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Caring for an Orchid

Hi Ladies!

A friend gave me a beautiful orchid yesterday in a small pot and I need help knowing how to care for it properly. I currently has 5 flowers and 4 unopened buds. It's in the proper medium and a good sized container for the size of the plant. It has 4 healthy, green leaves. 

I don't want to keep it at home as my cats end up chewing on or knocking over indoor plants. I thought about keeping it in my cube at work but there is no natural light there. I do have 2 flourescent desk lights. 

Can you advise on the best way to take care of it and if the environment at my work would be acceptable? TIA!

May 17, 2008

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Re: Caring for an Orchid

  • I dont know about the light since ours gets some natural light indoors, but we put a few ice cubes on our orchid once a week (I think it was on the instruction card)
  • #1 rule: don't over water. Especially if it's in a moss-type medium. That's the quickest way to kill it. I grow mine in straight coconut bark because I'm an over-waterer. I soak the media once a week to once a month, depending on humidity. Also, don't water the leaves themselves, it can cause rot.

    For the most part, phalenopsis have a 6-month leaf and root-growing phase, then a 6 month flowering phase. Once yours is done flowering and the turns brown, cut it off and start a fertilizing regime with orchid fertilizer. It should grow a new leaf, sit around for a while making roots, then if all is well, send up a new flower stalk.

    They do need bright, indirect sunlight. I don't think florescent will be bright enough, but you could try. If the leaves turn a light green, there is not enough light. Dark green or red, too much light.

    Also, they like a temp drop to initiate the flowering phase. Putting them near a window in the winter is enough day/night temperature difference to get them to flower for me.

    And I wouldn't repot unless your media starts to look broken down, or is holding too much moisture. They like having crowded roots. If your plant starts sending out a lot of aerial roots all at once, there is something it doesn't like about it's media and it's time to change.

    Hope that helps!


    <a href="">Chart Clicky</a>
  • Hi. I just wrote a short post on my blog on a simple easy genius way to care for an orchid. My sister in law let me in on her secret to not over or under watering by using ice cubes. Don't forget NATURAL FILTERED LIGHT VERY IMPORTANT!
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