How and How Often Do I Water My Orchids?
WIth individual Orchid plants, each in their own decorative pots:
When blooming: Once a week; When trying to re-bloom: Once in 2 weeks. Also see our care instructions .
We recommend saturating the Orchid's growers' pot by filling the decorative pot with water (or by placing a number of your Orchids with growers' pot and all in your sink, filled with water). Let it saurate for about 15 minutes and then drian out all excess water before placing them back in their decorative pots. Make sure no water stands in the decorative pots. It is important that Orchid roots have some air to breath in.
With Orchids planted in a planter with multiple plants:
It often is hard to remove Orchid plants from their spot in a planter with multiple plants. We therefor recommend keeping the arrangement in place, and NOT use the watering method described above.
With planter arrangements we recommend watering the orchid with no more than 1/4 cup of water - slowly and evenly around each Orchid plant in the arrangement - once a week. It is important to limit the amount of water distributed, as an Orchid will thrive better in drought than with its roots drowned in water! With a planter arrangement it is harder to gage the necessity for watering, so it is better to be safe and water less than to overwater ! Orchids are epiphytes capable of growing with their roots exposed to air! So they will survive drought much better than too much water.
Getting them home safely – Summer vs Winter
Depending on outdoor conditions, getting your Orchid home safely can be tricky. In the summer, it is not advisable to leave your Orchid “sweating” in the car for a long time. Ideally, you would bring your Orchid home rather quickly, like you would fresh or frozen groceries. In the winter, your Orchids can be damaged if they are out in the cold for a while. Keeping them in a plastic sleeve or box until they are at home will help with this. If it is very windy outside, it can cause damage to your Orchid as well. A plastic sleeve or box helps in this case too.
How do I keep them blooming for as long as possible?
Keeping your Orchids blooming is not as hard as you may think. Find a spot with plenty of indirect light, away from drafts, and avoid over-watering. These are the keys. For more in-depth care instructions please read our link to: care instructions.
Should I cut off the roots?
Cutting off the roots of your Orchid is like scratching yourself. You will most likely recover with no issues, but there is a small chance the wound gets infected. If a few roots break off it is not the end of the world, but it is not advisable to cut all the hanging air roots off yourself. If you do not like the look of them, you can try bending them into your decorative pot.
Over time, you may see old roots dry up, shrivel and turn light brown. Those roots can be cut off without any concern.
When should I re-pot the orchid?
Your CosMic Plants Orchid likely will not need to be repotted for a few years after purchasing it. The plastic grower’s pot that your Orchid comes in, is large enough. It is normal for an Orchid to grow out of its pot. It does not necessarily mean that it needs to be repotted. You only need to repot your Orchid when the bark decomposes and loses its structure, which creates poor watering conditions.
Why are my blooms falling off?
Blooms may fall off for several reasons. Here are a few:
- Your Orchid has not received water in weeks and is dried out. You will see the entire plant is dried out at this point. The roots, leaves and blooms will all begin to wilt. If your Orchid still has some blooms, you can salvage it simply by watering as usual. Do not try to “revive” your Orchid by giving it more water or letting it sit in water for longer.
- Your Orchid has received water too often, or was left sitting in water for too long (more than an hour starts to cause issues). You will see that the roots begin to turn black or brown, and the blooms will all wilt very suddenly. You can try to salvage your Orchid by letting it dry out completely. You can try airing it out on a plate in just the plastic grower’s pot so the moisture can leave more quickly.
- The Orchid is too close to ripening fruit. Ripening fruit is a source of ethylene, a natural plant aging hormone in gas form. Ripening cut flowers like roses can have a similar effect. The slightest exposure to ethylene could be harmful to the young buds of an Orchid.
- The Orchid is too close to a heat source or AC draft: inconsistent temperature, or temperature is dramatically different from room temperature (a door opening and closing to the outside, or draft from an open window or AC vent)
What to do when all the blooms have fallen off?
When all of your Orchid’s blooms have fallen off, your Orchid will begin its vegetative state, which is when it will grow new leaves and roots. To help it grow, you may cut the old stem of your Orchid down to the first or second node from the base.
How to get them to re-bloom/ why won’t my orchid re-bloom?
Phalaenopsis Orchids normally grow new stems when they experience a drastic change in climate. In our greenhouse we keep our Orchids at close to 30 degrees Celsius during its vegetative state, and then move it to a zone that is about 10 degrees colder to encourage stems to grow. This drastic change in temperature is difficult to replicate in your home, which is why we cannot guarantee that your Orchids will rebloom. However, to give your Orchid the best chance, try to keep it in a warm space in your house for 2 to 3 months, allowing it to grow a bit, then move it to a colder space in your house to encourage re-blooming, like a bedroom or basement with daylight. It is important for your Orchid to have plenty of indirect sunlight when re-blooming.
Should I use fertilizer?
Fertilizer is not necessary to care for your Orchid. However, it will help in maintaining a strong plant. This is helpful if you are trying to get your Orchid to re-bloom. It will allow your Orchid to grow more blooms per stem, but it will not actually encourage your Orchid to grow a new stem.
What to do when they start to re-bloom?
Seeing your Orchid grow a new stem is super exciting! Within a few months you should see some blooms opening up. All you have to do is keep watering as usual. When your Orchid starts to flower, feel free to move it to a visible spot (with indirect light), and enjoy it for weeks to come! If you want your Orchid to grow up straight, you may place a stick in the pot and fasten the stem to it. Do so carefully to avoid snapping the stem.
Can I place my Orchid outside?
Here in Canada we do not recommend placing your Orchid outside. It is a tropical plant that thrives at temperatures between 15 C minimum and 30 C maximum. It does not do well with wind and it can not handle direct sunlight either. It really is more of an indoor plant. If you live in a tropical climate, and can protect your Orchid from direct sunlight and harsh wind, then you are able to keep them outside.
How long will my Orchid stay alive?
Your Orchid can stay alive for many years. Just because it loses its blooms, does not mean your Orchid is necessarily dying. You can expect your Orchid to stay in bloom for 2 to 4 months. If your Orchid drops its blooms prematurely, and very quickly, then there is likely something going wrong. If your blooms drop one at a time over the course of a few weeks, it is likely the natural aging of the plant. At this point your Orchid can be still be kept alive in hopes of getting it to re-bloom, if you have the patience! There are many Orchid lovers who have been able to keep their Orchids for several years!
Roots growing from a stem – what does it mean?
When roots grow from a Phalaenopsis Orchid stem, a new baby Orchid is beginning to develop. This is called a “Keiki” (Hawaiian for Baby, or Child)
It is always quite exciting when this new growth happens, especially with a good number of roots. It means you will be able to remove the Keiki, and begin growing a brand-new Orchid!
This link to a YouTube clip clearly explains how to remove your keiki and grow a new Phalaenopsis Orchid!
Similar to how people burn when they are exposed to the direct sun for too long, Orchids will burn as well. You will notice sun damage as yellow/brown/white spots on the leaves of your Orchid. The leaves may also begin to bubble. Sun damage most likely occurs in the summer when your Orchid is placed near a window with no protection from the strong mid-day sun. Although it certainly isn’t good for your Orchid, it should be able to recover from some sun damage if it is moved to a spot with less direct sunlight.
You will notice cold damage as browning or wilting of roots and leaves, or rapid wilting of blooms. Cold damage can start to occur when temperatures drop below 15 degrees Celsius, or when your Orchid sits near a cold draft. Cold damage can cause your Orchid’s blooms to wilt and drop, but if you move your Orchid to a warmer spot, away from any drafts, you should be able to salvage the blooms that are left, and keep your Orchid alive.
Physical root damage to a few roots hanging out of the pot normally is not too concerning. Your Orchid should have a strong enough root system inside its pot to recover.
Water damage to your Orchid’s roots can have serious consequences. Usually water damage is caused by letting your Orchid sit in water for too long. This causes the roots to “drown” and begin to rot. Once rotting, your Orchid’s roots can no longer absorb moisture and nutrients. If your Orchid does not have enough healthy roots, it will not be able to support itself, and will very quickly wilt and drop its blooms. If caught in time, your Orchid may recover, and begin to grow new roots. It is important to allow your Orchid to thoroughly dry out when it has been left sitting in water.
Physical leaf damage can have serious consequences. Physical damage to one of the small bottom leaves is not too concerning. But, significant damage to one or more of the large upper leaves is serious and tough to recover from. The upper leaves of your Orchid are largely responsible for supporting the plant. Without them, your Orchid will not be able to support its blooms or new growth. Damage to the leaves usually occurs during transport if the plant is being mishandled, or simply by accident.
Significant damage to your Orchid’s stems can cause the stem to die and its blooms to wilt and drop. Damage to the stems usually occurs during transport if the plant is being mishandled, or simply by accident. Although your blooms will fall off, your plant will still stay alive if you continue to care for it.
Typical causes for dropping of buds are:
- The Orchid is too close to a heat source or AC draft: too much airflow of a different temperature than room temperature (a door opening and closing to the outside, or draft from an open window or AC vent)
- The Orchid is too close to ripening fruit. Ripening fruit is a source of ethylene, a natural plant aging hormone in gas form. Ripening cut flowers like roses can have a similar effect. The slightest exposure to ethylene could be harmful to the buds of an Orchid.
- The Orchid has been exposed to temperatures that are just ok for the existing flowers to stay, but too cold for the young buds... (this could have happened in transition from the truck to the store, from the store to your car, etc)
- General lack of care – insufficient light, not watering for multiple weeks, or overwatering.
Spiders – most spiders are not harmful to your Orchid, or to you. In fact, in our greenhouse they help protect our Orchids from other bugs. We introduce harmless, beneficial insects to our crops as part of our biological crop protections system. Our Orchids may have some residual spider webs on them. These can be easily wiped off. Occasionally a small spider may travel with your Orchid from our greenhouse to the store, and from the store to your home. This is an acceptable consequence of growing Orchids chemical free!
Mealy-bug: our Orchids are 100% guaranteed mealy bug free. We grow our Orchids from the youngest stages, all in house and we don’t bring any plants in grown by third-parties. Our hygiene protocols are very strict and our production processes don’t allow for mealy bugs to have a chance of entering our facilities. However: the residual spider webs from our biological crop protection programs sometimes clump up to a white fuzzy clump that is sometimes confused for Mealy-bugs. These small white fuzzy clumps are thus not moving, not alive, and can simply be wiped off.
Although there are types of parasitic funguses, many are saprotrophic, which just means that they feed on dead organic matter. This means that they feed on dead roots, decaying potting material, insects etc. and then release the material back into the soil in a way that can be used by the plant as food.
White fungus on bark – this fungus often originates in the bark itself and may begin to thrive in warm and humid conditions. It is not harmful to the plant. It can however compete with the orchid roots for water and nutrients - when it grows excessive. The good news is: Your Orchid can handle drought better than the fungus! So, one way to kill this fungus is to keep the Orchid dry for a few weeks.
Mold on the bamboo sticks – once in a while a bit of mold can form on the base of the bamboo stick holding your Orchid stable. This happens due to moisture in the pot. This is of no concern. If you like you can easily wipe this off.
Where can I buy CosMic Plants’ orchids?
CosMic Plants Orchids can be found in many flower shops, garden centres, and grocery stores in the northeast quadrant of North America. To be sure if your local retailer carries our Orchids simply contact the retailer and ask for CosMic Plants Orchids, The Art of Orchids, or Colour-Emotion-Life. We are not kept up to date on exact availabilities at our retailers.
Additionally CosMic Plants is excited to offer online purchasing of our products (Shop Now) through our colaboration with The Watering Can! The delivery range of this online service is the entire Niagara Region, including Hamilton and Burlington. You can also purchase online with the option to pick your order up from The Watering Can in Vineland (3711 King Street, Vineland, ON L0R 2C0 )
Our own Orchid boutique store is currently still closed due to Covid-19. Reopening is sure planned, but yet to be determined.
How far do you ship your orchids?
Through our distributor network, we sometimes supply flower stores and retailers as far West as in Calgary, as far North as in Thunder Bay, as far East as in St Johns (New Foundland), and as far South as Florida and Texas. However, the far majority of our Orchids stay more local, in Ontario, Quebec, New York State, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Because of the fragile nature of our product, we do not currently ship via courier or post. Not to mention that it is expensive. Our “straight-to-your-door” delivery service range - via our online sales collaboration with The Watering Can - is available to Niagara, Hamilton and Burlington (SHOP NOW). You can always place your online order with the option to swing by The Watering Can to pick up.
Do you grow other Orchid species?
We specialize completely in growing Phalaenopsis Orchids. However, we sell them in many sizes, colours and styles.
Do you sell painted (dyed) orchids?
We only sell Orchids in colours that nature intended them to grow in; we do not paint or dye our Orchids. Dying and colouring Orchids reduces shelve life (the time an orchid will bloom for), and Phalaenopsis Orchids come in such an abundance of colour variations, that dying it in unnatural colours seems - to our dedicated team - to do a bit of unjustice to nature.
Is Orchid Bark better than Sphagnum Moss?
In nature, Phalaenopsis Orchids grow on hard surfaces like rocks and trees. Their roots are exposed to the air and not enclosed by turf, moss, or soil. As such we find that the bark particles from the pine trees resemble nature the best. It also provides for a solid foundation to the root system with better stability to the plant. Besides: pine bark is a by-product from the North American lumber industry – while sphagnum moss is harvested from nature in countries like Chili and New Zealand and is being imported. Orchids can thrive well in either potting medium.
We allow corporate customers/clients to visit our facilities if they first make an appointment.
To protect our crop, we do not allow the general public to enter our facilities. In the past we have hosted open houses, where the general public can sneak a peek in our facilities. We hope to be able to do this again in the future, but are unsure of when that will be possible.