Preparing Orchids for Show

Clean the pseudobulbs and leaves (water helps to soften the dry papery covering (cataphyll) around mature pseudobulbs so that you can gently rub it off).

Make sure the media in the container is clean and free of weeds.

Wipe the top of the leaves (vinegar, lemon juice, sprite, 7 up, diluted milk, etc.) to remove residue. Do not use commercial spray to shine the leaves, it is not good for the plant.

Carefully inspect plant for pests and if any are found remove them with alcohol and a Q tip. If there is a bad infestation, do not bring the plant to the show.

Inspect the flowers for thrips and other damage. If a flower is marred by the spots of Botrytis fungus it is better to leave the plant at home.

Carefully stake the inflorescence if this will help present the flowers to their best advantage. If you can plan ahead of time it is best to train the inflorescence as it emerges and is soft, a mature inflorescence is hardened off and can break easily.

Provide the plant label information in the interactive form to the Plant List Coordinator who will assign a plant number to your plant. Take a piece of masking tape, write your name and the number you received from the Plant List Coordinator and affix to the side of pot. This unique number identifies your plant and this is how the Exhibit Committee knows the proper plant owner so it will be returned to you. Once your plant is identified by your name and the plant number, remove or bury the label in the pot so it is not visible.

Remove any wire hangers, hoops, etc.

Water each plant thoroughly before bringing to the show.

If the plant is in plastic, drop it into a clay pot for stability. Place each plant carefully in a large box or container for transport. To keep the plants from moving around and sustaining damage you can put crumpled newspaper around the pots. Some people use cotton batting, florists shred or other material to protect the flowers and inflorescences from damage

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