Having trouble taking care of your orchid? You’re not alone; many people ponder “how do I not kill this thing” after receiving their new tropical plant. In this article, we’ll be using information from the American Orchid Society to help you keep your orchids alive and well!
First step in taking care of your orchid is identifying what type orchid you have. The most commonly received orchid from Karin’s Florist is a Phalaenopsis. Phalaenopsis’ are hybrid orchid species native to the Philippines and South East Asia. Individual flowers can last a month and mature plants often bloom four or five months each year.
Phalaenopsis orchids enjoy room temperatures but do not require bright light and should be watered when dry, about every 7-10 days. (Pro Tips: stick a pencil into the soil, if it comes out dark from moisture, your orchid DOES NOT need watering. Leave it to dry for another few days).
If you received a pot with no drainage hole, the best way to water your Phalaenopsis is to run it under lukewarm water in the sink for about 15 seconds. Leave the orchid to rest for another 15 minutes and then dump out any excess water. Prop your orchid up on a saucer or a dish with rocks, to allow the orchid to continue drying without sitting in water.
Maintaining and Pruning
The bloom spike is the part on your Phalaenopsis that produces flowers and will grow back annually. After all the blooms have fallen off your orchid, you may cut the bloom spike back within an inch of the plant’s leaves. This will encourage regrowth and allow for a stronger bloom spike to emerge the following year
Phalaenopsis’ should be re-potted every year after they finishing blooming, typically in the spring to give the plant a good season for root growth. Phalaenopsis can be planted in a variety of mediums, including pro-mix, sphagnum moss or fir bark. If you’re ever unsure which medium is best for your plant, you can head over to www.AOS.org for more care instructions or bring it in to Karin’s Florist for our plant experts to examine.