Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Guest Post: Growing Orchids

For a change, this guest post was not written by my Mum. Instead, it was offered to me by a friendly lady named Ella who works for a website named Flowers by Post.
The reason why I decided to publish this guest post, against my first impulse, is that there is no financial gain in it for Flowers by Post. Contrary to what you may think (and what I thought when I first saw it), the website is not set up (yet) for commercial activity; you can look all you like for a catalogue or online price list or order form or phone number - there isn't one. Instead, as Ella explained to me (she really was very patient with me - I had so many questions before I agreed to do this!), "...the function of this website is to provide certain infromation to our readers, regarding flowers. It is projected to perform informative not practical function and this is why there is no available option for ordering bouquets. As you could notice there is also a blog section, containing intriguing and useful information about flowers."

So, here goes:


Orchids have been growing in popularity significantly over the years, but the awareness that anyone can grow them successfully indoors is what has caused a serious boom of purchasing the flowers and their seeds. There are three varieties of orchids which are considered easy to grow indoors and they have their own characteristics you need to consider.

One type has the reputation of easily adapting to indoor conditions. It comes in a wide selection of colours; the leaves are fleshy and thick and the flower stays in bloom for up to three months.

Recognized for the wide range of beautiful colours, another orchid has markings on its blooms and the petals finish with a frilly edge. The blooms remain for about a month.

Also known as the Dancing Lady Orchid, this is a versatile flower which can survive in different conditions, even in cooler temperature. The blooms range in colour and size and thrive easily indoors.

One of the top characteristics of the orchids, for which they are highly favored, is their fragrance. Most florists and gardeners state that no other group of flowers produces such a wide range of scents that can be compared to the orchid’s fragrance. Of course in order for the orchids to grow beautifully and smell divine, you need to provide some basic conditions and care. 

Humidity and temperature are vital factors for the survival of orchids, when grown indoors. The majority of orchid types develop well when the room temperature is between 16 and 29 degrees Celsius. Since the natural habitat of orchids (at least for most of them) is a humid location, you need to pick an area at home that has a higher humidity level. One of the ways to do that is to prepare a tray of moist pebbles or gravel, without any water and place the orchid pot on that. This way you are securing just enough humidity for the flower. 
Watering depends on the duration and quantity of rain that the chosen by you type or orchid would get in its natural habitat. In hot weather, increase the frequency of watering. You can try watering the orchid once a week and see how the flower will take it. 
In the wild, orchids usually experience a mixture of sun and shade, without exposure to strong sunlight. In order to replicate this environment condition, place the orchid pot on a window which is facing east in summer and then move the plant to a sunnier window for the winter. 
When you are planning orchids use a well-drained soil which will allow the circulation of the air around the roots. The normal fertilizers are not suitable for these plants. You can use a water-soluble fertilizer. If the orchid is lacking the adequate nutrients the leaves will turn yellow.

To sum it up, it could be said that growing orchids is not the hardest of tasks, but you need to be aware of all the specifics and needs of this plant. Orchids are expensive and this way you can ensure that you have this beautiful exotic flower at home throughout the year. It brings a definite touch of style, sophistication and luxury which can brighten up any room. As long as you try to treat the orchid as if it is in its natural habitat, growing it will be successful.


  1. Thank you for this post. I have an orchid my son gave me for Mother's Day last year and it bloomed again this year from May until October! It has just now started to drop it's blooms. I keep it in the window at the library and only water it about once a week and it seems to be doing very well. :-) I would love to try one that was fragrant, as this one has no scent.

    1. Come to think of it, my orchid (the only potted plant in my flat, not counting the potted basil in the kitchen window) has no scent, either. Like you, I only water mine once a week, it is part of my Saturday cleaning routine.

  2. I love orchids and have owned several over the years, but I have yet to get a plant to bloom a second time. (They usually have flowers on them when I buy them, but that's it. Never another bloom appears.)

    I don't know if I over water, under water, or my house is too hot, or two cold, but I've never been able to get a second blooming, even though the hang tags on the plants say "it's easy." Trust me, it's not!

    1. Usually, I am the one with the "black" thumbs (as opposed to green thumbs) who manages to kill off every potted plant sooner or later. With my orchid, I have not been "successful" yet - it is thriving, growing new shiny green leaves, and so far, it has rewarded my lack of attention with a second blooming. There weren't quite as many flowers on it the 2nd time as when I first received it as a birthday present, but they were beautiful and lasted for many weeks. All I do is let it sit at the same place and water it once a week.

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  4. I was given an orchid for a birthday many years ago. It lived in my very sunny conservatory for four or five years flowering each year quite profusely. Having survived several of my six months trips to New Zealand one year it proved just a bit too much for it and it gave up the ghost. If one likes orchids then I think it's well worth giving it a go.

    1. Actually, I am not that much into orchids myself and would not buy one, but mine was a birthday present, too; I love forgetmenots and roses and many other flowers but just am not very good at taking care of them, I'm afraid.

    2. I've commented before on a post that I'm not a great lover of orchids. They always seem to me to be too precious and almost unnatural. However in a funny sort of way I did get to enjoy the one I had: probably because everyone else seemed to like it.