## Wednesday, May 26, 2010

### 胡姬胡姬我爱你 (hú jī hú jī wǒ ài nǐ)

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PHOTO: 梁麒麟摄
(PHOTO by liáng Liang qí lín)

Lover of Orchid's flower, Chen Weimin (26 years), since began planting orchid, accummulated as many as 350 pots.

PHOTO: 陈伟民家外面的走廊一度摆放了350盆各式各样的胡姬花，有一回出国，盆栽死了一大半，如今仍有100多盆。（梁麒麟摄）
Chen Weimin once placed outside the corridor 350 kinds of orchid pots, once abroad, more than half died, and now only about 100 pots are left.
(PHOTO by liáng Liang qí lín)

Lack of space in front of his house, Chen Weimin had to "borrow" from his neighbours' corridor to place the flowers. His Neighbours not only do not mind, but also help to look after them. In the middle of the night when there is sound of movement at the corridor, they will get up to see if someone is stealing the orchids.

Even so, it is still hard to prevent stealing of the flowers. Several times, flower thieves manage to steal Chen Weimin's difficult to plant orchids. So Chen Weimin put the more expensive orchid species locked in an iron cage, so that thieves do not have the possibility to break in.

Chen Weimin's first pot of orchid is bought from the pasar malam (night market) when he was in the 6th grade. That was an inexpensive orchid species but extraordinary. He then start to develop his liking for Orchid.

Chen Weimin said orchid is most attractive to a wide range of places. It is the flower kingdom's largest flower. There are 30,000 natural orchid varieties, and as many as 100,000 varieties that are artificially propagated.

Among the many varieties, Chen Weimin is specially fond of the strange appearance of the devil Dendrobium (Dendrobium spectabile).

PHOTO: 魔鬼石斛兰（Dendrobium spectabile
（受访者提供）- Picture is provided by related source

He said: "While the other boys are addicted to computer games, I am crazy into collecting orchid. This is not just with the normal interest, I think I and the devil Dendrobium are very similar."

Once Chen Weimin wanted an imported orchid from Taiwan to flower, he even lower the air-conditioned in the house to 16°C, and then weared his jacket, wrapped in thick blankets to sleep.

When Chen Weimin grew up, the National Parks Board send him to Australia for studies, under a scholarship. Currently he is in National Orchid Garden as the Manager.

Wei-Min Chen admitted that when he and his girlfriend just started dating, she found it difficult to accept his orchid obsession, but now gradually learn to accept his hobby. He said that if given the opportunity, he will cultivate a new orchid species for his girlfriend.

"Hot News", lets invite the Orchid Guru to teach us how to cultivate the beautiful orchids.
By 林苑婷, yuanting@sph.com.sg

After an absence of two years, the Singapore Garden Festival is back! This activity is more exciting than in previous years.

Singapore Garden Festival will be held on July 15 to 22, at Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre. Singapore Orchid Show will be one of the highlights this year.

The flower show will have certain part meant for competition. Regional representatives will display orchid varieties from their countries. It will be bound to be an eye-opener to the public.

National Orchid Garden will also be showcasing the cultivated orchid orchid species.

National Orchid Garden Manager, Orchid Guru Chen Weimin, said the Association of Southeast Asian orchids (OSSEA) is one of the partners of this event. He said monthly meetings will be held. The Association will also hold small gathering for orchid enthusiasts to come together to share their experiences in growing orchids.

What to pay attention to in orchid cultivation?

1. 培育方法视品种而定不同品种的胡姬花需要不一样的条件来培养。有些胡姬花需要充足的阳光来生长，而有些则适合比较阴暗的地方。若把后者放在阳光下曝晒，可能会导致胡姬花夭折，而若把需要阳光的品种放在阴暗处，该胡姬花就无法健康成长。
Breeding methods are different from species to species. Different species of orchids need different conditions to develop. Some orchids need plenty of sunlight to grow, while others are more suited to dark places. If the latter is exposed to strong sunlight the orchid may died, but if those that need the sun is placed in the shadow all the while, the orchids cannot grow up healthily.

In addition, the frequency of watering should be determined according to the species. Growth in charcoal or bricks species required watering once or twice a day, because then the soil can retain enough water, Those orchid planted in the soil only needs to be watered once a day.

Chen Weimin suggested that when buying orchids, can understand more details of the species from the flower shop owner.

2. 浇水时需注意……
Attention when watering ........
a.不要在大太阳下或晚上浇花建议在早晨或傍晚时分浇花。当任何一种植物曝晒在阳光底下，若在这个时候浇花，水分就会像放大镜一样，集中太阳的光线，因而灼伤植物。
Do not proposed watering the flowers in the morning or evening sun. When any kind of plant that is exposure under the sun and watered, the water will act as a magnifying glass to concentrate the sun's rays, and burn the plant.

There is less air circulation at night, and also it is more humid.So watering at this time may result in the breeding of moss.

If need to water in the evening, Chen Weimin suggested that a fan be placed next to orchids, to create air circulation.

b. 不要直接喷水在花上热带地区的胡姬花较多是长在火炭或砖块等，浇水时需把整个根部浇湿，稍微喷些水是不够的。此外，浇花时也切忌直接将水喷在花卉上，因为如果胡姬花花粉湿了，花朵就会更容易凋谢。
Do not spray water directly on the orchids flower. In tropical areas spray the charcoal or bricks, to wet the entire root. A little water sprayed is not enough. In addition, avoid spraying directly onto the flowers. This will wet the orchid pollen and the flowers will wither more easily.

PHOTO: 蝴蝶兰Phalaenopsis hybrid

3. 选择适当花盆野生的胡姬花本是寄生在其他植物上，根部习惯性地暴露在外头。选择花盆时，不可太小，需要一些空间让根部能够呼吸”。
Select the appropriate pot for wild orchids which are parasitic on other plants. The roots are habitually exposed to the outside. The selected pot should not be too small asthe roots need some space to "breathe."

In addition, Chen Weimin found that because the roots of orchids do not look very neat, a lot of people will want to move the orchid to larger pots.

He suggested that unless the roots completely surrounded by the flower pots or root growth has begun to deteriorate, change the pot only once every two years. The basin should be gradually increased in size, rather than a one-time move to a big pot. This makes the new branches unable to sprout.

4. 施肥时应“少量多餐”市面上的胡姬花肥料有两种：一种是让胡姬花能健康成长，另一种则是促进胡姬花开花的肥料。
Fertilization should be in "small portion". There are two type of orchid fertilizers available in the market. One is for healthy growth of orchid plants and the other is for flowering.

It doesn't matter what fertilizer is being used, should first follow the instructions on the fertilization package. Chen Weimin said the best way is to add more water frequently.

He said that sometimes too much fertilizer will make orchid difficult to cope and it will die, Therefore "smaller but more frequent meals" to reduce the fertilizer from bringing harming to the plant.
By 林苑婷, yuanting@sph.com.sg

Translated by: Using nciku (www.nciku.com), an online dictionary with English and Chinese language (with Pinyin) and Google Translate.

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