9 years ago

Blooming Beauty

Orchids are an eye-catching blooming plant that adds personality and sophistication to any occasion or room.

With stately, vibrant color, orchids will look spectacular wherever the recipient prefers to enjoy it. Their whisper-soft flowers cascade, creating a display of long-lasting classic beauty. Although there are numerous varieties of orchids, the Phalaenopsis Orchid is the most popular for its splendid sprays of blossoms and ease of care.

Well grown plants can flower often, sometimes with flowers throughout the year. Orchids come in a wide spectrum of colors, including yellow, pink, purple and white.

How to care for orchids

Water: If your Phalaenopsis is potted in bark, watering once per week is generally sufficient. If your plant is potted in moss, water when the top is dry to the touch. The amount of light and heat your plant receives will also affect watering needs. Summer months will need more frequent watering, while less watering is needed during the winter months.

Light: The secret to succeeding with orchids is to choose varieties that fit your growing situation. The most limiting factor, especially in Minnesota’s climate, is light. All orchids need good light, but they do not like the heat associated with high-light intensities. You can reduce the heat intensity from south and west-facing windows by using a sheer curtain across the window. If the daytime temperature reaches 90 degrees, move the orchid to a cooler window, such as an east-facing one.

Fertilizer: Any balanced orchid fertilizer can be used to fertilize your orchid. Feeding weakly (half strength) on a weekly basis works well.

Humidity: Use a shallow tray of pebbles filled with water to increase humidity around your plants. Be sure the pot does not sit in water as this will rot the roots.

Cutting the Spike: When the blooms are finished, you can cut the spike down to the level of the leaves and the plant will bloom with larger flowers and a strong stem within a year. You can also cut off the stem leaving two nodes (the small brown lines on the stem below where the flowers were) on the stem. One of these nodes will then initiate and generally produce flowers within eight to 12 weeks.

You can also stake the orchid to secure blooms if needed. To clean, wipe leaves with a damp cloth.

Ultimately, the plant offers beautiful blooms with minimal care. As you search for the ideal gift or a statement piece for your home, orchids are the perfect option to embrace bold, natural beauty!