Six tips to keep your orchids blooming

Posted: 1st Jun 2018

The orchid has become the UK's most popular indoor plant, with millions of the flower being sold each year

The popularity of the plant continues to grow, coming in a wide range of colours, on-trend varieties and even 'shaped' stems have been launched. There are also new scented options which boast a sweet fragrance that peaks every morning.

Part of their popularity comes from their ability to flower for up to three months, during which time they require minimum upkeep - this means they offer great value and makes them ideal for house plant newbies and orchid aficionados alike.

If you're unsure what you should do to grow your own plant, orchid expert Mark Riley, of Double H Nurseries, shares his tips on keeping your orchid blooming for weeks on end:

1 Water weekly and feed fortnightly

Either run your orchid under a tank or leave it to soak in the sink for a few minutes. Well-watered roots will have plump green roots - if they appear to be silvery grey or shrivelled, simply pop them under the tap. Orchids require no feeding, but you can use an orchid liquid fertiliser feed every two to four weeks, which helps them to thrive quickly. For an easy hack - add a few ice cubes to the surface of the bark instead of watering them; just be sure to avoid the leaves.

2 Don't let it shine

They may love a bright window, but orchids are not keen on direct sunlight and particularly hate radiators. You'll be best off placing yours in east or west-facing windows and bathrooms. They also don't like sitting near fruit bowls - certain fruits will emit ethylene when they ripen.

3 Keep them flowering

After their flowers have dropped, move them to a cooler location whilst watering them to give the leaves a clean to improve growth. You should only cut back the stems if they begin to turn brown. An orchid takes between eight to 12 weeks to re-flower.

4 Rooting them out

If you don't like the way they look, simply cut off the dry, shrivelled roots that are sticking out from the bark. If they are green and healthy, you should leave them alone - they are meant to have aerial roots.

5 Rarely re-pot

Orchids will need re-potting every four to five years, or if the bark has started to compost down - whichever happens first. Be sure to use specialist orchid bark and don't worry about gaps, as orchid roots will love air just as much as they love water. It will take a week or two for the plant to stabilise and regain a foot hold.

6 Love our homes

Did you know orchids originate from Asia? Our homes will be the perfect environment for them, as they thrive at the temperature which are between 17 and 26 degrees. If they are watered sparingly each week and are kept in a bright location away from direct heat, you should ensure they bloom for years.

Information courtesy of Double H Nurseries