With the correct knowledge, anyone can grow orchids. Here are some clear and simple tips to keep your orchids healthy and happy and make sure they’ll reward you with blooms.
1. How to re-pot an orchid
As your plants get bigger, or if they’ve been in the same potting mix for too long, they’ll probably require re-potting.
- Cut old flower stems at the base. Remove the old potting mix after your plant has soaked in water for a few minutes.
- Gently trim dead and damaged roots using a pair of sharp scissors.
- Select the correct pot size. The plant must be positioned with the top of the roots slightly below the rim of the pot.
- Add the orchid potting mix. Firm down the soil in order to secure the plant and minimise movement in the pot. Make sure the potting mix is at the correct level.
- Label the pot and water thoroughly. Leave the plant for a few days before watering again to allow any wounds to heal on cracked and cut roots.
Tip: Wait until new roots are about 2 to 3 cm in length and then re-pot your plant. If the roots are too long, they might break off in the process and, as some orchid roots don’t ‘branch’, you’ll lose the roots for that season.
2. How to water potted orchids in the home
This is an easy and effective method of ensuring your indoor plants are properly watered. The potting mix should be dry before you water again.
- Place your pot plant in deep water in the kitchen sink. Leave it to soak for 10 to 15 minutes until thoroughly wet.
- After soaking the pot in the sink, place on a drip tray to drain off excess water. Alternatively, use a deep container to soak your plant in.
3. Caring for your orchid
- Place in a brightly lit room out of direct sunlight.
- Keep in stable temperatures ranging from 12 degrees to 30 degrees.
- Orchids like to grow in medium to high humidity.
- Feed them regularly with foliar fertilizer.
- Once flowers have withered, cut the stem off 3 to 5 cm from the body.
Taken from Anyone can grow Orchids (R215, Metz Press).