Expert Orchid care tips
Quick Tips - How to Look After Orchids:
- Positioning your Orchid
- Watering Orchids
- Feeding your Orchid
- Re-flowering - Orchid care after flowering
- Repotting Orchids
- Position your orchid in a bright room or windowsill, but one that does not receive direct sunlight.
- Do not place the plant near a radiator or draught.
- Phalaenopsis are sensitive to ethylene gas which can be produced by ripening fruit. If you place your plant too near a fruit bowl it may drop all of its flowers.
- Water your Phalaenopsis orchid once a week and never leave the roots standing in water for long periods of time; they will probably rot.
- The best way to water Phalaenopsis is to dunk the whole pot into a sink or bowl of water. If you have time, leave the pot submerged for a few minutes; this will allow the root system to absorb all the water it needs.
- Alternatively, run the pot under a tap for around 20 seconds, allowing water to drain through the bottom. If you can’t remove the plant from its decorative container, place 1-2 ice cubes at the base of the stem.
- Tap water is fine, even if you live in an area with very hard water. Phalaenopsis are extremely versatile and will adapt to your water source.
Roots & Feeding
- Dry, shrivelled roots protruding from the bark can be cut off.
- Don’t be alarmed if lots of roots start growing out of the top of the pot – this is perfectly natural.
- If you think these aerial roots are unsightly, you can re-pot your orchid (see ‘Re-potting’). Cutting them off won’t kill the plant, but it may temporarily hinder the plants development.
- Your Phalaenopsis orchid will survive without fertilizer. However, we recommend feeding once every 4 weeks if you want your plant to thrive.
- Any orchid feed will work, just follow the instructions on the label. Otherwise, a high-potash fertilizer, such as Tomorite, will do the trick – just make sure you dilute it to a quarter of what it says on the label.
- After the flowers have dropped off your Phalaenopsis orchid, you can cut back the stem.
- It’s best to do this when there is still at least one flower left – this will ensure the stem is still active and will prevent it from drying back and going brown when you cut it.
- It really doesn’t matter what height you cut it back to, as long as you cut just above a node that is below any previous branch or bloom.
- If the stem has gone brown, cut it off near the base of the plant.
- Generally speaking, if you cut the stem low down, the plant will produce a larger bloom but it may take a longer to develop. If you want a ‘quick fix’, cut just above the node below the lowermost previous branch or flower. A new branch should develop fairly quickly with little effort.
- We recommend re-potting orchids every 4-5 years; or if the bark has begun to compost down; whichever comes first.
- Other than the above scenario, there’s no need to re-pot unless your plant is literally jumping out of its pot!
- Don’t worry if there are any gaps in the bark, orchid roots love air just as much as they love water!
- It might take a week or two for the plant to become stable whilst it regains its foot hold.