I have a lot of orchids. Once I started this blog everyone kept giving me their orchids once they were out of bloom or if they were dying. I love these orchids and I had to create a system to keep track of them somehow. With so many orchids it is hard to remember when I last watered, fertilized and treated them. I found that taking notes on them is the easiest way stay organized.
Here is some background on my orchids. I repotted 13 of them so far. The other 5 were bought in bloom, off cycle, and I am waiting for them to lose their blooms so I can repot them. And around another 5 were bought in bloom earlier this fall, again not in their normal bloom cycle, and they were repotted but will probably wait till next fall to shoot new spikes.
5 of the 18 shot up new spikes this fall and are about to bloom! Not all my orchids re-bloomed this year, for a variety of reasons. That might not seem like very good luck but most of my orchids were in really bad shape when I got them (rescued from friends etc.), three actually died due to under watering and lack of repotting from a previous owner.
I number each of my orchids and keep track of their habits. Number 5 is my rock star! I successfully repotted it last year and it has spiked beautifully! Here is a picture of it on January 5, 2012.
It has 15 little blooms off it, including a shoot that sprung from another node. I found this plant abandoned and because it was not in bloom, I can’t wait to see what color its blooms will be!
Here is an example of the notes I take on it…
5. Already bloomed orchid Last bloom unknown before Aug. 201. Repotted on Aug 17, 2011. Went up a pot size. Good condition/Healthy roots. Detected spike Sept 15, 2011. Detected new root on 9/29/11. On 10/4/11 and 10/18/11 set bigger spike on stick. 10/27/11 no new dev except spike is bigger. 11/1/11 2nd spike shot off from 1st spike/node!
I also keep track of when I water, fertilize and treat my orchids. Each orchid has a plant label that I number and then write down everything I do to it. This helps with having so many orchids because I lose track of when to fertilize etc.
FOR EXAMPLE: 1/11/11 15, 16 and 17 Got the works (9 day watering difference) 2 and 5 just watered (19 day watering difference)
5, 15, 16, 17 are different orchids I have.
“Got the works” means I watered, fertilized, cleaned the leaves and treated my orchids.
“Just watered” means it’s the 4th time I have watered my orchid and I don’t use fertilizer (or any other product) so as to flush out the salts built up by fertilizing.
And finally, I also like to see how many watering day difference there is which is shown in the parentheses above. I find this helpful because sometimes I can tell by moving my orchids where the dry spots in my house are or if I need to increase humidity etc.
Hope that Helps,