A popular flower associated with perfection, love, beauty, luxury, fertility and children, orchids are a popular plant choice for the home or bouquets of flowers.
Low maintenance to care for and beautiful to look at, here are ten tips that are guaranteed to keep your orchid looking its blooming best month after month and year after year.
1. Place them in windows: orchids love the light, so place them on the windowsill behind curtains and blinds. You can check if it is getting enough light by analysing the leaf colour which should be a bright rather than dark green. Reddish-green leaves occur when your plant gets too much light.
2. Water every 5-12 days: orchids don’t need much watering and a quick splash every 5-12 days should be sufficient. Allow the water to drain right the way through and avoid leaving the roots in standing water.
3. Put them in the bathroom: many people claim that bathrooms are the best locations for these plants as the steam from showers and baths can help keep the plant stay moist without over-watering it.
4. Feed orchids regularly: orchid food will help to prolong the lifespan of the plant and encourage flowering. Most feeds recommend being used once a month and while you can feed your plant less frequently it is important not to overfeed them.
5. Re-pot as necessary: this shouldn’t be needed too frequently (most orchids will sit comfortably in pots for around 2 years) but as soon as long roots start to extend over the top you should move to a bigger pot. Make sure you cut dead roots off when re-potting.
6. Cut dead stems: once your orchid’s flowers have died you should cut the stems to encourage new growth. Cut just above the lowest node (triangular part) on the stem. Any dead stems (those which look brown and are hard) should be cut away too.
7. Cut stems diagonally: when cutting stems to encourage growth it is important cut diagonally rather than straight as this will stimulate new growth.
8. Support the stems: place sticks firmly in the pot and clip the stems to them for support. This will let your orchid stand tall and proud and help them get sufficient light.
9. Leave aerial roots intact: aerial roots (the sometimes grey looking roots on the top of the plant’s base) should never be cut away as this can damage the plant’s growth.
10. Keep them warm: as a tropical plant, orchids do not cope well in droughts or cold spaces. Room temperatures should be kept to 16.5°C or higher and you should avoid placing them in draughty areas.