If you raised your hand or shouted from the roof tops, "YES!" Never fear, we have some helpful suggestions and tips to make you successful with the Phaeleonopsis Orchid, (the most common type you will find in stores today). Orchids have a notoriously bad reputation of being very difficult to take care of, that couldn't be further from the truth.
Tip #1: Orchids Thrive on Neglect.
Number one cause of all orchid deaths reported in the U.S. is due to over watering. Orchids should typically be watered once every 3-4 weeks based on growing conditions in your home. To water them, fill up a bucket or sink and submerge the container in the water for about 20-30 seconds to allow the planting medium to absorb moisture. Then let drain and place back in your container.
Simple, right? If you find yourself itching to water your orchid after the first week, restrain yourself. The orchid will thank you later. Yellow foliage means it is getting watered too often.
Tip #2: Don't Be Too Eager to Transplant.
When you bring your new orchid home and introduce it to all your other plants you may be eager to transplant it right away since it looks so cramped and tight in its current living condition. Refrain from doing this. Orchids should typically not be transplanted while in bloom, and their roots love to be tightly compacted into those tiny plastic pots. You may want to wait a year or two before you attempt the transplanting process.
Easy so far. Orchids' fleshy gray green roots will thrive in cramped, well oxygenated, slightly humid conditions. In between waterings don't hesitate to mist the roots to create humidity.
Tip #3: Blooms are Gone, Now What?
Once the last bloom falls, you will be left with lush foliage and several fleshy empty stems. Not the most attractive thing to have in your windowsill. Cut the stems back, but not too far. On each stem you will see segments or brownish dividers working all the way up he stem, similar to those found on bamboo. Count from the base, nearest the foliage, up to the third segment and cut just above that segment.
Now the waiting game begins. Orchids will typically bloom once a year. So don't give up on your orchid, continue to neglect it and repeat Tip #1. Don't be afraid to add a little bloom fertilizer every other time you water. That will aid in the re-growth and bloom cycle.
Bonus Tip: Trick Your Orchid to Re-Bloom.
When the chillier months of Sacramento's winters bare down upon us, take your orchid for a walk outside. Leave it outside on your covered patio or porch, protected from the weather and chance of frost on the days when it gets to the low 40's. After several hours or a few days depending on the forecast and how much neglect you want to show your orchid, bring it back inside. Once back inside, the warm temperature of your home may just trick it back into it's bloom cycle!
We hope these tips help if you currently have an orchid, or are about to get one for Valentines Day! Orchids really can be a wonderful gift and can be a great substitution for fresh cut flowers. As long as you pair the orchid with these guidelines, you will be a success!
Green Acres carries orchids year around!**
Here are some photos of the most beautiful Phaeleonopsis Orchids around. Enjoy.
**Our selection varies, and not all varieties pictured are sold at our store. Orchids are not available at our Sacramento location.