At the Women’s Club member meeting on Wednesday, January 10, 2024, Chris Gay, a Master Gardener, was our guest speaker. Mr. Gay is an expert on all varieties of orchids and has a green house for rarer orchids, although his main interest is in orchids that can be grown in Northeast Florida. Mr. Gay brought along beautiful orchids from his yard, including a tree branch that he has super-glued orchid plants on.
Mr. Gay gave a brief history of how orchids came to the United States, and shared what orchids are best to grow in our own backyards. Mr. Gay also dispelled several myths – one favorite of putting an ice cube each week in the pot. He shared that orchids don’t like cold weather and putting an ice cube in their pot goes against their “nature”. He also said that orchids are very easy to grow, enjoying the Florida humidity, but needing to be drenched every few days. When gifted an orchid, the main thing is to repot them in a non-plastic pot with lots of holes, and to use a non-soil base. Mr. Gay said that when an orchid plant starts growing weeds, it is time to repot them because the “base” has composted into soil.
Mr. Gay answered member questions throughout his program. He encouraged all of us to look “up”, as lots of orchids are growing in oak tree branches.