Growing the Perfect Orchid

Orchids are a beautiful, rewarding exotic flower to have in your home.

There are many types of Orchids – up to 20 different species!

The most common being Phalaenopsis, known as Moth Orchids – due to their shape resembling a moth in flight. If you have a Phalaenopsis Orchid and it starts sprouting leaves instead of a flowers at the end of its spike – You have a very special orchid!  Your orchid is growing a baby and once that baby has 2 or 3 roots and those roots are 3 to 4 inches you can cut it from the stalk and plant it to create a new orchid

Phalaenopsis Orchid

The Brassia Orchid blooms have elongated petals which gives them a spidery appearance. They are typically yellow or green with brown or maroon striping or spots.

Brassia Orchid

And the Paphiopedilum Orchids are a genus of the subfamily Cypripedioideae, commonly referred to as the Lady’s or Venus’ Slipper Orchids, named for the unusual shape of the pouch of the flower, said to resemble a lady’s slipper.

The first point to know about growing Orchids is – it’s EASY!

  1. Choose the right orchid for you, place it in a well lit environment – but not in direct sunlight.
  2. Watering your plant is important, do make sure not to over water or to let it stand in water. Adding a few (2 or 3) ice cubes once a week works really well – but a good thorough watering twice a month and fertilizing once a month will give your plant the added nutrients it craves! Most Orchids are planted in a well draining medium so water will run out the bottom. The best way that you can give your plant a thorough watering is to place the pot (with drainage) or take the plastic liner out of a decorative pot – and put it in the sink, watering until it drains out the bottom. Let the Orchid drain out until no water is running out the drainage holes and return it to its spot! A sure sign to know if your watering correctly is to look for the Orchid’s air roots, if these are dry and shriveling – it needs more water – if they look plump and healthy – then your doing it right!
  3. Many people don’t know what they are supposed to do after an Orchid finishes blooming. There are two steps to take * Find a triangular node under the lowest flower bloom and trim 1″ above that node. This will cause your Orchid to send off a new shoot and bloom again in about 6 months. OR * If your spike is brown and/or yellow trim the spike back to the base of the plant. Your orchid will have to now grow back a new healthy green spike. This could take up to 8-12 months. REMEMBER: Your Orchid goes through a resting period after blooming and an Orchid will only bloom once a year.
  4. Only transplant your orchid if you think that it has out grown it’s pot. Orchids have air roots – which usually look like regular roots escaping the pot – this is NORMAL! If you do transplant, make sure to use an Orchid medium. We at Oakridge can help you to choose the right medium for your plant.

These are a few easy tips to growing a beautiful healthy Orchid!
If you have any questions, feel free to stop by Oakridge and we would love to help you with your Orchid or Tropical Houseplant related issues!