Valentine’s Day is often full of romantic surprises, including beautiful orchids. If you’ve received an orchid gift, check the basic care tips below to keep your flowers happy.
Identify your orchid – Different types of orchids have different care needs. You usually don’t need to figure out the exact name, only a general ID. Phals, or Moth Orchids, are the most popular types. Cattleyas, Cymbidiums, Dendrobiums, Lady Slippers, and Oncidiums are also favorites.
Humidity – Orchids need water vapor in the air. Dry air can wilt flowers, dry leaves, and attract pests. Tips for raising humidity include grouping plants together, placing plants in a humid area like a bathroom or kitchen, using a cool mist humidifier, or spraying with a mister. Many growers balance flowerpots on top of pebbles in trays of shallow water, keeping the pots above the water level.
Watering – Soak the plant with room-temperature water, and then let all excess drain out. Don’t let pots sit in water for too long, or roots may rot.
Light – Keep your orchid in bright light. Many varieties enjoy morning sun, especially in the shorter days of winter.
Cut flowers – Orchids need the same care as other cut flowers. Place in lukewarm water, and keep the vase out of direct sun. Change the water every couple days. High humidity will help the flowers last longer.