Oh, what an Orchid! These exotic blooms brighten up any home, so there is no surprise they are so Widley popular. Decorating your windowsills and adding simple elegancy to any bedside table. Although these vibrant beauties are great additions to your home, they are not your typical house plants and have specifics needs to reach their potential. So, we at Chepstow Garden centre have pulled together 8 tips and tricks to help you keep your Orchids oh so lovely.
- Tell me what you need! Most orchids need moist but well-draining conditions. Orchids are best planted in orchid specific compost or other planting mediums such as wood or bark, sphagnum peat moss, rocks, cork, or charcoal. These types of potting material allow for them to retain moisture for the orchid as and when it is needed. These also drain well helping prevent excess water.
2. An orchid is not like most potted plants; they don’t need regular re-potting and often can thrive if root bound. If you do replant, replant in the same pot with fresh compost or potting agent of your choosing. If you find the plant won’t fit back in then consider moving to a slightly larger pot.
3. Ouch that’s hot! Orchids such as a moth Orchid needs bright but indirect light, an east or west facing windowsill is and ideal home for your bloom. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves. If your orchid gets scorched, don’t remove the damaged leaves until the plant has plenty of new strong leaves. Commonly orchids prefer humidity however, central heated homes tend to have dryer air. So, mist the foliage every two to three days avoiding spraying the flowers, as the water can mark the petals.
4. Pesky pests! The most common pests for an orchid are scale insects and mealybugs. Symptoms that your orchid may have an infestation include, stickiness on the leaves or nearby surfaces, or black ashy mould. Scale insects are found on the surface of the leaves or the flower stalks. Mealybugs like new leaves so check nearer the base of your orchid. Remove pests by hand, use a soapy sponge to wipe the leaves down removing the pests and mould. However, if you prefer you can spray your orchid with an insecticide.
5. You Can Do It! Give your orchid some support, large orchids require greater support due to their longer stems. Use a stake in the soil and small clips to help support the stem to stay upright. Without support and care your orchid may struggle to flower and support itself.
6. I am parched! When it comes to watering your orchid, overwatering is the most common way people kill their orchids. To help avoid overwatering your plant, before watering lift the pot first to check if it feels heavy. If the pot is heavy the plant does not need watering, only water when it feels light.
7. Another way to check if a moth orchid needs watering is to look at its roots. If they are green do not water, wait until they look silvery. Make sure to Feed your orchid with orchid fertiliser in spring until autumn.
8. One, Two, Three, easy methods to water your orchids.
A) Submerging, fill the clear pot and holding pot so that the orchid roots are fully submerged. Leave to soak for 10-15 minutes, then remove the orchid from the water. Allow it to drain for 5 minutes, submerge your orchid once a week.
B) Ice cubes, yes you read correctly. pop one cube twice a week on top of the potting medium underneath the leaves. Make sure to remove any excess water at the bottom of the pot but this is a great hassle-free way to water your orchid.
C) Pouring, lightly water and make sure the water directly onto the root’s underneath the leaves. Making sure to remove any excess water after, watering this way once every week is preferred.
So, there you have it our 8 tips and tricks to help you care for your orchids. Allowing you to sit back and take in the beauty of these amazing flowers knowing you are doing your best for them.
Phyllis says she loves orchids as they make great presents for friends and family. she also thinks they add simple and elegant beauty to any home and make ideal focal points on bed side tables, shelves and windowsills.