space design

Q & A

bowlof-phals.jpg I have a great write up in the April Issue of Better Homes and Gardens!! I’ll be sure to scan and post the article within the next day or two. I had an emailed question from a B H * G reader about orchid care and re-blooming so here goes…..Q. After an orchid blooms should you cut of the stem, and if so how close to the base of the plant?A.  I’ve always thought of, and treated orchids, as if they were exotic perennials. As with most perennials, and of course there are always exceptions, they have growing seasons and when the flower and stem are spent or the growing season is over the plant and or the stems are cut back to the base of the plant. This is true for the majority of orchids. The one exception is the phalaenopsis or moth orchid. I’ve had great success with the re-blooming of this common type of orchid. Once the flowers on the stem have faded leave the plant alone for at least 2 – 3 weeks. You’ll notice small nodes or rivets on the plant and from these rivets it’s very common for another spike to form. You will be able to tell after a few weeks if this is going to happen or not and in the mean time keeping the plant watered and fertilized is a good idea. Once the spike has formed you can cut just above the new growth.orchid4blog.jpgHere’s a few other general care tips that will ensure happy, healthy and vibrant orchids.*Water with luke warm water every 7 – 10 days. *Never water in the crown or middle of the plant, this is sure to cause the plant to rot. *Orchids don’t like to sit in water and good drainage is key. * Bright indirect light is best, full direct sun will burn the foliage and deplete the backup water supply in the pseudobulbs. *If you think of simulating a tropical environment, quick warm rains, indirect sun, high humidity, etc. you’re doing great. Good Luck and Enjoy!!


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  1. * Sheri Diamond says:

    Hi Martie,
    I found out about you in BHG’s article and as a recent graduate of Floral Design Institute’s Basic and Advanced courses, I was inspired. Like you my passion is on the simple side of floral design and have been exploring my options as to how to break into the business. As soon as I saw the article about you I felt like maybe my ideas aren’t so crazy afterall. I have done some designs for charity auctions using the bamboo trellis style and everyone seemed to love them. Any advice you may have for a former accountant who is over 40 and wants to get into the industry, would be appreciated. I am in the Seattle area but travel through Portland often so the next time I come through I will check out your shop! You are inspiring. Thanks, Sheri

    | Reply Posted 10 years ago

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