Monday, August 2, 2010

You Received a Potted Orchid - Now What?

Potted orchids are a popular gift these days. It's no wonder why; they add a delicate beauty to any room and give you a feeling of exotic luxury (like sitting on a beach in Hawaii!). Cactus Flower is currently offering a special on orchids in a funky green tin pot or glazed ceramic pot for $30 and $40, respectively.
Orchids are a great choice for a long-lasting gift. With proper care, orchids can last several weeks if not months! Here are some care tips for the phalaenopsis orchid, which is the type in our special.
Light
The phalaenopsis orchid prefers low light, preferably from the north or east. You will know if it's getting enough sunlight by the color of the leaves: Too dark means not enough, and yellowing leaves mean too much. If the leaves are bright green, the lighting is perfect.
Temperature
Orchids are happiest in temperatures that make YOU comfortable. Daytime temps of 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime temps of 60-65 degrees are ideal. Orchids prefer this fluctuation in temperature, and without it, may refuse to flower. They also prefer some humidity as they are native to the rain forest, so bathrooms with indirect sunlight are the perfect household location. If you live in Phoenix, you may want to increase your plant's access to moisture by placing your plant in a shallow dish of pebbles and water, keeping the water below the top of the pebbles. Don't let the pot touch the water or the roots could rot.
Watering
As a general rule, water your orchid once every 5-7 days. Let the orchid dry out between waterings, and never allow it to sit in excess water.
When finished blooming
When the last bloom drops, cut the stem halfway down. Continue caring for it just as you have for weeks and cross your fingers for a possible rebloom!

No comments: