Recently we went out to all of our “Orchid Care Zone” subscribers and asked you about your orchids and how you care for them. We got some great responses, and we wanted to share them with you.
I hope you pick up a few ideas and tips. Plus you’ll see that we ALL make some mistakes from time to time on our orchid growing adventure! 🙂
With that in mind, let’s jump in with our new “Subscriber Spotlight” on Shashidhar Sastry from India!
1. How many orchids are in your collection?
I have about 150 + species and numerous hybrids, but the total numbers would be around 1000.
2. What is your most-prized orchid?
I love Paphiopedilums, specifically Paphiopedilum fairrieanum.
3. How did you get started growing orchids, and how long have you been growing orchids?
Being a professional forester and working in Bio diversity rich North East part of India way back in early 1980’s up to 2011 I developed liking for this unique, bizarre and mind-boggling beauty of species in its natural habitats. Since then my passion has been growing orchids. I started from 1983 on wards and more meticulously from 2005 onwards
4. Where do you live and what type of climate do you grow your orchids in?
I live in Bangalore City, which is in Southern part of India. Luckily we are blessed with a salubrious climate throughout the year. As it is a tropical climate we have a year-round growing season. I have shade house set up for my orchids. Earlier I had grown at much higher altitude mainly cool growing orchids.
5. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made growing orchids?
Well it has been every grower’s folly that pampering the orchids at times with lot of water as it is a tropical climate, but experience has made us little wiser with watering. My other biggest mistake was crowding of plants due to lack of space.
6. What are your favorite orchid resources to learn from?
We have a local Orchid Society and we meet bi-monthly and exchange views, talks, growing experiences. Apart from this, I travel a lot within the country visiting areas of orchid natural habitats and then of course internet sources including institutions such as yours, Orchid board, and RHS newsletter etc.
7. What’s the coolest trick you’ve ever learned growing orchids?
For the newly potted plants or repotted, keep the root zone moist with a wad of moss to enable the roots to grow. I also mount most of my Dendrobium species
8. If you’d like to share any additional comments about your orchid love, please add it in the box below.
Being a forester i would love some of these species propagated and reintroduced in its native habitat and the main thing is to create awareness about in situ conservation of orchids.
What do you think of that cool trick? Leave us a comment below and tell us about it!
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