Orchid TLC

I am not a green thumb with houseplants. But for some reason, I can manage orchids. I have watched YouTube videos and blogs to sort out how to care for these exotic plants. Lately, I’ve watched my two orchids that bloomed a couple years ago, not bloom anymore. I don’t know why. I got a new orchid for my birthday and its beautiful blooms reminded me: the others are not blooming! So I researched a bit and decided to re-pot them.

Orchids can be fussy plants. The species I have are normally tropical tree-dwellers. They live on trees, not in the ground. So they get warmth, moisture, and mixed light. I can’t grow them on trees in MN, so I trick them by planting them in coarse bark chips (not soil). I also don’t water them like a houseplant. I have them in containers that have holes on the sides and unlike some instructions that say to put 2 ice cubes in the pot once a week for water, I figure I wouldn’t like an ice-bath, so neither would a tropical plant. So I hold their plastic liner containers under the faucet, let luke-warm water run through, and then set them in the sink to drain completely before placing them back in the pot. The roots get yellow and brown if they are too wet. Anyway….. I decided to re-pot them. I took them out of the pots, and with my fingers, brushed and pried and picked away all the old chips (some were so compact they were like coarse soil). I laid each plant on a tray because this is messy work. I sterilized scissors and cut away dead or decaying roots, then put them in new chips. I even re-potted the new plant, and it was in compacted sphagnum moss, which was very wet, and put it in bark chips.

I also re-potted an orchid from my office. All pots had roots that were not doing well, so I am glad I re-potted them. I gave them some fertilizer too. I am glad I did all this work because I have been watching buds on the new plant, and they haven’t opened since I got them. After some TLC, I was delighted that they began to open and have enjoyed seeing them bud!

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