“All About Orchids” was the program presented by club member, Emily Polhemus Capule, at the August meeting of the Town and Country Garden Club.
After graduating from Baylor University, Capule had a conservation horticulture internship with the Naples Botanical Garden where her love of orchids blossomed. She then moved to London, England, to study at Kew, Royal Botanic Gardens.
After moving back to Naples, Fla., she was the orchid house supervisor of a collection of over 5,000 orchids at the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club. Capule currently lives on the family farm, Blomster Field Farm, and is managing Blomster Field Flowers: Locally grown, chemically free cut flowers, which are available for sale at the Morgantown Farmers Market and through retail/wholesale.
Phalaenopsis Orchids were brought by several club members for Capule to examine and explain how to correct problems with them.
Capule explained that most importantly orchids need sufficient light: Cool, bright, Eastern light, but not direct sun. Roots are exposed as they grow epiphytically, which means that watering should be fruitful but never soaking.
Airflow is vital as in nature there would be a breeze after a rain shower to dry the plants. Fertilizing is suggested with a weekly/weakly solution with a 20-20-20 composition meaning dilute the solution 50% of what is recommended and use weekly. If there are cuts or damaged leaves/stems, they can be sealed with a mixture of cinnamon powder and water as cinnamon is a natural anti-fungal for plants and humans alike.
Nighttime temperatures between 55-65 degrees will induce blooming in Phalaenopsis species.