Due To Requests, Here is a Brief Guide to Orchid Care - [Video at Foot of Page]
So you've bought an orchid or more likely it was as a gift ... congratulations! These beautiful flowers are rapidly becoming the most popular potted houseplant, behind only poinsettias at Christmas.
For many people, getting a gift orchid raises a question: What should I do with it to keep it? For many people, their first gift orchid is the beginning of a long-term love affair with these exotic flowers (a bit like Bonsai!). But it can seem like a long way from that lovely gift orchid to a thriving collection of flowering plants. Here, I'll out-line the intial steps and key points about Orchids and secondly a description on how to re-pot.....
Identify Your Orchid
There are about 30,000 species of orchids in the wild, and more than 100,000 registered hybrids. Yet when it comes to gift orchids, the overwhelming majority are one of two varieties:
- Phalaenopsis, also called moth orchids. These plants have round flowers with a pronounced lip that grow on a single tall stalk arising from a whorl of fleshy, oval leaves. Flowers are usually white, purple or pink, or some combination thereof.
- Dendrobium. Dendrobiums are sometimes called cane orchids. They have smaller flowers that grow in rows on stalks that arise from thick canes, oftentimes with several flower clusters per plant. Flowers are typically white or purple. Dendrobium leaves are narrow and emerge from the sides of the cane.
Knowing the name of your orchid will help you later, after flowering and care technique is important.
First Things First:
When you first get your orchid, it will likely be in bloom. Obviously, you want to prolong the bloom as long as possible, so whatever the tag says, here are a few tips that can help.
First, most gift orchids are potted in the wrong conditions for long-term growth. They are potted in plastic and packed with moss around the roots. In fact, orchids typically grow on trees and their roots are water-gathering organs that needs loads of fresh air flow to be healthy. Orchids with wet roots are susceptible to root rot and other problems. But you never want to repot a blooming orchid, especially one that arrived in such a beautiful container. It's too stressful on the plant and it will drop its blooms.
Instead of repotting, it's better to hold off on the water. Don't worry! Most people who are new to orchids think the plants needs loads of water to grow well, but it's just not true. Unless your orchids are growing in the open air, suspended in baskets where they can completely dry out within an hour of being watered, your orchid actually needs very little water. So here's a great piece of advice: every time you think you want to water, wait three days. Or a week. Your plant won't suffer.
Next, don't place your orchid where it will experience cold drafts or exposure to direct sunlight or heating vents. Very dry air, direct heat, and chills are the enemies of your flowers. Your bloom will last longer if you can provide a mild, warm and somewhat humid environment.
Provided your orchid is happy, expect the bloom to last at least a few weeks, sometimes more.
After the Bloom (or flowering):
When the bloom is over, it's time to shift your thinking from a "gift plant" to one you want to keep around for a while. This means snipping off the old flower spike near the base (some experts keep these spikes on, hoping it'll rebloom from the same spike, which does sometimes happen). It also means, depending on the season, repotting your orchid into a more friendly container with the right growing medium.
How to Re-pot an Orchid
Repotting should be done in spring, just before the plant's growing season begins.
Tools Needed to Repot an Orchid:
The first step with any store-bought orchid is to enjoy the bloom, so don't attempt to repot a flowering plant. When the bloom's over, you'll need to gather these supplies to repot your orchids.
- Orchid potting mixture, ideally Seramis (perfect!)
- Specialized orchid pots that feature wide drainage slits so water will literally run through the pot
- Clean and Sharp snippers / garden scissors
Before You Repot the Orchid:
Once you've assessed the condition of your orchid, follow this step by step procedure for repotting. Remove it from the its old pot and carefully remove the moss and any rotten potting media. Cut away any shriveled, rotten or blackened roots with sterile snippers. Sympodial orchids can be divided at repotting. Keep at least three pseudobulbs on either side of your cut, and make sure there are healthy roots in both divisions.
Prepare the Orchid Pot:
Fill up the pot with fresh Seramis for Orchids. Gently position your orchid on potting media so the top of the plant is level or slightly above the rim of the new pot. Gently fill in around the orchid with more Seramis.
Caring for a Repotted Orchid:
Once it's repotted,
place the pot near an east facing window with a few hours of mild morning sunlight. To provide the necessary humidity and catch run-off water, put the plant into a wide, deep tray and fill the tray with gravel.
Caring for your orchid is pretty simple. During the summer months, water it weekly and heavily. Let the water drench the roots but allow them to dry out after wards. During the growing season, feed it weekly with a powder or liquid fertilizer. In the winter, keep your Orchid warm and cut the water back to once a month. But mist it every so often to make sure it stays hydrated.
Once an orchid finds a happy spot, and falls into a routine, the plant should regularly throw out new roots and leaves or canes and reward you yearly with a beautiful bloom.
Take a few minutes to watch this straightforward video below and check out our new Orchid ceramic pots (in stock November 2016) and prices are between 80/- 150/- dhms each depending on sizes which range from approx. 8-10cm to 15-20cm.