Motes Orchids

"Sophisticated shoppers stop at Motes Orchids..." -Susan Orlean, The Orchid Thief

Hurricane advice and Sale Postponed to Sept 7, 2019

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Hurricane Dorian is a dangerous and unpredictable storm. Although we initially believed that the track had us in the clear, the most recent advisories have moved its track southward. So, while our thoughts remain mostly with our friends up the coast, Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties cannot rule out a direct hit. Therefore we are postponing our sale this Saturday until the next Saturday, September 7, 2019. And, we are reproducing our hurricane preparation advice.

When a hurricane is looming one should run all the orchids as dry as possible to reduce the threat of fungus and bacteria. But contra-intuitively, just before the storm strikes one should saturate the orchids to the max. You should do this five to twelve hours before landfall, depending on your schedule.

First, because we want the plants to be as heavy as possible to help prevent them being blown away or about. Second, because if one's water source is a well, electricity for the pump may be off for days or even weeks. Thoroughly watered plants will be much happier should this occur. Even if you are able to bring all your collection inside, water them thoroughly with two to three applications spaced a few minutes apart. They will be perfectly happy for a day or two without water and we will all have enough mess to deal with without watering orchids in the house.

Remember, wind velocity increases exponentially as height increases. Get your plants as close to the ground as possible but off the ground as flooding may saturate them with fungus and bacteria. Usually it is not wise to attempt to cover them with a tarp or shade cloth as the whipping of the cloth by the wind likely will cause more harm than the wind itself.

If you are growing under shade cloth, the cloth should be furled tightly to protect it. Bright burning sun is typical in the wake of a hurricane and shade will be invaluable If you are growing under trees be prepared for the possibility that the protective canopy will be destroyed. Have a plan to protect your plants from sun burn.

Good luck and please feel free to share this information with whomever may benefit from it.

Your Friends at Motes Orchids