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how to look after an orchid

(16 Posts)
mustsleep Mon 17-Sep-07 10:49:09

my lovely dh bought one of those orchids in the pots from sainsburys and it's grgeous and everything but i do not have a clue how to look after it

it says not to over water and all that but all the roots seem to be growing out of the pot is that normal and when the flowers dies what do i do, do i vut then off or just leave them

please help it is the only plant in our house

Threadworm Mon 17-Sep-07 10:55:19

Roots out of pot is ok. They like it that way

A fairly frequent good soaking is fine, but they must never stand in water (i.e. they don't like to have their feet in a saucer-full of water).

Remember how they grow in the wild: their roots hang on to the bark of a tree or such like; they will be frequently moistened but with plenty of air and not standing in stagnamt water.

Weak feeding when they are flowering is ok. (You can get special orchid food)

With some varieties (phaleonopsis (sp?) or moth orchid), if you cut the top few inches of the flowering stem off following flowering, they will flower from that stem again. With other varieties, just leave them alone with reduced watering, and pick up the watering again when they seem tobe growing actively.

Also v important: they like lots of light but not direct sunlight.

Threadworm Mon 17-Sep-07 10:56:06

Oooh, I am an orchid-bore!!

mustsleep Mon 17-Sep-07 10:59:04

thanks have put on a desk that gets a bt of light but isn't in the sun all day long

it's a phalaenopsis one so i will do as you suggest, what about the leaves do i have to do anything with them?

Threadworm Mon 17-Sep-07 11:04:12

No you can leave the leaves alone. After you have trimmed the stem back once and it has re-flowered from that stem, it's important to let the stem die back naturally, then the plant will concentrate on growing a few new leaves before it decides to put out a completly new stem (about a year later)

Good luck, and enjoy (If it doesn't work out, don't worry: I think a lot of people just keep them while they are in flower and then chuck them. Not me, though -- cos of being an orchid bore!)

mustsleep Mon 17-Sep-07 11:10:54

thanks a lot willgive it good go

Legacy Mon 17-Sep-07 11:48:57

Help - I need orchid advice too. I have (had?) a beautiful one with lots of lovely flowers, and then while we away over summer it got some kind of leaf bugs which I think killed all the flowers. I cut off the stem and washed away all the visible bugs, but I sort of feel they are still hanging around waiting for it to sprout again.

Can I save it?

Threadworm Mon 17-Sep-07 11:54:35

Hmm, depends which pest I suppose. Here's a possibly useful link. I'd be tempted to stick with it and just be ready to wash them off again if they appeared. Or you can buy sprays.

Probably, they got a purchase because the plant was underwatered while you were on holiday: plants can't resesit bugs so well when they are under stress.

Earlybird Mon 17-Sep-07 12:29:50

I was told to water them every 7-10 days. For some reason, morning is best, and you should use room temp water. Stand them in the sink, let the water run into the pot and the excess will come out the holes in the bottom of the pot. Once the 'dripping' has stopped, put them back where they belong.

No idea about trimming.

glitterchick Wed 19-Sep-07 11:25:44

Sit orcid into pot but dont put water over it. I did that and the roots rotted. You need to sit it into another put with no holes and place some stones into bottom put some water into the bottom of that i.e. allow the roots to soak up water from underneath. When flowers dies off cut right down and the whole thing will regrow again, flowers and all.

seeker Wed 19-Sep-07 11:34:07

Give it to my green fingered mother. That's what I did when I won one in a raffle a few months ago. I get to see it looking wonderful once a week, my mum was very excited (she's never had an orchid in all her 87 years!) and I am completely guilt free because I know it's not going to die instantly. Problem solved!

GrumpyOldHorsewoman Wed 19-Sep-07 11:45:09

My Nan has several on the windowsill in her kitchen. They thrive in there, and she says it's the warm and often steamy environment that they love.

SpacePuppy Wed 19-Sep-07 11:49:42

threadworm knows what she's talking about!, I've been growing them for nearly 8 years now. The only thing I can add to Phaleaenopsis is when you water them make sure you dry the leaves where they attach to the stem. They can rot if left wet. I usually do mine just with a piece of kitchen paper after watering. I then use the damp towel to rub down the leaves if there is any dust on them, makes them shiny.

Loulee Thu 20-Sep-07 19:37:12

the less i do to my orchids, the more they thrive - have had them about 4 years now, they've flowered almost constantly. i water them sporadically, do an occasional soak and never pay them much attention. They sit in a sunny place, but not direct sunlight.
I LOVE them

RTKangaMummy Thu 20-Sep-07 19:50:16

We have a couple of orchids

One we got on honeymoon in Hawaii that flowers each Christmas

it deffo loves no attention it sits on kitchen windowsill and has loads of roots coming out of pot gets watered very rarely and still flowers 16 years later

We have never repotted it

My mum repotted hers and it died so we decided to leave ours alone and it loves it


The stalks grow and flower and then another one shoots up and has some flowers

Beautiful deep purple ones


EmsMum Thu 20-Sep-07 19:56:13

Benign neglect. Water sparingly. If its in a translucent pot its cos it likes it that way,
dont cover.

We gave MIL one for her 87th, she's 89 this weekend and both she and her orchid are going strong.

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