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Even More Expert Orchid Care Tips from Bonnet House’s Orchid Curator


Expert Orchid Care Tips 3

Evelyn Bartlett, the original owner of beautiful, historic Bonnet House, was a passionate orchid collector. The varieties she left to Bonnet House comprise one of the largest collections of orchids in the Southeast United States, attracting orchid lovers – both enthusiasts and novices – from all over the world. Orchid aficionados are really interested in taking care of their plants, so here are even more tips from Bonnet House’s expert orchid curator:

• Household rubbing alcohol kills many pests on orchids.
• Mild dishwashing detergent will act as a pesticide.  Add 2 oz. (never anti-bacterial) to 1 gallon of water and spray the plants thoroughly. Repeat in 1 week.  (In very dry weather, water the orchid thoroughly the day before.)
• Be on alert for problems with snails during rainy weather.  The damage will appear as holes in the leaves and usually happens at night.
• Systemic treatments mean that the product is absorbed into the plants system and it works from within.  Topical treatments mean it stays on the surface of the plant.  Topical treatments wash off with rain or regular watering.
• Preparing for hurricane season, make sure your plans include what you would do with your orchids.  Don’t get caught off-guard.
• Become educated on the cold tolerance of your plants to be prepared for winter.  For example, vandas and cane type dendrobiums are very cold sensitive (below 55 degrees) and cattleyas are very cold tolerant.

Our beautiful orchid collection is one of the many reasons why a visit to South Florida is truly not complete without time spent at beautiful, historic Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. The story told here spans and parallels a wide swath of American history and makes a visit both to these pages and to the estate a uniquely educational and entertaining experience. Bonnet House is located at 900 North Birch Road, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304. For more information and details, please call (954) 563-5393 or visit

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