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How To Care For Your Orchid In Hot Weather

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How To Care For Your Orchid In Hot Weather - Love Orchids

Orchid Care In The Summer

The ice cube trick and 4 other clever hacks from the British growing experts: Love Orchids.

Struggling to stop your orchids from wilting? Direct sunlight and high temperatures can wreak havoc on the UK’s most popular indoor plant. Here at Love Orchids,  we're advising flower fans to make some simple changes to their normal plant care routine in order to take care of your orchid in hot weather.


Millions of Phalaenopsis orchids – pronounced Fal-en-op-sis and commonly known as moth orchids – are sold every year and normally require minimum upkeep. Indoor orchids make the perfect gift. But as temperatures rise, the summer heat can result in orchid flowers quickly flopping.

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Here the Love Orchids’ plant expert Mark Riley gives his top tips on orchid care to keep your plant blooming for weeks in the summer heat with beautiful flowers and healthy growth :- 

1. Water TWICE a week instead of once

Orchids normally only need a weekly water but in high temperatures, increase watering. Run your orchid under a tap or let it soak in the sink for a few minutes. Wall-watered roots have plump green roots. If they look silvery grey or shrivelled, pop the plant under the tap to water orchids effectively. Frequency of watering should be increased to promote healthy growth.

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2. The ICE CUBE trick

Add a few ice cubes to the surface of the bark instead of watering, avoiding the leaves. They will gradually melt and provide the required hydration. Make sure any surplus water is removed from beneath the orchid within an hour as orchids don’t like sitting in H2O

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3. Grab some GRAVEL and give misting a MISS

Orchids originate from warm tropical Asia and prefer humid conditions, rather than dry. Increase humidity for your orchid by placing the pot on a layer of wet gravel, keeping the water level below the top of the stones. Avoid using a water 'mister' as this can lead to spotting on the flowers and deposits on the leaves as many water supplies are 'hard', containing limescale. 

4. Do add some FEED

Orchids grow more actively during the summer so add balanced fertilizer to the water fortnightly. Their nutritional requirements are very minimal so only use orchid specific 'food' and never exceed the recommended dose of orchid fertiliser. During cooler weather, orchids can happily survive on water without additional feed.

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5. DON’T let the sun shine

Orchids love a bright light window but they are not keen on direct sunlight, particularly in hot, dry weather. They also don’t like radiators preferring cooler temperatures. East or west-facing windows with bright light and bathrooms are best. Watch out for the humidity levels. A humid climate with indirect light is good.

6. Fruit Warning

Never put your orchid near a fruit bowl as it may lose all of its flowers overnight. Ripe fruit, particularly bananas, release ethylene gas which has a negative impact on the flower.

7. Leave the roots

If the orchid roots are dry and shrivelled, you can remove them from the bark. However, if they are green and healthy, leave them. Aerial roots are important for orchids. Rotten roots are normally due to over watering.  


5. Cut back the stem

When flowers drop, cut the stem back. By cutting the stem low down, the plant will develop a larger bloom next time around, but it may take longer to appear. Alternatively, if you're looking for a faster bloom and active growth, cut above the node below the lowest branch or flower. This should result in a new branch fairly quickly. If new flowers don't appear in two to three months, try moving the orchid to a cooler place.  

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Signs Your Orchid Is Heat Stressed 😓 

Light levels, excess water and summer temperatures can all have an impact on your orchid. Here are some signs that may suggest your orchid plants are struggling in the warm temperatures.


Sunburn

If a red / purple tint appears like freckles on the leaves, this is a sign of sunburn. Worse symptoms are when the leaf tips and roots go brown, buds blast, flowers drop or spike and fail altogether.


Yellowing of plant leaves

Too much light can cause a plants chlorophyll to deteriorate, which may result in a loss of leaves. The correct leaf colour for a healthy orchid is a dark green.

Withered leaves

If the plant overheats, the leaves may wither. If the limp leaves are warm to touch then they may be getting too much sunlight and need more shade or air circulation.


Wrinkled Pseudobulbs

The pseudobulbs are where water is stored. If they are shrivelled this indicates a water shortage. Your orchid is dehydrated.


Leathery Leaves

At this stage, the issue has gone beyond withered leaves and it may be difficult to recover the plant. It may indicate damage on a cellular level due to heat stress.

Mark Riley from Love Orchids said: “Growing orchids in the summer heat is really easy as long as you make some simple tweaks to your normal plant care routine. An extra water a week, some plant food and a position away from direct sun is key to generate active growth. Orchids look beautiful, can flower for months and last for years. And there’s an orchid for everyone’s tastes.”

During Covid, this Hampshire-based nursery struggled to find customers. They switched to selling online and were able to sell a large number of plants that would otherwise have gone to landfill. Since then, we haven't looked back, continuing to create beautiful orchid gifts for all manners of special occasions. 

If you love orchids like we do, be sure to sign up to our newsletter. Orchids take almost two years to grow. As a result, every now and again we find we have too many, so we offer them to our Orchid Club at cost price so that the plants can find a home. Sign up so you don't miss the next offer. You can unsubscribe at any time. 

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