At one time in our lives, we had a large orchid collection. When we emigrated to New Zealand, we vowed not to venture back into growing orchids.  Forward 10 years, and in a moment of weakness, we bought an orchid from Tuckers Orchid Nursery – Cattleya Intermedia Orlato var ‘Rio’.

Cattleya Interedia Orlato, Bio Leaf Plant Nutrients, New Zealand

When the orchid finished flowering, it was placed under a tree and forgotten about for several years. Suffering from neglect and lack, the orchid was left to adapt or die. I can’t remember what the trigger was, but one day we decided that we should pay a little more attention to it and give her some TLC. This started our quest to find a suitable fertiliser to feed it.

Our search led us to Len Cobb, who at that time was marketing Dyna-Gro in New Zealand. The first bottle of Dyna-Gro we bought was GROW 7-9-5, and Len assured us that if we fed our orchids every week with GROW, our plants would do well.

True to form, we never followed his advice and probably fed her once a month. Len casually mentioned that he was ‘getting out’ of marketing Dyna-Gro and that we should consider taking it over. It took us another 3 years to make up our minds before we imported our first shipment of Dyna-Gro products.

Not long after this, we established a company Bio Leaf Plant Nutrients Ltd, with the express purpose of marketing Dyna-Gro and other allied products in New Zealand.

Well, what about our orchid? The first year, it produced 4 flowers, and now, this year (2018), it has produced a magnificent crop of 26 flowers in total. It has been consistently fed with a Dyna-Gro Nutrient Solution for the past 3 years.

Cultural Information:

  • We grow all our orchids in a poly-type greenhouse covered with 50% shade cloth in summer and no shade cloth in winter.
  • The orchid is growing in large chunks of hardwood charcoal.
  • Every time we water our orchids, we apply fertiliser, either Orchid-Pro, GROW or BLOOM. These nutrient solutions supply all 16 essential nutrients required for optimal growth and health. This means that there is no need to use any other fertiliser as all the nutrients required to support plant growth and health are contained within one product, ie the nutrient solution formulations also include calcium – no need to add lime to your potting mix.
  • We also include Pro-TeKt to the nutrient solution. We use Pro-TeKt to supply silicon and higher levels of potassium which builds stronger plant cell walls. Pro-TeKt also helps plants to improve resistance to pest and disease infestation, drought and heat resistance, uptake of nutrients and improves cell metabolic rates.
  • Occasionally we include Mag-Pro to boost magnesium, sulphur and phosphorus levels. Mag-Pro is used as a blossom booster to support flowering and develop large, vibrant, fragrant flowers.
  • All of the above products are used at a dilution rate of 1ml to 1.5 litres of water.

I guess you are wondering what are we going to do with her once she has finished flowering? Pot on into a bigger pot or break her up into smaller divisions. I don’t really know. Part of me says she is too big for the greenhouse and needs to be divided into many smaller divisions, and another part says well if she produced 26 flowers this year, how many will she produce next year?