Gardening expert secret to keep orchids alive and to avoid ‘killing them with kindness’

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Orchids are hugely popular house plants. They have long, sturdy stems topped with bright flowers.

The plants can be found growing naturally in tropical regions of Asia.

Many are drawn to the plant due to its beauty, but it can be tricky to keep alive as a houseplant.

Gardener Ellen Mary, a TV presenter, author, and podcast host who is an expert on plants, spoke about orchids.

The expert hosts the Plant Based Podcast alongside fellow plant lover, Micheal Perry aka Mr. Plant Geek.

She advised on how to “avoid killing them with kindness”.

Ellen said dying orchids often come down to being overwatered or being left in water or moist soil.

“If you’re watering them and leaving the water, the roots will rot,” she warned.

“And, if you water them too often, the root rots as well.”

She explained: “So, what I like to do is put the orchids in the bath once every couple of weeks, maybe at least three or maybe even every four weeks.

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“I stand them in there and then I let the water completely drain away.

“Then I put them back into their place.

“But really, it’s little watering they need.

“You can give them a spritz of water spray from time to time but otherwise it is usually killing them with kindness.”

The orchid is an interesting flower, especially its name. The family name for the plant, Orchic, literally means testicle in Ancient Greek.

In Middle English, some orchids were called by an amusing name, a colloquial and now considered rather a rude name for a teste followed by the word “wort”, which meant plant.

They need little watering and don’t enjoy direct right sunlight.

Orchids generally are best placed behind a curtain that lets light through.

Ellen Mary discussed November gardening jobs to get “ready for sowing and growing”. 

There are still many plants that can be sown at this time of year.

They include:

  • Tulips
  • Daffodils
  • Hyacinth
  • Bare-root roses and peonies

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