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Darla Miller is a master gardener. She is a member and past president of the Newport Orchid Society. Darla is currently the Orchid Curator for Sherman Gardens. Darla presented many wonderful tips on caring for Orchids. She started by sharing how to repot Orchids. She first looks for leaves. If the Orchid has no leaves, it won’t live. She pinches the “sad” flowers off. Next, she counts the nodes and diagonally cuts just after the second node; this forces energy back into the plant. When she waters her Orchids, she does it in the morning so the plant has the day to absorb the moisture. Most orchids don’t like their “feet” to be wet. If you use ice cubes, place them under the leaves. It is important to keep utensils clean. Viruses are exchanged through tools and can kill Orchids. Darla recommends 3 In 1 oil to clean the clippers and then files the beveled edges only. When repotting she uses a mix of 6 parts Orchid bark, 1 part perlite, and 1 part charcoal. When transplanting, be sure to ‘tickle’ the roots free! She trims the loose and dead roots and cauterizes them with a sprinkle of cinnamon! After she repots, she waters weekly and weakly with a diluted Orchid General fertilizer (20-20-20). She then discussed cymbidiums. She uses Osmocote outdoors only with them. Cymbidiums need a 40 degree difference in winter in order to rebloom. Darla recommended cleaning bugs off with 70/30 alcohol. She also sprays leaf shine on the leaves. She advised giving your orchids a vacation outside in the summer! Re-pot them every 2-3 years and place in windows with indirect sunlight. It was an extremely informative and educational talk.

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