Orchids can often be perceived as being difficult to look after, but this is generally because their flowering period can be as short as six weeks. Just because the plant has stopped flowering, doesn’t mean you’ve dealt it a fatal blow!
The basics to keep in mind are:
- Bright but cool rooms - no direct sunlight
- No fruit nearby - ripening fruits give off gas that makes the flowers drop
- Water once a week - dunk it in a bowl of water for a few minutes
- Feed it - plants thrive with nutrients, feed your orchid around once a month
- Prune - any dry roots can be snipped, and when the flowers drop cut back to the next notch
Our extra expert advice? Here’s a few additional handy hints to help you get the best from your orchid:
- If you’ve got the central heating on, you can also mist the leaves as they’re tropical plants they like a humid environment
- Does the pot feel heavy when you lift it up to water it? Then it probably doesn’t need watering just yet, there’s still water retained in the bark - green roots are fairly well hydrated, but if they’re more silver-toned, it’s time for a drink
- Fertiliser is best between spring and autumn
- When the stem has finished flowering, cut it off at the base, a new one will return!
If you’ve been nurturing your orchid for a few years and are the proud parent of a more mature plant, you can repot your orchid every three or four years. Special orchid bark can be purchased from garden centres, make sure to keep some space around the roots, and don’t worry if it takes a little while to settle down after moving to its new home - we all take time to settle in somewhere new!
Orchids do sometimes have problems, the most common ones are listed below, along with a few cures:
- Think there might be insects? Check the surface of the leaves for stickiness or dusty mould, and use a soapy sponge to clean the leaves and deter the pests.
- Flowers dropping quickly? Move your plant to a brighter spot - some plants prefer east or west facing windows.
- Grey roots? Your plant needs a drink! Soak it in water for 10 to 15 minutes and then remove to drain.
Ready to take the step to becoming an orchid expert? Click here to order yourself a plant today.