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Apr
2018
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Potted Orchids – Real versus Fake and How to Care for Them.

Potted Orchids – Real Versus Artificial And How To Care For Them

Known for their exotic and stunning blooms, potted orchids are becoming a popular addition to many households. With a little knowledge and care, they can grow and prosper in any home.

How To Care For Fresh Orchids

People who are new to caring for orchids are surprised to find they aren’t potted in soil like most houseplants. In their original habitats, orchids thrive by attaching their roots to trees and branches, receiving most of their nutrients from the air. Therefore, the potted orchid’s roots needs a lighter aerated soil: choose materials such as small natural stones, natural preserved moss, or a tree bark and wood chip mix to allow the roots to breathe.

With more than 30,000 species and even more hybrids, it is wise to choose an orchid that can withstand the climate of your home. Three of the most common orchids on the market are the Phalaenopsis, the Dendrobium and the Cymbidium. Each variety requires a specific amount of humidity, moisture, and amount of light, but they each do well in most homes.

Phalaenopsis

Phalaenopsis Fresh Orchids

  • Requires lower light, grows best in east windows or in a shaded south window.
  • Strive for olive green leaves. Dark leaves mean the plant isn’t getting enough light.
  • Ideal temperature range is 15 to 30 degrees Celsius.
  • Phalaenopsis prefers a humidity range of 40-70 percent.
  • Water every 7-10 days or when top of medium is dry.
Dendrobium
  • Requires plentiful light, but no direct sun.
  • Too much light will cause the leaves to become yellow. Dark leaves mean the plant isn’t getting enough light.
  • Ideal temperature ranges from 10 to 30 degrees Celsius.
  • Dendrobium prefers a humidity range of 50-60 percent.
  • Only water when potting medium has become dry. It may be twice a week in summer but only fortnightly in winter.
Cymbidium
  • Requires plentiful light, but no direct sun.
  • Too much light will cause the leaves to become yellow. Dark leaves mean the plant is in too much shade.
  • Ideal temperature ranges from 10 to 30 degrees Celsius.
  • Cymbidium prefers a humidity range of 40-60 percent.
  • Only water when potting medium has become dry. It may be twice a week in summer but only fortnightly in winter.

Helpful Accessories and Tips

It is recommended to use an orchid fertiliser that’s been diluted enough to use weekly. You should flush the orchid once a month to clear the potting medium of accumulated salts before repoting it in an aerated soil.

If you don’t have sufficient sunlight in your home, fluorescent lighting is helpful. You can place a full spectrum fluorescent light 25-50 centimetres above a potted orchid for 15-16 hours a day. Make sure the orchid is getting sufficient heat, especially in the winter, according to its variety.

Most potted orchids bloom once every year, but some orchids can bloom multiple times a year or once every few years. When an orchid’s bloom is finished, garden shears are a great way to keep your plant healthy. Garden shears are typically much sharper than scissors and offer a cleaner cut. Trim the spike down to leaf-level after an orchid stops blooming to ensure new blooms during the next blooming season. Continue fertilising and watering.

Artificial Orchids

Technology has made significant advancements over the years, in particular when it comes to creating artificial flowers. Artificial flowers today look and feel so natural that even artificial orchids are just as beautiful as real ones! You can choose any species or colour you prefer without having to worry about specific care instructions. They can come pre-arranged as a potted orchid, or you may purchase single orchid stems to arrange yourself for a customised look. Plus, artificial orchid flowers all year long and maintenance is easy—simply wipe dust away with a damp cloth. Your house guests won’t even know the difference!

Artificial Dendrobium Orchids

A luxe combination of dendrobium orchids & magnolia foliage

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