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Just bought an orchid and confused about its care

Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 7,860
I've never had an orchid before so I invested £10 in one yesterday.
Reading on how to care for it is very confusing.
I understand it needs fertilizer, but one that does not contain urea and that a 20-20-20 fertilizer is best.
Some articles say use tap water, some say leave an ice cube to melt on the compost etc...

I'm guessing rain water would be best (?), but how do I know when it needs it?
What fertilizers do others here use?
Thanks :)




Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Posts

  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 1,311
    Rain water  is best but tap will do if it's not to chalky. Put the whole pot into a bowl of room temperature water for about 15 minutes then take it out and let it drain, they don't like to have wet feet, and they certainly don't want to be shocked by near freezing water. As for fertiliser buy a special orchid one they like VERY weak fertiliser so don't be tempted to over do it.

  • AthelasAthelas Posts: 447
    About when to water, it would be when the roots appear more grey/silvery than green; it comes out to about once a week for my orchids but I skip it if the pot feels somewhat heavy and the roots are green.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 7,860
    Thank you both
    I've ordered some Chempak Orchid fertilizer and will bring the rain water inside to bring up (or down) to room temp
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • AthelasAthelas Posts: 447
    Your orchid looks great, the flowers should last a long while.

    They’re pretty long lived houseplants, I have mine from 3 years ago. It will need repotting at some point, but not any time soon.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 7,860
    Thanks @Athelas I'll try my best with it :)
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 1,217
    When the flowers finish don't cut the stems just yet. Often the plant will produce new flowers from those stems. If they go brown then they can be cut off.
    Orchids don't like to be in direct sunlight.
    Ours are on gravel trays and with the heat the last few weeks they have been sprayed daily and watered weekly.
    In the cooler months this will be reduced.
    We do use rain water.
    Yours looks like a Phalaenopsis hybrid orchid and as @Athelas said they flower for weeks and weeks.
    A good buy.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 7,860
    Oh thank you - I didn't realize I may get more flowers from the same stem.
    I'd have cut it off 🙄
    It's in a bright position about 10ft from the patio doors so will get plenty of light
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 7,860
    After flowering for nearly 7 months (I'm really impressed!) my little orchid has started to drop its flowers.
    When the flowers have fallen, I'll cut the stems back as advised above.

    Will it be OK to keep in in my north-facing bathroom until I see either a new flower stem or new shoots from the cut back stems? It's quite bright and about 20C in the bathroom most of the time (a bit cooler at night).
    Is it right that I don't feed it again until new flower buds appear?

    Thanks




    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 1,217
    edited 14 January
    Maybe hold back on the cutting of the flower spikes.
    If they stay green then you may have more flowers later on.
    If they go brown then yes cut them right back as these aren't viable anymore.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 7,860
    edited 15 January
    Thanks @bertrand-mabel
    I'll leave the stems and see what happens.
    Will it be ok in my north facing bathroom (around 20c) whilst they're not in flower?
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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