2Spray regularly with an organic insecticide at least once in a month. Spray underside of the leaves as well as the potting mixture.
Scope for floriculture in Kerala state
Kerala is known as God’s own country and the climatic conditions are well suited for orchid cultivation. High humidity, moderate temperature and good rainfall, is ideal for orchidgrowing. But one has to choose the right kind of species such as sun loving, cool growing or intermediate varieties.Arachinis, Asocentrum, Renanthera, Vanda and their hybrids need full sun for freeflowering. Shading, if any, suppresses flowering. On the other hand, Dendrobium, Oncidium,Phalaneopsis etc cannot tolerate direct sun.A temperature of 18-20 degree C gives good flowering in Oncidium ,Phalaneopsis, paphiopedilum, cattaleya etc. Arachinis Vanda, Renanthera, need 21-32 degree C during daytimeand 18-21 during night.The popular varieties suitable for cultivation in Kerala include the famed ArentheraAneeblack and Muhammed Hanif. There are also dendrobium varieties such as Sonia 17, Nagoya Pink, Kasium white etc.
My role in Orchid cultivation.
My interest in orchid cultivation developed accidentally, having enrolled as a member of Kerala Cut-flower Producers Society at the insistence of Mr. A. Sukesan Pachalloor, the thenPresident of the society. Thereafter, I began attending the society’s monthly meetings regularly.The society was publishing a monthly bulletin. In that bulletin along with the activities of thesociety, there are some useful and informative articles written by experts in this field. By readingthese articles and interacting with society members I became more interested in orchidcultivation.After gaining theoretical knowledge I started some practical work, cultivating some plants as a hobby in my residential area. I erected small green houses on the building terrace andin front of my house. Every thing started in a modest way, but systematically, with a smallnumber of plants. To start with, I purchased some Anthurium and Dendrobium from theFederation of Floriculture, a Kerala Government undertaking at Anayara, Trivandrum.With the initial success in cultivation, my interest doubled. The next step was to get moreinformation and knowledge. I visited the club members’ farms in different places. However, Iwas not satisfied with the information gleaned, so I arranged to get some good books such asOrchid Growing in the Tropics, a book from orchid society of south east Asia (Singapore),Growing Orchids, the complete practical guide to orchids and their cultivation, published byHermes House, London. I also obtained a few Indian books published in Kerala by S.T. Mercyand Bobby Dale.By that time, my house and the compound were full of orchid plants and there was noscope for further development. I was confident that I could extend my hobby into a business.Bearing all this in mind, I purchased a plot admeasuring 52 cents at Vazhathottam,Kolliyoor,Trivandrum in July 2003. Infrastructure like compound fencing, digging a well,