Orchid Care 101

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I cut the spike?
Of all of the more commonly available orchids, only Phalaenopsis (the moth orchid) will re-bloom from its old spike. Phalaenopsis will generally re-bloom given a little extra care.

How do I water my orchid?
Avoid overwatering which leads to the demise of many more orchids than underwatering. Constant wetness will cause the roots to rot, which leaves the plant without a means for taking up nourishment which then causes the leaves to droop and will eventually kill the plant.

How do I feed my orchid?
Orchids need to be fed regularly. Growers suggest using a “balanced” fertilizer such as 20-20-20 that includes all “necessary trace elements.”

When should I repot?
Orchid plants need repotting for one or a combination of two main factors: Potting mix breaks down, often evidenced by dead roots, or the plant outgrowing the container.

What is the best potting media?
A fresh, fast-draining, but water-retentive medium is essential to the healthy root system necessary for good growth.

Where in the house can I grow my orchid?
South and east-facing windows work best for orchids. West windows can be too hot in the afternoon and north-facing ones are usually too dark.

Why won’t my orchid re-bloom?
Insufficient light is the most common cause of failure to re-bloom your orchid. Leaf color indicates if the amount of light is adequate.

What’s growing on the flower stem?
A plantlet (called a keiki (kay-kee), the Hawaiian word for baby) will sometimes grow on a flower spike (called an “inflorescence”).

What is the best orchid for growing in the home?
One of the most widely available orchids of the mass market types is also the best for the home – the phalaenopsis or moth orchid which will grow easily under the same conditions enjoyed by African Violets.

What should I look for when I buy an Orchid?
Many consumers, both retail and retailer, find themselves in a position today of having to make purchase- oriented decisions about an entirely new — to them, at least — class of plants: orchids.

Why are my orchid’s leaves wrinkled and leathery?
Shriveled leaves indicate a lack of water to plant tissue. The next step is to determine why the plant is not getting sufficient water.

What’s wrong with my orchid?
There are many reasons why buds fall off before flowering… call us if you this is happening to you!  We’ll ask you where it is, how long you’ve had it and when you’ve started noticing it to help you diagnose and treat your orchid.