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Most budding horticulturists may choose easy-to-grow indoor plants such as the trendy tillandsia or ficus, but the evergreen orchid is surprisingly easy to upkeep as well. “Orchids provide interiors with that little bit of elegance and are a great addition to any empty space. However, these little guys do require a bit of maintenance so it is important to read up on their care and pay close attention to them in order to maximise growth and make sure they develop into full maturity,” says Narelle Peart from Scotts Osmocote.

Want to add a dash of elegance to your home? Here’s a step-by-step guide to growing and potting orchids at home.

Potting mix

For optimum growth, it is essential to invest in a premium orchid mix that will promote healthy drainage, root growth and allow for quality air flow. Make sure you steer clear of regular soil as this has the potential to completely suffocate your orchids roots, killing the plant as a result. Specialised orchid mixes are inexpensive and will guarantee your beautiful orchid will remain nurtured and cared for.

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Feed your orchids regularly

For more beautiful blooms and greener foliage, make sure you feed your orchids with a liquid fertiliser once a fortnight. Try using a one that is created for orchid care as it will provide the plant with a balanced blend of nutrients essential for its growth. As a result, you will notice an increase in the orchid’s vibrance, growth activity and productivity all year round.

Hydration is key

Orchids are quite particular in their watering needs. Make sure you are giving your orchid a feed of water directly from the tap every week for at least a few seconds at room temperature. For optimum results, water it straight into the roots, ensuring not to catch the delicate blooms. Just make sure your orchid has enough drainage so the water doesn’t sit in the pot and make the orchid mix soggy.

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Trim spent blooms

Like every plant, orchids need to be rejuvenated on a regular basis. Keep an eye on your orchid to see when the blooms reach full maturity. When this happens, do ensure that you give them a small clip at the stem, just below its last bloom. Always make sure you are careful of the small bump below –if this gets cut it will prevent the orchid from receiving new growth.

Repotting your orchid

You can actually leave the orchid in the plastic pot it came in for a couple of years. Don’t repot them every year as they prefer it when the pot is filled with their roots. If you do decide to repot your orchid, do it after flowering. For more tips on how to plant an orchid, follow our step-by-step guide below:

Step 1: Fill a small pot with orchid bark (which has been sterilised and can be bought at any nursery) and plant your specimen into it. Don’t bury the top of the orchid’s roots too deep – they love being exposed to air.

Step 2: Insert a small stake (you can also use an old knitting needle) to anchor the orchid, then clip the flowering system to it to help hold up heavy blooms. You can use small butterfly clips for this.

Step 3: Firm down the bark around the roots so your orchid is firmly in place. Tapping the sides of the pot will make sure there are no air pockets that sink after watering.

Step 4: Mulch with pebbles to help hold the orchid in place. Let it dry out slightly between waterings, about two to three times a week.

Step 5: Once the orchid has flowered, cut off the old flowering stem at the base, then switch to the “growing” fertiliser instead of the “flowering” type.

Text: Homes To Love