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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Orchid plant care

Are you an indoor plant lover? One of my favorite indoor plants is the orchid. I know all of my Deep South and West Coast friends are thinking, orchids inside? Say whaaa? But in all honesty Virginia has bipolar weather and keeping them inside 80% of the year helps them last! I like having orchids on small tables throughout our home as part of the interior decor. [although, I'll be honest, we lost FIVE in last years earthquake as they toppled from their dainty tables. Still in process of finding sturdy tables and new orchids :( ]

So, how do you care for orchids? Well, Virginia Living magazine recently had a write-up about "How to care for orchids without loving them to death" by Shelby Giles as well as Arthur E. Chadwick of Chadwick and Son Orchids. Arthur's greenhouses offer a orchid boarding program for Richmond area families, and he still owns orchids from the 1940s that his father cared for!

I agree with many of his tips here, seeing as he is a professional, but I will also give you my personal tips as well (in italics)!

Don't give your orchid too much attention by over-watering.

Do water your orchid once a week. I use an ice cube or two, depending on the size of the plant. Also, depending on the area you live in you may need to use a different water, but mine is well-water so it has no added "stuff"!

Don't repot too often. I was always taught not to repot unless the roots are shooting out and it is not actively blooming. That means you might only do it once every 3 years or so if it is monitored well.

Don't plant in tightly packed soil.

Do plant in bark/cork/moss so roots can breathe. I personally find bark and moss much easier to work with.

Don't place in direct heat or light. It will wilt. I learned this the hard way with M and my first orchid. I kept it in the laundry room of our new house, not knowing it got direct afternoon light! Sad day.

Place your orchid outside from May to September as long as you don't have late frosts.

Don't fertilize in the winter.

Do fertilize your orchid every other time you water it in the spring.


Do you have any tips for orchid care? What is your favorite kind of orchid?

18 comments:

  1. Love the tips! My mom and sister have orchids, but I'm always too scared to try to grow them. :)

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    1. You are so welcome - that are definitely a delicate plant to work with, but so beautiful!

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  2. thanks for sharing! i love orchids and actually just got one so now i know :)

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    1. You are so welcome. I hope your orchid grows beautifully, which kind did you get?

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  3. i so wish i had a green thumb, but any plant should fear walking through my door. poor things!

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    1. awww haha. They are so pretty so you are missing out!

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  4. I love flowers but am really bad at looking after them, great post!

    http://styleofalondontallgirl.blogspot.com

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  5. This is sad for me to admit, but I have a hard time keeping plants alive- inside and out. The ones I do best with are bamboo. LOL. Orchids are also one of my favorite flowers. And I stopped by also to tell you that the other ingredient I forgot about in the cucumber mint drink was lemonade (You asked what was in the cucumber mint drink in one of my posts, and I couldn't remember all the ingredients.). She mixes everything with lemonade as a base. And I asked her to sweeten it up for me with EQUAL. YUMMY! -Jessica

    THEJESSICALBLOG.COM

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    1. Ah, lemonade. I must make this beverage. Thank you for telling me the rest.

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  6. I've managed to keep my orchid alive for about six months and I've been thrilled, but I think it's beginning to go on me... one of the branches looks like it's dying :(

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    1. Hmmm, it could be that the orchid is transitioning into Becoming dormant for a time period. What do you consider a dying branch? It depends on the scent of the soil and the condition of the stem. It may just need to be repotted. Do not water it with water that uses a softener

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    2. Also, are the leaves wrinkled? Are the buds yellowing or falling off (called bud blast)? Have leaves dropped? Does it have NO leaves. If there are no leaves it is dead

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  7. haha I've owned at least 5 orchids in the last three years (hey ikea has them for 15 dollars! ;) ) and all sadly die... now i know why!

    thanks for sharing!

    Cheers,

    Maria

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  8. I really enjoy all of your posts. I hope things are well or mostly well :)

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