- - AIR QUALITY -
Your orchids, like people, need plenty of clean fresh air.
what will happen to your blooms if you don't get it.
In the home, accumulated air pollutants from pilot lights, smoking,
cooking, aerosol sprays, plastic and other synthetic materials, people,
and other sources can all be harmful to your plants. To reduce the amount
of pollution in your home, open a window to let fresh air in (of course,
you don't want to open your widows if it is extremely smoggy outside
because you may be letting more pollutants into your home than you are
trying to remove). Electrostatic air cleaners will remove dust, dirt, and
some other pollutants from the air, but are useless in removing unwanted
You should never smoke around your orchids (they might pick up the
nasty habit the next thing you know, they will demand to be watered with
Jim Beam and start hanging out with questionable Dandelions--ok, just
kidding). If you do smoke, be sure you wash your hands before handling
your orchids to prevent spreading a deadly virus called Tobacco Mosaic
Virus from your nasty cigarettes to your beautiful orchids.
Ethylene gas can cause the orchid's sepal to wilt--especially in
the Cattleya genus which can be effected by as little as one part of
ethylene gas to 300,000,000 parts of air. Ethylene gas is produced from
incomplete combustion of petroleum products (coal, natural gas, gasoline,
oil etc.) as well as being produced naturally by some fruits such as
apples. A basket of apples can generate enough ethylene gas to cause your
flowers to wilt and turn black. In a greenhouse, smog, if brought inside
through ventilation, is very harmful to the blooms because ethylene gas is
also present in smog. If you live in a very smoggy area you may want to
keep your windows closed on the days of high air
pollution. Non-electric (gas, propane, etc.) heaters used in
greenhouses should be vented to the outside.
If your orchid blooms suddenly
wilt, it may not be due to bad air. If the bloom suddenly fades and the
petals fold together and turn papery, an insect may have pollinated the
blooms. Look to see if there is pollinia on the stigma.