Gardeners' World: Orchid expert talks caring for Phalaenopsis
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Orchids, which come in a variety of different colours, can live for several years. This makes them a popular present choice for many as well as being low maintenance compared to other houseplants. Experts at Baby Bio® have shared how orchid owners can ensure they thrive in their environment.
The experts told Express.co.uk: “Orchids are wonderfully delicate houseplants that have been firm favourites in households for years thanks to their beautiful blooms which can last for months.
“Yet, it’s no secret that they have specific requirements and therefore must be treated carefully, a reputation which has caused many plant enthusiasts to be wary of owning an orchid.
“The key to orchid care is all in the environment.”
If cared for properly, orchids can bloom more than once a year. When an orchid does flower, it usually remains in bloom for six to 10 weeks.
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However, it can be hard for owners to successfully get a repeat bloom.
The experts added: “Most orchid owners will admit that getting their plants to repeat bloom can be extremely difficult.
“Their nutritional needs are unique and need fertilising both when in bloom and dormant.
“We recommend using an orchid feed like Baby Bio® Orchid Feed with every water for the brightest blooms.
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“Once your plant’s flowers have fallen, you can encourage it to re-bloom the following season by pruning the whole flower stem and continuing to care for it as usual while it lies dormant.
“Remember there are many species of orchids, so each should be treated according to its requirements.
“We recommend the phalaenopsis moth orchid variety for beginners!”
Other brands of houseplant food are available from garden centres and online.
In their natural habitat, orchids are mainly either epiphytic, meaning they grow on trees, or lithophytic, meaning they grow on rocks.
The houseplant experts continued: “Most orchids therefore naturally grow high up in the rainforest treetops on rough bark rather than on bark rather than on the ground in soil.
“As such, orchid owners should try to mimic this environment and always pot these plants in specific bark-based orchid compost which promotes creation to the roots and drainage to prevent the plant becoming waterlogged.”
The houseplants’ roots can easily rot if left in wet compost, so it is important to make sure the soil has dried between watering.
To prevent overwatering, owners can mist an orchid regularly or place them near a tray of wet pebbles.
The experts added: “Orchids get most of their moisture from the air and therefore prefer high humidity, so mist the foliage and aerial roots daily or place the plant next to a tray of wet pebbles to increase air humidity.
“Consider planting them in rooms that are naturally more humid.”
The bathroom and kitchen are great choices because they are areas of the home which produce a lot of humidity.
Thankfully, going into the winter months means orchids are a lot less likely to burn in the sun. However, owners should still be cautious and place them out of direct sunlight.
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