Gardener shares the ‘right’ steps to ensure your orchid ‘flower for months’

Orchids are wild, delicate and exotic, but they also make surprisingly good houseplants all ready round. 

The most common of these are moth orchids, which are found everywhere from garden centres to supermarkets. 

To care for these indoor plants in the “right way”, gardening expert David Domoney has shared his top tips.

He said: “Orchids have a very long flowering season, but often people don’t get to enjoy them for long. 

“Treat them the wrong way and they might only last a month or two. Treat them the right way and they will flower for months, year after year.”

Watering and humidity 

Gardeners should never let orchids dry out, but they shouldn’t become waterlogged either. David explained that in the wild, orchids cling to rocks or trees and avoid stagnant water like the plague. He warned: “If you leave them sitting in water, they’ll die.”

To avoid this he instructed: “Use a spoonful or two of tepid water a week to keep them moist. They also love having water in the air, so a bathroom or kitchen shelf or windowsill with high humidity will make a great home.”

Shade and temperature 

While orchids need sunlight to produce flowers, they “hate” having too much direct sunlight. The expert noted that a semi-shady east or west-facing windowsill is “ideal”, especially now that the UK is approaching summer. 

David warned that if it’s too bright, gardeners risk burning the leaves, but if it’s too dark they “won’t get flowers”.

Don’t miss…
‘Threatening’ plants to ‘never’ grow near hydrangeas – ‘causes the plant to die’[INSIGHT]
19p item cats ‘won’t go near’ to stop them pooing in your garden[TIPS]
Five ‘worst appliances’ to leave on standby – adds an ‘extra amount’ onto bills[EXPERT]

Temperature-wise, avoid putting orchids too close to radiators or letting the temperature fluctuate wildly.  If owners keep orchid conditions stable at a constant 19 degrees, then the plant can focus on producing “beautiful flowers”.

Pots and containers

Some orchids sold come in clear plastic containers and have green roots as orchids grow on other plants. In the wild, they grow on the sides of trees. 

As they are not in the soil, the roots have evolved to contain chlorophyll (a natural compound responsible for the green colour of plants) so they can photosynthesise like leaves.

David noted that the “best thing to do” with these types of orchids is to keep it in a clear container like glass or plastic and “never put a pot cover on it” as the roots need to be exposed to the light to photosynthesise.


Pruning can be carried out on these houseplants when the last blooms have faded. When this happens snip off the flower spike to just above the bud, an inch or so below the previous flower.

David said: “That will help a new shoot to form, bringing with it plenty of new flowers. The odd drop of fertiliser will also help keep your plant vibrant.”

Peat-free compost and food 

In order to keep orchids in the best possible shape the expert claimed that these indoor plants “need a special peat-free compost” which contains more bark than soil. 

He said: “You can also buy special orchid food. This is important to help them generate enough energy to send up flower spikes.”

Source: Read Full Article