Having worked in a few flower shops, I was horrified to see that when the orchid blooms have finished, the potted leaves were mostly destined for landfill. I was determined to find a new life for them and researched the way forward. Here are some tips that I found:
- the blooms will fall away from the stem and you will be left with a stalk.
- cut the stalk about 5mm just above the last bud. The preferred bud is usually around the height of the leaves. The reason it is cut back is because the orchid flower will not regrow from the same flower bud.
- patience is now required as the plant will flower when conditions are right for it. The plants spends a lot of time in the growth stage where it lays down new leaves.
- it prefers a well lit spot away from direct sunlight.
- water a small amount only once a week.
- when the new stalk finally appears, the stem will be quite friable. When it reaches about 10-12cm you can tie or clip it onto a stake using small butterfly clips, florist tape or a twist tie. Take care when inserting the stake not to damage the roots.
- I regularly fertilise with Charlie Carp - a liquid fish fertiliser.
- also, you will usually find the orchid roots are in sphagnum moss. I always repot the plant into an orchid potting mix consisting of bark pieces as this provides drainage and air circulation.
- it is not uncommon for the plant to send out air roots replicating it's natural environment of living on trees in the tropics. I specifically don't cut these off.
You can purchase a beautiful orchid in a ceramic pot here.
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