HOW TO KILL YOUR ORCHIDS!
By Milton O. Carpenter
(an acknowledged expert on the subject)
I have been growing, and killing, orchids for 50 years now and it occurred to me that I should pass on to others some of the more basic, as well as advanced methods I have discovered, and in some cases "stumbled upon" to accomplish this purpose!
(1) Never seek information on how to keep them alive. For example,
(a) Don't try to distinguish what KIND of orchid you have
(b) Don't ask for help from other orchid growers,
(c) Don't subscribe to the AOS Bulletin (c) don't go to local orchid society meetings,
(d) Don't purchase the AOS handbook on orchid pests and diseases and
(e) Don't call the AOS Director of Information Services.
RATHER OBVIOUS FUNDAMENTAL METHODS:
Aside from pouring on gasoline and striking a match, consider the following:
(1) Give the orchid far too little or too much light.
(2) As most orchids like fairly good air movement, either give them none at all or a veritable hurricane.
(3) Don't worry about what particular temperature your orchids like - a good "rule of thumb" is to treat them all alike.
(4) Forget that most orchids like rather high humidity and let the humidity drop as low as it will. Never "damp down" the benches and floors on really hot days.
(5) Remember to water every orchid every day (drench thoroughly) regardless of what kind of media or pots they are in - or very seldom water the orchids at all, allowing the pseudobulbs (those things between the top of the pot and the base of the leaves) to become very shriveled and wrinkled.
(6) Never be concerned about the quality of the water you are using - whether it's loaded with chlorines, sulfides, or whatever.
(7) Repot your orchids only when you have to and only "when you have spare time."
(8) Use just about anything handy to pot your orchids in, it really doesn't matter and there is no truth to the thinking that certain types like different potting media (that’s the stuff you put in the pot). Potting in plain old dirt from your garden is a good idea.
(9) Fertilize only once or twice a year, but when you do - really pour it on, perhaps trlple or quadruple the formula.
(10) Try to never be concerned about insects or diseases - just let nature take its course.
(1) Because orchids prefer the full light spectrum, put them under heavily colored fiberglass.
(2) Arrange your greenhouse or growing area near a brightly illuminated city street lamp so they won't know the difference between night and day.
(3) Try to locate your orchids as near as possible to heavily traveled roads - the carbon monoxide (and other goodies) will help with your job.
(4) Keep turning each pot around about one quarter turn each day so they will become thoroughly disoriented.
(5) If it gets cold, put an unvented kerosene heater in your greenhouse - the fumes can work wonders.
(6) If it gets cold, don't do anything - perhaps they will just go into hibernation.
(7) When you water, always try to water late in the afternoon or (preferably) at night. The water standing in the new leads creates unusual effects.
(8) When potting your plants always use a pot about four times as large as the plants roots. Remembering that that's the way they grow in nature.
(9) If your plant starts to look sick, NEVER take It out of the pot to see what's happening with the roots. After all, what you can't see can't hurt you, can it?
(10) Should you notice some kind of insect on a plant, just put it under the faucet and wash the critters off – don’t bother to check the other plants in its vicinity and don't worry about some kind of pesticide, that stuff's hard to handle properly and besides it leaves the greenhouse smelling poorly for days.
(11) Keep your leaves nice and clean - never spray a preventive fungicide as it leaves an ugly residue.
(12) Always use the same knife or plant shears when cutting from one plant to another and don't bother to sterilize - this is the democratlc way, whatever malady one has, soon they will all share!
I am sure there are those of you who have discovered more unusual ways to kill your orchids but I have only been growing these plants for 35 years and I am still a' learnin!!
Another method which I have found to be quite successful can also be found in instructions on how to destroy sunglasses or camera equipment. You simply set the orchid on the roof of your car and drive away....very effective.