May 21, 2023, Give Biological Control Agents a Chance.

It's quiet at the nursery; there's no need to pick up plants for sale, and everything is in place for the new season. Every 2-3 weeks, we receive some meristem plants. This is always exciting because it represents the future. If no young plants were to come in now, we would be done selling cascade cymbidiums within 3 years.

Last week, I made some crosses with devonianum. This remains a fascinating species. On the one hand, it is very difficult to grow; you never know how many years it will take to produce spikes, but it can also produce many spikes. Always beautiful hanging clusters of flowers that smell wonderful. However, the blooming period is very late in the season and the flowers are actually too small. On the plus side, it can tolerate higher temperatures, which would make it a good houseplant. So we try to introduce some of these characteristics into our existing varieties. But it remains uncertain; we have tried it a few times before but unfortunately without positive results.

I have written about this before but would like to add a bit more. At our nursery, we put in a lot of effort and spend a lot of money to biologically control various pests. Besides occasionally having to correct a spot because, for example, spider mites are getting out of hand, this goes very well. A downside of biological control is that the consumer might sometimes find a spider mite or predatory mite on the plant. This is logical to us, but it results in complaints about finding bugs.

Just recently, we also received a complaint. We sell our potting soil, in which we plant all our cymbidiums, through the website. This soil is enriched with organic nutrients to ensure that soil life starts well. We received a complaint that there were bugs coming out of the soil. Yes, we know, this happens to us too. However, these bugs only eat dead material and are not harmful to the roots or leaves and disappear after 2 weeks. Even after explaining this, they did not want to use this soil and felt we should not have sent it. Of course, they were allowed to return the soil and received a refund, but it is unfortunate that this customer does not understand how nature works.