Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Orchid Care

One of the most common questions we field here at Bloomers is
"why do I have such bad luck with orchids?"

It's not a question of luck, really.
Orchids truly are no more or less demanding than many other plants we bring into our home.
Once you know what conditions will make your orchid happy, it's a snap!

Watering seems to be the big hazard.
Most people will kill their orchid with kindness.
Water when the bark is dry to the touch.
In the summer, this may be only about once a week, and less in winter.
How much to water? About 3 ice cubes worth!
Don't let water stand on the leaves.

Recognize that your orchid will not bloom forever.
Many orchid varieties will bloom for weeks, even months, but eventually, the blooms will fade.
Once they are all finished, clip off the spent stalk just above the first 'node" (small bump).
This is what will signal the plant to begin making flowers again.

North facing windows are best.
Harsh light in a hot window will not be your orchid's friend.
Remember where orchids grow in the wild...protected within shaded forests and glens.

If your plant is healthy,  roots should be bright green.
Never clip off those aerial roots that may clamber out of the pot.

Lastly, which type of orchid is best for you? It's a matter of preference, really.
The Phalaenopsis orchid is the most common and readily available.
You'll recognize it by the few leaves it has, close to the pot, and the flower stem
(or occasionally, 2 stems) will rise tall above it all.
Then there is the stately Cymbidium orchid, the King of orchids.
Really more of a showplant, it's stunning with it's huge crown of long strap-like leaves, and multiple stems of flowers.
 Bloomers Floral Design
122 South Front St.
Wilmington, NC 28401