How to look after your house orchid: The ultimate guide

Love orchids but not sure how to encourage them to flower again? An expert reveals some top tips for looking after these beautiful tropical plants.

Have you ever ended up throwing an orchid in the bin, because no matter what you do, it’s never decided to flower again? If this sounds familiar, you could probably use a little bit of orchid advice.

It could be that you’ve been showing yours too much love because the plants are actually pretty straightforward house guests and like a little bit of neglect. And with 25,000 different varieties to choose from, there’s bound to be one for you.
 
But once you’ve met your match, how do you look after it?

The best way to care for orchids

- Place your orchid in a bright place, but not in direct sunlight.

- Water it once a week by dipping its roots into a bucket or sink. Just ensure you let it drain properly before putting it back into its pot. In winter, it’s best to water it every 10 days.
 
- Prolong its bloom by giving it plant food once a month.
 
- Orchids dislike a slight draft, direct sunlight, and being in hot conditions.
 
- Don’t place an orchid near a fruit bowl too, as fruit produces gases that have a deteriorating effect on flowers.

What to do if your orchid has lost its flowers

There’s nothing worse than seeing a once-vibrant orchid shed its flowers, while its leaves turn limp and yellow. Here’s what might be happening and what to do about it…

- If your orchid sheds flowers or flower butts, this is an indication that your plant hasn’t got enough water or sunlight. Give it a more luminous surrounding and soak its roots once a week.

- Yellow leaves can be caused by exposing your orchid to too much sunlight. Place your orchid in light surroundings, but not in direct sunlight (e.g. a side table near the window would be the perfect location).
 
- Limp leaves can be sign of water deficiency or, sometimes, too much water. If the orchid’s roots are grey, this means your orchid is suffering from water deprivation. In that case, it’s best to soak your orchid in a bucket or sink for 10 to 15 minutes. If the orchid roots are brown, this indicates that your orchid was given too much water. Sometimes, the orchid will grow new roots (after its bloom).
 
More care tips can be found on www.orchidsinfo.eu

 

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