How often have you thrown out pretty potted orchids the minute they stop flowering? Or, like me, you put them out of sight, forgetting to even water them until they die completely.
When I was staying with my friends Denni and Moira in San Francisco last month, I was given a lesson in how to keep these most beautiful of flowering plants alive and flowering, year after year.
They are actually pretty low maintenance. These plants are natural tree-huggers. They don’t like to sit in soggy soil but instead prefer a once weekly watering, with a chance to drain and dry out.
There’s a lot of advice out there about look ing after your orchid. Here is what the American Orchid Society has to say about orchid care.
The orchids my friend Denni takes care of are beautiful, healthy and flower more than any I’ve seen.
Here’s what she does each week:
- Fill a low bucket (she uses those clear plastic lettuce containers) with filtered water if you have it otherwise regular tap water is good.
- Place the inner orchid tub or special orchid pot with holes in the sides, into the water. Leave it for 10 minutes, allowing the plant to draw water up by it’s roots.
- Dissolve a powdered orchid fertilizer (Denni prefers non-urea orchid food) into the container every 2nd or 3rd week – especially while the orchid is flowering. This is a good time to wipe down the leaves if they are dusty, with a dry piece of paper towel. Allow the plant to drain without a saucer until water stops dripping from the bottom of the pot. And that’s it!
I’ve only been doing this for a few weeks but I’m already seeing results. One of my discarded orchids already had a spike with buds and it has rewarded me with pretty pink flowers in the past few days. I removed the dead spikes from three other plants and their leaves and roots look healthier and happier with the attention.
I’m looking forward to the gorgeous blooms these plants will grow but also to the many health benefits indoor plants bring.