ALOHA FROM LINDA: I’ve been enchanted with the beauty of orchids for almost a decade. An orchid will typically bloom once a year, for several months. Once the bloom is finished, some pruning (and periodic fertilizing) is needed so that it spends the rest of the year generating leaves and sending out a new bloom spike. Watching the new growth and buds unwrap each year is the intriguing part of orchid tending, since the plant's shape and blossom coloring may not be identical from year to year.
Hawaii is one of the best locations to grow orchids due to our perfect weather. Here, you can keep these delicate plants outside, and then bring them indoors when they are blossoming. There are thousands of orchid varieties in our state.
For beginners, I would recommend joining a local orchid club. For example, there are about ten clubs on our island of Oahu. Membership fees range from $10 to $15 annually. Monthly meetings include hands-on plantings and lectures from enthusiastic master growers. A free orchid plant is provided to every member. It’s a fun-filled meeting, including refreshments, and you meet people with the same interests <wink>.
I started with a few orchids and accumulated more from each meeting, eventually ending up with more than fifty plants. Currently, I am no longer keeping my plants in pots. Instead, I’m tying the orchid plants to various trees in my garden, so that their roots start growing and melding with the tree bark. Rather than watering fifty individual pots, I can gently spray down the tree trunks and enjoy the various blossoms throughout the year, since each plant has a different blooming cycle and schedule.
I’d be happy to share my knowledge and experience with anyone who is starting out with these beautiful plants. On our Media pages, additional photos of orchid collections are featured in a slideshow, and the 2014 Ewa Society Orchid Club showcase can be viewed in a video. A four minute video tour of Linda's garden is included above.