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Orchid Success


By joey


I am very proud of what I now feel I can call my orchid collection. I have a fantastic sun-room leading out onto the garden and this is the perfect spot for them. I am not an expert on orchids but I thought I would share the few tips I have gleaned with you.

I keep the plants in their original plastic white or clear pots and put these into nice, bright plant pots.

In the bottom of the plant pots I put a selection of reasonably sized pebbles which I make sure stay wet – the plastic pot goes on top and doesn’t come into contact with the water. I am sure that a layer of gravel on a small dish would do a similar job.

I water them every couple of days (yes water) and the water runs straight through giving the roots a little drink before settling into the pebbles (try to keep the water from submerging the bottom of the pot, if this happens drain some water away and reduce your watering). The water then evaporates slowly (esp. this summer!) keeping the area immediately around the orchids moist. This way I never have to use a mister.

When the flowers die I cut to the next eye or node on the stem. This is the pale almost dry looking ring on the stem – the old flowers will leave a similar node but it will not encircle the stem in the same way.

Cut just above the eye and the new flower shoot will appear just below your cut. I panicked over winter as the end went really hard and looked very dead – now there is a fantastic new shoot covered in flowers.

That is relevant for most Phalaenopsis species the one to the right is Phalaenopsis ‘Brother Pico Sweetheart’

The one below however is a bit different! Phalaenopsis equestris is apparently known for producing new growth. If you follow the steps for cutting back detailed above…

It puts out lots of babies with new leaves, aerial roots and even flowers…

I have potted these up into orchid bark and treat in exactly the same way… they seem to be very happy. I have been told by an orchid expert that orchids thrive on neglect – he may have been making a snap judgement on my gardening techniques but he might just be right! If anyone has any tips I would love to hear them.

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Joey, thank you, lol....I made the classic mistake of cutting off the dead stem! I shall follow your tips, and hope for the same success as you obviously have.
I have been getting bags of bark for my paths, is orchid bark something special or will that do?

23 Jul, 2007


Ahh, no worries, it was just lucky guess work for me.. completely! Orchid bark is special I think.. I got it from mcbeans orchids (they do have a website I think) and it has some extra bits and pieces added in.

23 Jul, 2007


Hi both! I grow orchids too - my husband has strictly forbidden me to buy any more... I have seven Phalaenopsis (unnamed, unfortunately), which thrive on the front window sills, one Dendrobium and four Cymbidiums (Bought to grow in our new Garden room last Winter). They are currently outside supposedly enjoying their summer holidays (ha ha) but I think I may have to bring them in. There is a fantastic orchid grower near Newton Abbott in Devon, Burnham Nurseries, who get gold at Chelsea, and their website is worth a look.If you go down there, also worth a visit. They are a mine of information and of course sell both orchids of all types and compost, feed etc.

23 Jul, 2007


Hi Spritzhenry - I bought my first orchid from Burnham Nurseries last year at Hampton Court Palace so I have a lot to thank them for - I will take a look at their website - thanks!

23 Jul, 2007


I would love to see some photos of your orchids too Spritzhenry

23 Jul, 2007


The ones I just posted are old photos - the Phalaeopsis are flowering their socks off, so I'll grab the camera in a minute. The Cymbidiums MIGHT flower again in the Winter (fingers crossed) so no joy there. I enjoyed your blog and photos! Hooray for discovering more orchid lovers! Bet the Burnham Nurseries display was brilliant, wasn't it? it was a longish trek to visit them, but worth it!

23 Jul, 2007


HEAVEN in a display stand it really was!

23 Jul, 2007


For those interested, a new species of orchid has been discovered in the Phillipines.

8 Aug, 2007


Since Peter told us about the 'like it' option on Blogs I have been trawling past Blogs and am delighted to have found this one [ it is worth trawling, there is treasure in the GoY archives :-)] .
I have always loved orchids but rarely indulge in getting one because I was sure it would die in my neglectful care. I am very grateful to Joey for such a clear and encouraging outline of how to cultivate them. This summer my Mother has given me two, the second because all the blooms dropped off the first when my son knocked it over. With Joey's guidelines I believe both stand a much better chance of surviving. Many thanks, Joey.

31 Aug, 2008


We miss Joey on GOY. She was an active member for ages. I know that she got married recently - maybe she'll come baxk to us sometime.

31 Aug, 2008


I do hope so.

1 Sep, 2008


hey all, thanks for the comments - xela i hope you are getting on with your new found friends and spritz thanks for such a lovely message.

i have been really busy recently and am now learning to become a florist so all my flower knowledge is coming in handy!

Orchids are still a complete passion and I think everyone should try them at least once... although my teacher told me he used them for a wedding (potted) and then threw 14 of them away.... I had to have a seat and breathe into a bag for a while. hehe

2 Sep, 2008


Joey, great to see you here
and to be able to thank you for this blog.
I have put your advice into practice and am now holding my breath ..... I hope I have got it right.
Looking forward to hearing how the florist training goes, you will keep us posted won't you ?

3 Sep, 2008


Joey, this is a great blog and exactly what I mother has many orchids but she has them planted in bark strung on the branches of some trees we have or planted in wooden baskets nailed to the garden wall, something I can't do (I live in an apt and container garden)...your blog is really clear and easy to follow! I'll look for clear pots but have never seen them in Houston...

10 Dec, 2008


Hi guys, I'm new to this site, so hello to all ... especially Orchid lovers. I currently have 5 Phalaenopsis on my window sill (only one in flower) and waiting patiently for the others to come into flower!

Thank you to Spritzhenry for your advice on feeding - should I feed when the orchid is in floweer? and do you recommend buying a separate growth and flower feed, as this is what I'm doing at the moment ... all guess work.

I've also cut one of the old flowering stems down to the last node nearest the compost ... was this too low? and will this stem flower again?

Thanks again and hi to all my new-found orchid lovers.

6 Apr, 2009


With the pot of food, it's fine for all the time with Phalaenopsis, flowering or resting.

My Cymbidiums have a different regime.

Yes, cut the stem back just above the node nearest to the compost. You may get a new stem from the node, or possibly from between the leaves.

6 Apr, 2009


Thanks I was trying to find some advice - really clear instructions - its my first orchid but i think i am going to get hooked - they are so pretty

12 May, 2009


You WILL get hooked, no doubt about it! ;-)

13 May, 2009


great blog post.. very insipiring :-)

22 Apr, 2010


Looking good Joey

23 Jun, 2010

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