I’ve had a lot of people ask me lately how we can afford to have beautiful live orchids in our house.
Simple answer, we buy them at the grocery store…then “Whomp” them up to look like they came from a high-end florist. All those years working for
prissy, I mean NICE, florists has paid off.
Now I have the chance to share a couple of florists secrets with you kind folks.
The big white orchids are Phalaenopsis, or “Moth Orchids”. They are by far the hardest to keep happy at home, and usually only last a few days…maybe a week. Keep them moist ( NOT wet ) and in a bright window to extend their lives. For some unknown reason, the darker the flowers are, the longer the blooms last. I’ve had purple ones that simply refuse to die. If you are buying yours at the grocery store, $15-$25 is a pretty good price, try to buy the ones that have no brown edges, firm – not limp – leaves, and plenty of unblossomed flowers. These will give you the most “bang”.
Just like these beauties that I picked up at Ikea for, get this, $9.99 each. I know, they were so cheap, cheap, cheap that I bought 2.
Keep them in the plastic pots they come in, just hide them in something more attractive. Orchids are really parasites that cling to trees, and do not like to be buried in dirt. Their roots need to breathe, and they will come in just the right mixture of bark and peat to keep the roots moist but not wet. It took some work, but I managed to shove both plastic pots into this lid-less sugar canister that we use for house plants.
Store bought orchids will have plastic buterfly clips or, even worse, twist ties holding them up on unnaturally green bamboo skewers. Never keep these on….they do NOT look professional.
Instead, I replace the whole architecture with natural looking bamboo and jute twine. If I have 2 orchids in a pot, I build a little frame like this….
Then I stake it in the pot, carefull not to pierce any roots; and tie it together tightly with the jute twine. Just…like…. so…
Next I delicately tie the orchid stems to the framework with the jute. I do this pretty lightly so as not to damage or choke the poor orchid. Don’t touch the flowers, that will make them turn brown too.
I finish the pot off with some peat moss, or better yet…..shiney white pebbles, to hide all the plastic pots inside. I mist them with fresh water every week or so if they are in a bright window ( with indirect sun ), but the humidity of a bathroom will keep them happy for a while.
$20 investment, looks like $150 orchid…pretty simple.
Steal this idea…..
Thank you for those tips! Love those orchids!
I’m going to have to try this – but quick question – do they need natural light? My bathroom gets very little natural light 😦
Yeah, they do need natural light to live long…we had had quite a bit of luck lately…and they live about 6 weeks in the bathroom…….(I plan on a skylight in there soon)