For the Orchid Enthusiast…


A double stemmed purple phaleonopsis orchid

Orchids give us so much majesty and beauty that they sometimes are intimidating and we feel that we cannot take proper care of them, or that we do not have a “green enough thumb” to be able to care for an orchid.  We shy away from the most majestic flowering plant simply because we do not feel competent or capable of caring for it.   Well for all the glory that orchids give, they do not ask for very much in return.  Here is a primer on orchids to help you over the initial fear…

FIRST – Come to Starbright (or any other reputable florist in your area) and purchase a Phaleonopsis orchid plant.  They come in a variety of colors but the most basic white or pink will do.  Remember that you are not buying this orchid as an expert or as a connoisseur, but rather as a novice trying to learn and to gain confidence that the plant can actually survive around YOU!

When you go home, place your orchid plant in a brightly lit room, but away from direct sunlight.  The orchid loves to bask in the sun but the more sun you give it the faster the blooms will open and eventually lose their petals.  You want a room that has sunlight but where the rays of the sun never hit directly on the plant.  Room temperature is fine.  In most cases if you are comfortable so is your plant.  This holds true for ANY plant (for the most part).   Also try to keep you plant away from sudden drafts.  A burst of cold air or hot air will certainly not help the orchid at all.

So far it is pretty simple, right?

Now make sure (at least for your first orchid) that you have a pot with good drainage.  Most orchids (phaleonopsis for certain) do not live in a swamp and if the water sits in the pot and does not drain, you are killing your plant.   So make sure that your pot allows excess moisture to escape.

Lastly – do not bother your plant.  The less you do for your orchid the more it will give back.  This is because there is not much that you can really do to care for the plant and in reality the plant requires very little care.  Water is about the only thing that it needs.

My advice to folks is instead of water; give your orchid ice cubes.  That is right – ICE CUBES.  Why?  Well for one, because when ice melts it becomes water.  It is a slow watering process because the ice melts slowly and it allows for the roots of the orchid to drink the water as opposed to the water running through the plant.  You also do not run the risk of the water ever building that swamp I mentioned earlier at the bottom of the pot.  So your orchid will get the water it needs and it will never be too much.  In most cases if the environment is not too hot or too dry, a handful of ice cubes a week will do.

Eventually the blooms on the plant will begin to wilt.  As they do, clip them off because they are unsightly.  As time goes on all the blooms will have opened and they will all have wilted. Eventually there will be nothing left but a bare stem.  Depending on what stage you had purchased your orchid in (how many blooms were open already, etc), this process should take no less than three weeks and in many cases an orchid will last over two months.

At the end of that period you should feel confident that orchids can in fact survive around you!  Hopefully you found enjoyment in caring for a live plant that gave beauty every day.  Now it is time to experiment!  No time to lose…

What do I do with that long stem that is bare and just sticking out of my pot?

Can I get my orchid to re-bloom?

What other orchid varieties are there?

What colors can I get?

Where do orchids come from?

There is a whole new world out there ready for you to explore!  It is a lot of fun and you can delve into it as much or as little as you want to.  Short of being a professional “orchidologist”, there are orchid clubs you can join, websites and books you can read from and there are even artists and photographers who have become known around the world simply because of their love for this magnificent plant.

You can go as far as you want to, or you can stay close to home.  Either way, it is a relaxing and enjoyable journey or hobby – depending on how you define it.

Here are two orchid websites that you should consider visiting:

The Orchid Board

American Orchid Society

I have found them to be informative and worthy of your interest.

Do you have a question? Send me a note at nic@starflor.com.  I will always be happy to hear from you and share some thoughts.  You can even visit our website (www.starflor.com) or call us at our store at 800-520-8999.  Reach out to us any way you would like to.  We will always be happy to hear from you and to help however we can.

A little bit about Starbright Floral Design – We are a full service florist located in the heart of New York City’s Historic Flower District (on 28th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues).  We are open every day and most evenings till 8PM (Sunday until 6PM).  We deliver all over the world and can help you in selecting your gift to fit any taste design or budget.

Starbright was voted on Citysearch.com as the Best Florist of New York City in 2009.  We are the most reviewed and highest rated florist in New York.

TheKnot.com has also rated us as The Best Florist in New York City to partner with for wedding and bridal Florals.

We thank you for your support and look forward to hearing from you!

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Author: Starbright Floral Design of NYC

We are a team of dedicated professionals all entering as one. Starbright Floral Design is the company we are all a part of. The Official Florist sometimes is a designer, or a flower buyer, a partner, the marketing department or sometimes the guy who delivered your flowers! We invite you to visit our website and stay in touch... www.starbrightnyc.com.

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