Orchid Valentines

If a beautiful orchid gift is making you worry about caring for it, take heart. Despite their difficult reputations, most orchids are as easy as other common houseplants. With the basic care tips below, some orchids can stay in bloom for months.

  • All orchids need high humidity. Dry air wilts flowers, damages leaves, and attracts pests. Raise humidity levels by keeping the pot raised on pebbles above a tray of water, grouping plants together, using a spray mister, or running a cool-mist humidifier.
  • Try to identify your orchid. Then you can learn its specific light, temperature, and water needs. You don’t need to figure out its exact name, only its orchid family. Phals, or Moth Orchids, are the most common varieties sold, so start with them. If you can’t identify your orchid, use these basic care tips.
  • You’ll eventually need to remove ribbons, wrapping paper, or decorative containers if they block holes in the bottom of the flower pot. Orchid roots need good air flow and water drainage. They’ll quickly rot if left sitting in water.
  • When it’s time to water, use room temperature water, and thoroughly soak the potting media. Let the water drain completely out of the pot.

Explore posts in the same categories: Growing, Watering

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2 Comments on “Orchid Valentines”

  1. Crystal Says:

    I received a Phal orchid when my daughter was born in May of 2012. The flowers fell off in September, but continued to growth. The growth has been extremely slow. In fact, now the stems where the flowers were have yellowed and are turning brown. I have never had an orchid before. I read from previous posts that I need to trim the stems with santizied sharp scissors. I really don’t understand how much to trim. The stems are over 6 inches in length. Also, from reading various articles in the blog, I have realized that a) I am not watering it enough, b) the pot it came is stinks (no drainage holes) c) it’s leaves are dark green (not enough light). So, it there still hope that it will survive and thrive?

  2. Marc Says:

    Hi Crystal. It’s normal for the flower stems to brown and die, so don’t worry about that. Cut them back as far as possible without damaging nearby leaves or roots. Your Phal will grow new flower stems when it’s ready to bloom again. What’s more important is to repot into a pot with drainage holes and fresh potting material. That will allow you to water more. Wait a couple weeks after repotting to give it time to recover, and then gradually move it into brighter light so that its leaves turn a lighter green color. With some patience, your orchid should bloom again. Good luck!