Orchids

Cymbidium

One of the most popular orchids for a house plant or as a cut flower is cymbidium, producing 4-5 large spikes of 60-70cm long lasting many weeks. Grown indoors they require bright light in winter, dappled shade in summer.

They like a cool night temperature so position in a kitchen or hallway. They require watering all year: do not allow to dry out. Feed regularly, but reduce feed in the darkest winter months.

In summer they can be put outside as long as they are protected from the hot sun & well watered. As the flowers develop tie them to a bamboo cane to look their best. Remember high night temperature & poor light will lead to poor growth and bud drop.

Ludisia

This house plant is easy to care for and very rebust. Grow in a mixture of fine bark, peat or leaf mould with some course grit or sand to keep the compost open. Pot loosely in a shallow pot to accommodate the creeping rhizome. Shade well from direct sun, but keep in good light. This is a forest floor plant and therefore should not become completely dry.

Never spray the leaves with hard water or insecticides as it will spoil the foliage. Ludisia grows well on a Sideboard or windowsill and flowers for more than two months just make sure after flowering you prune the branch 3cm above the uppermost leaf to ensure it flowers again.

Water regularly but do not allow the house plant to stand in water. Feed often with either Fito’s concentrated feed for orchids or chempack orchid fertilizer.

Vanda

These are the nearest orchids to air plants. They get all their nourshisment from the air. They should be grown in small wooden baskets or glass vases & can be hung up. They should have their roots sprayed daily with some orchid food mixed into the water. They do not thrive in the dry, warm atmosphere of a centrally heated room and are better in a conservatory or cool greenhouse.

Phalaenopsis

Excellent in centrally heated homes (not below 18c). Will grow in poor light, where most houseplants normally suffer, provided you water and feed regularly. Position in a well lit room without direct sunlight, possibly with a net curtain to give dappled shade.

Keep the orchid moist at all times but do not stand permanently in water or this will rot the roots. A little fertiliser added to the water weekly will keep the plant fit & healthy. Mist the leaves not the flowers.

When the orchid has finished flowering, cut back to the strongest eye on the stem. If the stem has started to wither cut the flower spike right at the base and a new spike should appear from the opposite side of the plant in a few months.

Miltonia (Miltoniopsis)

These orchids do not make enormous specimen plants & seldom grow at the same time as they flower. Each pseudobulb consists of 2 basal leaves & one or two terminal leaves from the top, the flower spike coming from the base or the side of the pseudobulb.

Due to their origins, living in almost perpetual spring-like weather these orchids know little or no seasonal change & therefore grow continuously without a definite flowering season.

In fact most plants flower on a nine month cycle so they seldom bloom at the same time 2years running. Best grown with minimum night temperature of 15C. They should be shaded from hot summer sun and given an even humidity. Feed regularly during the growing season.

Re-potting orchids

  • Feed your orchids with either Fito’s Concentrated
    Feed For Orchids or Chempak Orchid Fertilizer
  • Re-Pot as new growth shows rooting at the base, place in pot which has been washed in hot water and heat dried
  • Fill at least one fifth of the pot with well-soaked drainage materials (such as broken crock pots or large pebbles) then add Levington Orchid Compost
  • Water plant generously
  • If re-potting is needed make sure you re-pot with Levington Organic Orchid Compost

If you would like any help or advice, please do ask any of our friendly staff.

Click to download our orchids leaflet

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