How To: Look After Orchids

Orchids are extremely popular house plants and make a beautiful addition to home displays. Flowering over a long period, these flowers are available in a variety of different vibrant colours. Most are very easy to grow in all homes, producing amazing displays of exotic blooms.

How To: Look After Orchids

About Orchids

Orchids come in a wide range of sizes, shapes and fantastic colours with their petals often patterned. Frequently, they are held in loose bunches on thin stems, above groups of leaves that are often long and sometimes thick and glossy. Orchids are an ideal first choice for beginners and should flower regularly with next to no maintenance.

How To Care For Your Orchids

These gorgeous flowers are very well-suited to our centrally heated homes, the air is dry so misting the foliage every two to three days (avoiding spraying) will keep them well hydrated. They come from tropical, muggy regions, so they need a humid atmosphere.
It’s important that they have regular misting and watering, preferably with pre-boiled or rainwater instead of tap water – never leave them standing in water, this can rot the roots! Overwatering is the most common way to kill orchids – always lift the pot first to check if it feels heavy to avoid giving your plant too much water. From spring until autumn, feed your orchids with orchid fertiliser.

Bark-based compost is essential for them rather than traditional houseplant compost. At Holt Garden Centre, we stock a range of orchid feeds and soils – if you need any help, please don’t hesitate to ask our friendly team members.

How To: Look After Orchids

How To Plant Your Orchids

Orchids don’t need regular re-potting and often thrive when root-bound. After two or three years, however, it is worth taking them out of their pots and removing as much compost as possible. Replant them in the same pot with fresh bark-based compost or if your plant is too big, choose a similar slightly larger pot. It is best to steer clear of terracotta pots as the roots will fasten themselves to the surface which will make it difficult to repot them in the future.

If you are growing Phalaenopsis orchids, it is essential to grow them in clear pots to allow their green roots to photosynthesize.
However, Dendrobium and Cymbidium orchids do not have photosynthetic roots, so they can be grown in opaque pots.

Where To Grow Your Orchids

They love bright light but not direct sun – such as on a north-east or east-facing windowsill. Too much light can scorch the leaves, so standing in direct sunshine is not ideal. However, some orchids such as Vanda Orchids require full sun – so make sure you keep the label after purchase to remember which type of orchid you are caring for.

Most orchids perform best with a consistent temperature of around 18 degrees Celsius, so are best to be grown indoors all year round. Other orchids such as Dendrobium, Cymbidium and Oncidium need a minimum temperature of 10 degrees Celsius, so can be moved outside in summer to a bright spot out of direct sunlight.

Always read the growing advice before buying your orchids, some need a warm environment but others are best in cool, dry conditions. It’s important you choose the right orchid for the growing conditions you have and always check for signs of disease or damage before purchasing.

If you’d like to know some more information about orchids, speak to one of our team members at Holt Garden Centre who will be more than happy to help.

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