Care & Cultivation Guide: Orchids

Orchids make excellent house plants and are available in many different sizes and colours. Species such as Phalaenopsis are easy to look after if a few basic requirements are followed. 

POSITION: Orchids require 10-15 hours of good light a day (but not direct unfiltered sunlight). In winter this can be supplemented with artificial light. An east or west-facing window with net curtains is ideal.   

CARE: A daytime temperature of around 20°c during the summer and 15°c during winter is suitable for most types of orchids with a drop 3-4°c at night. Avoid cold draughts, as they can be fatal.   

  • Keep the compost moist but not wet and reduce the watering during winter. 
  • Moist air is essential for orchids. Stand the plant on a saucer of gravel where the water can collect after watering and evaporate. Mist the leaves occasionally. 
  • Feed orchids lightly throughout the year, more heavily in summer 
  • Don’t worry if you think your plant looks ‘pot bound’ – orchids are happy living like this so only re-pot when the growth begins to suffer. Use specific orchid compost as this allows better air circulation to the roots. 

Limp leaves or flowers are usually caused by insufficient light but can also be caused by improper watering. (usually over watering) 

Yellowing leaves are typically caused by over watering. 

Brown spots on leaves – if these are hard and dry it is due to too much direct sun. But if the spots are soft this is probably a fungus disease. Remove the affected leaves immediately. 

NB – Orchid species vary in their cultural requirements, so the above is to be regarded as general information. 

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information given both on our lists and labels. However, some details may vary according to special or geographical circumstances. Varieties offered are subject to availability. 

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