A co-worker had a pitiful looking orchid in her office. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve been responsible for my share of orchid deaths in the past, so I was hesitant to take this one, but I figured it was free and what’s the worst that could happen? If my mom can grow them indoors in Colorado, surely I can make a go of it in Florida.
The orchid in question is a Phalaenopsis ,and is one of the easier orchids to care for (allegedly). I’ll summarize what you need know about this variety.
- They like it warm and humid, so they’re well suited to Florida.
- Don’t require much light. East exposure is best, no direct sun.
- Water in the morning, about every 4 to 7 days. They shouldn’t sit in standing water.
- Feed with a good orchid plant food every other watering.
- When planting a combination of sphagnum moss and orchid bark is best.
This is what it looked like when I got it. The roots were in terrible shape and the leaves were limp.
Once the dead roots were trimmed away, I re-potted using the same container and then placed it outside on my porch where it spent the entire summer.
The roots perked up and a new leaf started to push out.
Here it is 5 months after I took it home. You can see the spike starting to shoot up. Maybe I’ll get lucky and it will flower. I should be able to keep it outdoors for at least another several weeks.
Moral of the story..Don’t be afraid to try your hand at orchids. Even if they appear to be a basket case.