Aerides Culture

LIGHT: Aerides prefers a good deal of light, slightly more than cattleyas, slightly less than vandas. A brightly lighted place – short of sunburning the plant is best, and induces profuse flowering. Exposure to sun through house screening and especially in the morning is very good. These plants like bright sun, but not great heat. Therefore, do not expose to bright sun during the summer without the protection of screening.

TEMPERATURE: These plants prefer warm humid conditions, with abundant, freely moving air. They should not be subjected to temperatures below 50° F for any length of time. Protection is needed in this area in the winter.

WATER: Shredded or chunks of tree fern fiber or coarse bark are the preferred media, with gravel added. Perfect drainage is required, as these orchids grow throughout the year, and require a good deal of water at all times. Water at least 3 times a week if drainage is perfect. One of these waterings should have added food. These plants do best in wooden baskets, which allow good drainage, and when repotting is necessary, the wood basket may be placed complete into a larger basket, without injuring the roots already formed.

FOOD: As with most other orchids, several feedings a month of ¼ strength balanced fertilizer – such as Peters 20-20-20, is desirable, since the roots receive several small meals a month instead of one.

KEIKIS: Offshoots – known as keikis form easily. They may be left on the plant or may be removed with a sharp knife when each young plant has several roots of its own. If removed, it is best to paint the site of removal with a fungicide to prevent infection.