Orchid care: How to look after your orchid – four essential tips

Alan Titchmarsh shares advice on looking after orchids

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Orchids come in a variety of different shapes, sizes and colours, making them a popular houseplant choice. To keep your orchid plant majestic and flourishing, read on for some simple tips on watering and caring for your orchid.

Avoid overwatering

Orchid roots can rot if they are left to sit in pooled water, so its important not to overwater orchids.

On their website, Interflora explain a tip for watering orchids once a week which can help keep them flourishing.

Interflora said: “Most orchids will live in a clear container with a potting medium such as soil and bark. This will then sit inside a holding pot.

“Using distilled or recently boiled and cooled tap water, fill the clear orchid pot and holding pot so that the orchid roots are fully submerged.

“Do not fill above this point – fill just under the crown of the orchid and leave the orchid to soak.

“After 10-15 minutes remove the orchid from the water and allow it to drain for 5 minutes. Pour the remaining water out of your holding pot.

“Once the orchid has drained away the excess water, pop it back inside the holding pot and return it to its home.”

Create the right setting

The optimum place to put an orchid will differ depending on the variety being grown.

However, orchids generally prefer bright but filtered light away from direct sunlight.

Often, orchids can be grown as a house plant or in greenhouses.

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Avoid tap water

According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the ever-popular moth orchids don’t usually like the chlorine in fresh tapwater.

So consider using rainwater or boiled water which has cooled for watering orchids.

Avoid misting the flowers of the plant as this can cause spots to develop on the petals of the orchid.

Don’t neglect the roots

Aerial roots and foliage on an orchid plant should be misted daily to keep the plant healthy.

Grey and white roots may indicate that the orchid isn’t getting enough water.

Soggy and brown roots are probably an indication that the orchid has been watered too much.

The aim is to get green healthy roots, which indicates the orchid is getting just the right amount of water to flourish.

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