Growing Orchids in Coastal Region

December 22, 2013

It was in the year 2008 that I caught the taste of Orchids while I met some of TOSKAR (The Orchid Society of Karnataka) members who have, out of their passion and craze, made excellent Orchid gardens at Bangalore. Getting inspired and motivated by them, I started growing Orchids in Mangalore. Though I had my first set of plants die due to my ignorance of their requirements for Mangalore weather, I experimented further and was successful in growing them in my style.

I mainly cultivated Dendrobium Orchids, which are the most commercial for their cut flowers while they bloom throughout the year without taking resting period for coastal weather. Dendrobiums need more humidity and in Mangalore, we have good humidity by default. I have grown other varieties for the people who have passion of Orchid garden. Epiphytes Orchids such as Cattleya, Mokkaras, Vandas, Oncidiums, Arenthera, crumenatum, epidendrum and Rhyncostylis and terrestrial Orchids such as Spethoglottis, Paphiopedilum, Cymbidiums, Phaius, Peristeria elata and Ludicia Orchids are in my collection. Dendrobium species that are annually blooming Orchids such as Densiflorum, Formosum, vanda tessellate, Fimbriatum, Superbum and coelogyne etc are also growing in my green house. I have collected these species mainly from the trees of Madikere, Sakleshpur and Chikmagalur. There are some species that are special gifts added to my collection from my customers, friends and well wishers.

I started off with the small scale cultivation and increased the number gradually. Today I have about 1500 Dendrobium Orchid plants. My speciality is that I grow Orchids from their seedling stage. Therefore, the plants are adjusted to our weather and can continue to do well when they are taken away from my garden. I have people approaching me directly for Orchid plants after participating in flower shows organised by DK horticulture department.

The support and encouragement of DK horticulture department and Krishi Sangha is highly momentous. They have given me an opportunity to share my knowledge to the people who have come to learn on Orchids. It has been a great pleasure guiding and teaching on how to grow Orchids in our coastal weather. During these sessions, I have explained thoroughly on rooting pattern, propagating method, pest control, creating artificial humidity and method of supplying nutrients to Orchids. DK horticulture department has considered me as a horticulturist in growing Orchids and have also availed me the Certificate of Registration as seed and plant importer.

Apart from Orchids, I also grow Rosy Adeniums that are commonly known as Desert Roses. I have been importing seeds and grafted plants from Thailand. Adeniums have taken over the demand of rose plants for their showy and colourful flowers that look like roses. These plants are desert oriented therefore need less water, direct sunlight and are easy to maintain in garden.

Guidelines for growing the most common variety (Dendrobium Orchids) in the coastal region are:

• Orchids grow best in east or west windows/garden where it receives just 2-3 hours of morning or evening sunlight. Never expose the plants under direct hot sun since they get exhausted and leaves will suffer from sun burns.

• Orchids need plenty of fresh air for their healthy growth. They need more air around their roots, therefore they cannot grow in hard soil/mud.

• Roots of the Orchid plants should not be allowed to dry out completely. Over-watering can kill the plants. Use pots with adequate holes at the bottom and on sides. Water deposition on crown will lead the crown get rotten.

• Potting mix could be mixture of husk pieces, coal/tile pieces or peat moss. Water stagnation at the bottom will cause the roots to get rotten. Let the roots grow freely out of the pot. Healthy roots will be either silver-shiny grey with brown tip or green in colour.

• Use balanced NPK with the dosage of 3grm/ltr diluted in water sprayed on leaves and roots weekly for the healthy growth and flowering.

• Protect the plants from snails/slugs which chew the flowers, leaves and roots. These pests rarely come out during the day but come out from damp places at night. They often shelter themselves between the roots and keep eating new roots. Therefore, the plant gradually dies. Sprinkle Metaldehyde pellets to control the slugs. Sprinkling ash or salt around the pot (not on plants or roots of plants) is also effective way of controlling them. Flying insects can be controlled by adding 3ml Neem oil along with NPK spray.



By Queeni Lasrado
Queeni Lasrado from Anegundi, Bejai, Mangalore, works closely with DK horticulture department as a resource person to train the public on how to grow Orchids. She is registered as a horticulturist from the department of horticulture, Bangalore by name Alia Orchid Care.
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Comment on this article

  • Dr. N. Ravichandran, TIruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu

    Thu, Apr 10 2014

    I am Dr. Ravichandran, Ph.D. Botany, you have very good collections of Orchids, I am very much interested on orchids. I have collected one Dendrobium species from Manipal University campus, at Manipal. I want to know more about this. I request your mail id. My mail id is, Thanking you

  • harsha s shetty , india

    Wed, Feb 05 2014

    Hi, very good work queeny we wish u the success.

  • Vidya, Mangalore/Sharjah

    Mon, Dec 30 2013

    Great job & amazing collection.You deserve all praises for your patience.Wish you all the best in your efforts to continue this rare and interesting cultivation.

  • Mallya Gopinath, Mangalore

    Sun, Dec 29 2013

    I wanted to start growing Orchids in Mangalore 25 years back. I could not do it for want of plants. I collected some from Western Ghats but was unable to make them flower as I lacked the knowledge of growing Orchids. I saw Mrs. Queeni Lasrado's Orchid Collection. I was really taken aback to see such a great Collection of Orchids in Mangalore. I was really happy to see the orchids and appreciate her interest which she must have started as a hobby. Congratulation on your success madam.

  • Nishel, Mangalore

    Thu, Dec 26 2013

    Ur efforts and interest in horticulture is appreciable. Being a Manglorean catholic lady u really deserve all praises for ur hard work.
    May your business flourish and reach greater heights.

    best regards

  • William Pais, mangalore

    Thu, Dec 26 2013

    Orchids are amazing flowers for their variety colour and size. It is really a wonder That Queenie has grown varieties of them in Coastal weather. Congratulations on your exhibition of these Orchids.

  • Queeni Lasrado, Bejai/Mangalore

    Wed, Dec 25 2013

    I sincerely thank for the great support and words of inspiration. eI am glad to invite all for the Orchid Exhibition held at Alia Orchid Care, Anegundi, Bejai Mangalore from 26th December till 31st December. You may contact me for info on orchids and guidance on contact number 9880992367

  • AUBB, Kuwait

    Wed, Dec 25 2013

    Great orchids are catching up with Coastal region!.

    DW would have done a great favor if they had published the location or contact details of finding Queeni Lasrado.


  • J M Bhandary, Mangalore/USA

    Wed, Dec 25 2013

    Congratulations. Great work. Nice pictures and article..Best wishes ..

  • Alban D' Souza, Loretto, Farla

    Tue, Dec 24 2013

    Dear Queeni,

    Very nice to see your Orchid garden and your efforts. I brought many orchid plants form Darjeeling,Gangtok,Namchi but none of them are survived.Please give me your contact no so that i can visit your place. my email:

  • Orchids, Loretto, Farla

    Tue, Dec 24 2013

    Dear Queeni,

    Very nice to see your Orchid gardan and your efforts. I brought many orchid plants form Darjeeling,Gangtok,Namchi but non of them are survived.Please give me your contact no so that i can visit your place. my email:

  • CA nitin j shetty, mangalore

    Tue, Dec 24 2013

    Best wishes Queenie. She has an excellent knowledge of orchid farming and I appreciate her vocabulary of the botanical names of the various orchid species.

  • maxi, kinnigoly/mumbai

    Tue, Dec 24 2013

    Quinee,keep it up . very innovative `out box thoughts`.
    convert your entrepreneurial skills in to ENTERPRISE.

  • Priya Saldanha, Shirthady/Kuwait

    Mon, Dec 23 2013

    Hi Queeni, Very good and informative article. The success to this is because of your hard work and dedication. All the best for your exhibition from 26th - 31st December.

  • Arun Bhat U C, Mangalore

    Mon, Dec 23 2013

    I would like to know if anyone would be interested in a BOOT model for developing such an orchid farm at Mangalore, if the necessary infrastructure is made available.Would love to develop a farm with someone who has the necessary know how and interest for doing the same.

  • Wilson Saldanha, Shirthady/ Kuwait

    Mon, Dec 23 2013

    Hi Queeni, Very informative article. Keep writing and sharing your knowledge.

  • Grace Noronha, Bijai

    Mon, Dec 23 2013

    Very interesting article on orchids!! You have really put in lot of efforts to know and grow orchids. A very good start Queenie. Congratulations! You may definitely bring awareness among young learners at schools who would like to take it as a hobby. Wishing you all the best!!!

  • Esthela vaz, Pangala/London

    Sun, Dec 22 2013

    Good Luck Queeny, you really work hard.we wish you all the success.

  • Dr. Anand & Geeta N Pereira, Sakleshpur/Mangalore

    Sun, Dec 22 2013

    Happy to learn that you are a self taught Horticulturist. Growing Orchids is a challenge in in itself and it is indeed noteworthy that you have taken the trouble to understand and identify the biotic and abiotic factors that determine the flowering. We do hope you can conduct small workshops in schools and colleges to create a interest in the young minds.

  • Jawar D'Souza, M'lore/Doha

    Sun, Dec 22 2013

    Very good work and research,keep it up, I also will do something like that one day. May be growing rocket leaves.

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