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!