photo source: Pottery Barn
you can have success with phalaenopsis orchids
my first experience with orchids was when my friend kindly gave me one as a thank you for taking care of her betta fish. yes, i know what you are thinking… i have fish sat! i must confess, i was actually more intimidated by the orchid than by taking care of her fish. let’s just say the fish survived and the orchid not so much! so, the reason my orchid didn’t do well is that i really didn’t know how to care for it. as a result, i have asked around at nurseries and have read up on the care of these beautiful plants. i thought i would pass along what i have learned so that you can have these beautiful flowers in your house too. also, that same friend that gave me my first orchid, passed along a wonderful tip of how to beautify your plant.
here is one of my orchids. it is a phalaenopsis orchids which i found will bloom every 6 months and the beautiful blossoms will last for many months! this plant started blossoming in february and it’s still going strong in june!
one the most important thing i found out about these orchids is not to cut the stems after the plants have bloomed. of course, that was my biggest mistake on my first orchid that i owned. i quickly trimmed the unsightly stem and then i never got another blossom to appear. i know that there is info out there that says you can prune the stem down to the leaves, but i have never had luck with a spike growing again. i remember watching mine after i trimmed the main stem and all i kept getting were roots! so, now i leave the stem on and if it gets partly brown, i just trim it where the brown and the green meet. your new blossom will sprout out of this stem in a few months. also, i feel that by leaving the existing stem on it is that much further along to just sprout out a new spike of flowers.
so, i water my orchids like every 2 weeks and i have read that these orchids like it a little on the dry side and don’t require too much water. i have mine in a clay pot and i just water it thoroughly and let the water drain through it. if your leaves get leathery and wrinkled that means they need water. don’t panic, they will totally survive the neglect, just give them a drink of water and it will be happy. you can fertilize the orchid every week with half the amount (strength) of fertilizer that is recommended. i guess the saying is “weakly weekly.” to tell you the truth, i have never fertilized my orchids and i have always gotten nice blooms. supposedly if i did fertilize them, i would get more flowers. if you do decide to fertilize your orchid, they say to cut back the fertilizer when it does bloom and only do it once a month during this time and also during the winter months.
here is where i place my orchids when they aren’t blooming. i call this my orchid hospital! as you can see, it has filtered light which is low and not direct. i think this window is facing south, i know the experts say you should place your orchid in a southern or eastern window. i just happened to make the right choice! whew. and i have recently researched the whole lighting factor and found that if the spot is too sunny it may suppress blossoms and blooming. so, i think that as long as you don’t have a ton of direct sunlight your orchid should be happy. but then again there are exceptions… so finally, once they are blooming i place them in a spot in my house so that i can show off the pretty flowers.
here is the fun and awesome idea that my friend, debbie passed along to me. when your orchid is no longer blooming it looks unsightly and kind of looks lonely and sad in your house. so, what you need to buy is a fake silk orchid stem. i just bought a few at the craft store on sale, and these little guys cost me about $1-$3 a stem.
then just place the silk stem naturally amongst your orchid and tada! the cool thing is that you can have whatever color you want for your plant while it is generating it’s next blossoms! most of my friends don’t even know that my plants have a fake flower in them. also, the bonus is that they look nice during this period.
this one is in my dining room. looks pretty real, huh? thanks so much for visiting me and hope i’ve inspired you to go out and buy an orchid!
more posts for this week:
~ inspirations for my latest big project for our house.
~ and a yummy gluten free cookie that has only 5 ingredients.