Perspectives of a Lady, Gentleman & Dane

Orchids

Hannah Sheflyand

I often have one or two orchid plants potted somewhere in my house. Over the years I have had way too many of these die on me, or thats what I thought. They often are fully bloomed when I receive them, and a month later the flowers fall off, the flowers never return, and the plant ends up in the garbage. Does this sound like a familiar situation to others?

If only I took the time to research how to bring back these beautiful flowers back to life, I think my place would have been filled with them by now.

There are more then 30,000 species of orchids but the ones most often found in most homes are Phalaenopsis or Dendrobium.

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Phalaenopsis- these have round flowers with a big lip and each stalk has a separate root system

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Dendrobium- these plants have smaller flowers that grow in rows up the stalk of the plant


PLANT CARE

  • Brand New- If your orchid is in full bloom DO NOT try to re-plant or mess with the orchid at all, just enjoy the beauty of the bloom. Once the last flower has fallen then the “hard” work begins. First cut off the spike, where the last flower grew from, to the next closest node, and a flower will hopefully bloom from that spot. Then just repot the plant with a proper orchid potting mixture, which usually consists of big chunks of bark & charcoal. Before you place the plant into the new mixture make sure to clean up the roots, get rid of any moldy moss and any roots that are brown or soft (healthy roots are firm and white or green). Now you just have to keep watering and wait 🙂
  • Lighting- Orchids need strong light, but nothing direct because the leaves easily burn. I leave mine at a window that gets a lot of morning light which seems to have worked so far.
  • Temperature- 50-85 degrees Fahrenheit & keep away from any drafts.
  • Watering- Orchids do not thrive in overly moist environments and will often rot starting from the roots if left sitting in water. If you bought the orchid, in full bloom, in a pot that looks like it has a lot of moss or soil and its moist then hold off on watering the orchid too often. Only water in the morning. During the growing season water weekly, I just place them right under the kitchen sink and let the water run for a few minutes, but make sure no water accumulates at the bottom of the pot. During the winter, watering once a month is usually sufficient.
  • Fertilizer- Use a fertilizer made for orchids about once monthly after the orchid has bloomed. No need to fertilize during the winter.
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These are my orchids second bloom. I was a very proud plant mom when I saw the new buds.

For a house plant I feel that the orchid can be a lot of work, but once those pretty flowers come out I think it is well worth it.

Have you had any luck keeping an orchid alive? I would love to hear any tips or tricks that will keep mine alive.

Dont forget to check out my quick plant guide for Air Plants as well.

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