For lovers of the romantic and admirers of the exotic, meet a match made in floral heaven. Orchid plants have long graced the tropical spaces of Asia and Australia. Their unique blossoms now feature the plant as adored indoor plants, highly esteemed gifts and lavish wedding décor. Though the orchid is commonly misunderstood as a difficult plant to tend to, we show you how it is merely different. From glamorous gift, to the headline of your household, discover all the reasons to love this beautiful bloom.
What’s potting with orchids
Orchid plants require the same fundamental care as any other plant moved indoors, with careful attention to detail. For those new to orchids, we recommend this video tutorial to walk you through the process of beginners’ phalaenopsis orchid care. For further orchid video resources, explore the rest of the beginners series.
Orchestrating orchid care
To know how to care for an orchid is to honour it. With the right tools, tips and imagination, you can share the love of orchid plants as gifts and create incredible displays. Just to tantalise the visual senses, explore the possibilities with these professional installations trending in the wedding decor industry. Without further ado, get ready to understand and explore this exotic bloom.
To start, the orchid is quite a diverse plant which in turn leads to its unique care needs. Orchids in their native environment typically exist in jungles, suspended on trees. They absorb water from their humid air space, find nourishment in animal droppings and small bits of decaying matter falling down the tree. Additionally, they contain protruding thick, knobbly stems called pseudobulb, which assist in storing water to later consume during drier phases. As such, some orchids, known as epiphytes or air plants, live on trees (and no, they are not parasitic). Other orchids live on rocks or exist in the natural debris of jungle floor beds. By keeping their origin in mind, it informs the correct care needed for your orchid to thrive.
Environment: pot, repotting and rehoming
Orchid care gets rooted in, well — their roots. While the blooms are a good indicator to look out for, the best identifier of orchid health is in their leaves and roots. Due to this, potting is a tricky subject, as some do worry about the delicate process. Most orchids are purchasable at a nursery like Plantland, in pots, and it is best to choose orchids with green lush leaves. Plastic, clear containers are not only easier to clean and disinfect for later use, but the transparency assists in checking the health of the roots. To get yours, visit our Menlyn and The Wilds stores where we now stock these amazing imported pots. These new additions will be the best accessory to add to your orchid care kit.
Keeping your soil at optimum moisture levels is key for a thriving orchid. Dark soil medium indicates moisture, whereas lighter soil indicates dry. You can stick a chopstick or pencil into the centre of the pot to monitor the soil moisture levels.
If you intend to keep your orchid plants in the kitchen, be mindful to not place them near ripened fruit or gas appliances which give off ethylene gas. This will trigger the end of a bloom life cycle.
Water with care
Providing optimum watering to your orchid plants is a careful balance of regulating and imitating a humid atmosphere. They do not like ‘wet feet’, but they also wilt in dry, dehydrating spaces. Great ideas include using a humidity tray (suspending the pot over a tray of water to benefit from evaporation), or utilising an ice cube. A sneaky trick that is easy to follow: during summer months, place a single ice cube in the pot to melt once a week. In colder months, place an ice cube in the pot every two weeks.
The key is to not suffocate and drown the roots. Normally, orchids live suspended in air and therefore require a lot of oxygen. If you intend to mist your orchid, focus on the roots and do not let water droplets sit on the petals, as they will cause brown spotting, wilting and premature bloom death.
Sunshine, indoor lighting and temperatures
There are variations of low-light and high-light orchids. Again, the trick is in the balance. In the jungle, these plants would receive bright, dappled shade under the canopy of trees. One idea is to keep them in a well-lit bathroom to create a botanical experience, while making use of the humid environment, but not in the intense light of window sills. You can then feature them in the living room or other areas of the home as the environment changes.
If you are providing an artificial space, you can use broad-spectrum light bulbs. However, keep in mind the seasonal patterns that will change during different days of the year. Avoid light exposure at nighttime and add light when needed over darker days. Orchids are in tune with seasonal change — you will notice when buds develop and bloom just before winter. They will keep best between 23 to 29 ºC, whereas cooler temperatures will indicate nightfall or autumn months and cue bloom preparation. Just be sure to keep them out of the path of air conditioning and heaters.
Lastly, fertiliser. Orchid plants only require a small amount of fertiliser and do best with a little, given over time. One rule to stick by: fertilise weakly, weekly. For the best fertiliser, contact our garden experts for advice.
Delve into decorating
Once you have mastered the basics of care, the possibilities for celebrating with the orchid are endless. Whether you are looking to make a statement at an event, add a nice touch at an intimate gathering, decorate a gift or use accents of botanicals around the home, orchids are a flawless choice. Plus, they are trending for weddings not only for their colourful, tropical appeal but hugely popular as wilt-resistant flowers. Hello, summer wedding.
Think of neutral mochas and crisp whites found with phalaenopsis or the bold and beautiful patterns with vanda orchids in pinks, purples and blues. You can place orchids in vases as a centrepiece to dining or coffee tables, or add colour on a shelf or a corner of a room as a focal feature. Feature an orchid on a dressing table to start the day inspired, or as a warm greeting on an office desk to keep a working space bright and beautiful.
Bloom in confidence
We hope you enjoyed learning how to care for orchid plants and ignited a newfound appreciation for these gorgeous flowers. For further gift ideas, explore our ideas online or visit a store nearest you for inspiration and expert advice.
a garden lifestyle
Firstly, a garden lifestyle is simply one in which you, your way of living and your goals are in cooperation with nature. Alongside with some home garden resolutions to start you off, the goal of a lifestyle is to allow it to permeate throughout your whole approach to living. These include everything from growing and harvesting, but also dynamic aspects like education, health, fitness and even bringing your love for the outdoors within your home.
Importance of nurturing your garden lifestyle
To get the most out of this new lifestyle remember that as you care for your garden, let the process also nurture you. Allow it to be a haven as well as a space for a healthy challenge. Embrace your garden in its entirety and you will appreciate all that it has to offer you.
Approach a garden lifestyle through:
Eco-consciousness and permaculture
Every gardener at some point in their life has come to know the importance of caring for the earth through gardening. Once you watch the space transform in seasons and observe it over the years, you will notice its patterns and needs intimately and intuitively. While it provides you with lovely blossoms and prized produce, you will find reward in creating eco-friendly ways of caring for it. Think of catching water, planting companion crops, designing an efficient garden and generally reducing your footprint through changed habits. Cherish what your garden has to offer and let innovation guide you.
Activities and entertaining
While the garden is part work, it is also a lot of fun. If you like to host gatherings, perhaps start featuring them more in your garden space. Take regular walks through your garden, invite family and friends over to partake in a gardening session and perhaps even volunteer to care for a community garden or plot. Not only will you enjoy more time invested in gardening, you may make new friends and expose someone to gardening for the first time. What a wonderful joy to share and spread with others.
Fitness and health
Gardening is grounding. This is a therapeutic technique which simply helps with calming the body. Walking barefoot in the grass, immersing your hands in rich soil and breathing in the fresh air helps to transfer the earth’s energy (or electrons) to the body. Not only is gardening great for your wellbeing but also physical robustness. Bending over, digging, and watering all aid in developing motor skills and also double up in exercising mobility and flexibility. Not to mention a healthy glow when you spend time soaking up some vitamin D (just remember your sunhat and sunscreen).
Education and learning
Gardening will promote a sense of wonder in the young and old. Beyond your plants, you are tending to an ecosystem. Little gardeners will marvel at growth, insects and small animals that visit. Older gardeners will study best practices, growing indigenously and will pass this information and love for the garden to the next generation. Curating and encouraging a love for the outdoors also adds a host of life skills like responsibility, discipline, discovery, understanding life science, nutrition, patience and a healthy dose of humility through nature. The garden as a classroom? Yes, please.
Bringing the outdoors in
Lastly, to completely embrace a garden lifestyle, allow your love for the garden to enter your home interior. Waking up to houseplants to greet you in the morning is aesthetically pleasing, but also adds a healthy dose of green in the home. Feature fresh botanical scents that excite you, consume the herbs and produce you grow, and create a green serene retreat. Your home should reflect the lifestyle you lead — let it be one that roots you.
Go green, stay green
We hope you enjoy exploring the possibilities of a garden lifestyle. For more ideas on giving your garden the best and getting most out of it, peruse our blog articles. To get advice from a Plantland garden expert, contact u