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January 29, 2019 at 14:23 | PLANTS

All you need to know and All About Orchids Care

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This section is for the Orchid Beginner. See answers to the most popular orchid questions further down on this page.

Where do I cut the flower spike when it is finished?

Of all of the more commonly available orchids, only Phalaenopsis (the moth orchid) will re-bloom from its old spike. Phalaenopsis will generally re-bloom given a little extra care. When the last flower fades, you can leave the spike (stem) on and it will still continue flowering but the stem gets very ungainly and the flowers get smaller. Some people believe it is best to cut off the stem entirely at the base where it comes out of the leaves, and it will bloom again in several months. You can also cut off the stem leaving two nodes (those little 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. Younger or weaker plants may not rebloom and some Phalaenopsis are genetically incapable of reblooming from the old spike. These are usually those that flower with branched spikes. It’s always worth a try. Orchids, like animals, are susceptible to viruses, so whenever cutting an orchid plant always use a sterile tool to prevent the spread of virus. A straight edged razor blade is a good tool to use for cutting flower spikes.

How do I water my orchid?

Avoid overwatering which leads to the demise of many more orchids than underwatering. Constant wetness will cause the roots to rot, which leaves the plant without a means for taking up nourishment which then causes the leaves to droop and will eventually kill the plant. The classic advice is to water the day before the plant dries out. If you have to let the plant go dry to figure out what a dry plant weighs, it will not kill the plant and will make you a better grower. Another measure is to use the pencil trick (the point of a sharpened pencil, when inserted into the medium, will darken with moisture if the plant has enough water). And, there’s always the old standby – put your finger in the mix. If it feels wet, it is wet. If you aren’t sure whether it is time to water, wait one more day.

“Evenly moist,” while the most commonly given advice on watering, is the least easily explained. Because most plants are grown in plastic containers a good diagnosis is the weight of the plant: heavy – does not need watering; light – does require water. With a little practice, one can easily tell the amount of moisture remaining in the container.

Water your orchid early in the morning. This insures complete water evaporation on the foliage as well as the crown by nightfall. If your home is very warm or has low humidity you will most likely need to water more often. The best place to water your plant is in the kitchen sink. Use lukewarm water (do not use salt softened or distilled water) and water your plant for about 15 seconds and be sure to thoroughly wet the media. Then allow the plant to drain for about 15 minutes. It may appear dry but it has had enough water. After the plants are watered, they should be placed so that the pots do not stand in water. Some people like to place the pots on “humidity trays” or in trays or saucers of gravel or pebbles and water. The pot is placed on the pebbles above the water line. This helps to insure that the base of the pot is not immersed in water, increases humidity for the plant, and provides some air circulation under the pot.

Source: The American Orchid Society

( recipesfromnature.com )