days, and reconstruction began immediately. It continued all winter and has come to a conclusion, with everything looking more beautiful than ever. The Café at the Falls has a new look altogether, very bright and cheery, and we are so grateful that the new season has begun with great success!

The dates for the upcoming season are June 27 to September 11. Here is the Summer 2012 Schedule at the Playhouse Theater Company.

Main Stage:

7/12-7/28- Ella
8/2- 8/25- Fiddler on the Roof
8/30- 9/11 Pregnancy Pact

Other Stages:

Mary’s Wedding 7/19- 8/5
Bad Dates 8/16- 9/9

If you wish to know more about any of the above plays, you can read about these productions on the Weston Playhouse Theater Company’s website.

In celebration of this Summer 2012 Weston Playhouse season, our southern Vermont inn has a great One Night Play and Stay Package and also a Two Night Play and Stay Package available for you to discover and enjoy an unforgettable summer stay at our beautiful southern Vermont inn!