Valentine Orchid Care

Phalaenopsis hybrid flowers, Moth Orchid, Phal, Pacific Orchid Expo 2015, San Francisco, CalforniaPhalaenopsis Brother Sara Gold 'A05724', Moth Orchid hybrid flower, Phal, Pacific Orchid Expo 2013, San Francisco, CalforniaPhalaenopsis Tai Lin Redangel, Moth Orchid hybrid flowers, Phal, Pacific Orchid Expo 2015, San Francisco, Calfornia

Now that you have a beautiful Valentine orchid, what do you do with it? Don’t panic! Most orchids don’t deserve their difficult reputations. A few care tips can help you keep your orchid happy.

Identify your orchidMoth Orchids, like the three in the row of photos above, are the most popular. Lady Slippers are shown in the second row of photos. Oncidiums, or Dancing Lady Orchids, are in the third row of photos, and Cattleyas are in the last row. They all come in many colors, sizes, and patterns, so use these pictures as general guidelines, not strict standards. Find more pictures and more tips to help identify orchids here.

Lady Slipper orchid flower, Paphiopedilum, Paph, Pacific Orchid Expo 2011, San Francisco, CalforniaPaphiopedilum Evan Thomas, Lady Slipper hybrid, orchid flower, Paph, Pacific Orchid Expo 2012, San Francisco, CalforniaPhragmipedium Noirmont, Lady Slipper hybrid, orchid flower, Phrag, Pacific Orchid Expo 2013, San Francisco, Calfornia

Add humidity – Orchids need humidity, or water vapor, in the air. Dry air wilts flowers and attracts pests. To raise humidity, group plants together, or put plants in a humid area like a bathroom or kitchen. Use a cool mist humidifier, or a spray mister. Place flowerpots on a layer of pebbles in trays of shallow water, always keeping the water level below the bottom of the pots.

Add water – Remove wrapping paper or decorative containers, at least temporarily, if they block drainage holes. Soak the plant with room-temperature water, and then let all excess drain out. Don’t block drainage or let the flowerpot sit in water for too long, or roots may rot.

Oncidium orchid flower, Dancing Lady Orchid, Pacific Orchid Expo 2008, San Francisco, CalforniaOncidium Sharry Baby, flowers with chocolate fragrance, hybrid orchid flowers, Dancing Lady Orchid, Pacific Orchid Expo 2012, San Francisco, CalforniaTrichocentrum bicallosum, orchid species flowers, Pacific Orchid Expo 2014, San Francisco, Calfornia

Add light – Place your orchid in bright light, but keep out of full sun while you’re enjoying the flowers. Many varieties will eventually need some sun to rebloom.

In a vase – Provide orchids the same care as other cut flowers. Place in lukewarm water, and keep the vase out of direct sun. Change the water every couple of days. High humidity will help the blooms last longer.

Cattleya Temple Bells 'Shapely', hybrid orchid flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2013, San Francisco, CalforniaCattleya hybrid orchid flower, Kawamoto Orchid Nursery, Honolulu, HawaiiCattleya hybrid orchid flowers, Pacific Orchid Expo 2017, San Francisco, Calfornia

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