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"Moth Orchids (Phalaenopsis) are the easiest orchids to grow and they can easily flower year after year." Half the comments here are people asking for help. My orchid also seemed to die, and instead of throwing it away, I tried keeping on watering it, but no luck. I'm going to do what another poster has said, and use a silk flower instead.
I bought a Disa Orchid at Hampton Court Flower Show this year and it was lovely. They come in shocking pink, orange, yellow and have three pointed petals. When I saw the display I just fell in love with them. These orchids must stand in rainwater, which is the opposite to most orchids. You pour it through the top of the pot and let stand. I top it up every couple of days when the saucer is empty and have cut off the dead stalk, following the instructions that I got from their website. Hopefully, I should get it flower again. The neighbours must think I'm nuts because when it rains I rush outside with a couple of buckets and tubs to collect clean rainwater for all my orchids, and then store it in empty pop bottles. Here's hoping!!
Kate has got everyone talking about orchids but I cannot agree that they should grow only in the wild - not everyone has the chance to see them there. The children from Writhlington school in Radstock have and are blogging now from Durban. Look up the school website and click WSBE orchids. They are beautiful plants to draw and paint and wonderful for flat-dwellers. A little research and buying a plant with good cultural hints with it will minimise the chance of disappointment.
Has anybody tried growing the Egret Orchids recently? I got a job lot of bulbils earlier this year and planted them in open compost on top of a gravel tray in the bathroom. They germinated eventually and I continued to water them via the gravel tray and they thrived for a time and reached about three inches in height and then died back. I have preserved the pot in the (probably folorn) hope that they may show their faces again. I noted the comments elsewhere on the blog about the need to have ranpaent containers to enable light to reach the roots, which I did not have, and I am thinking that perhaps the high temperatures which we had earlier this Summer may have been a factor in their demise. Would anybody care to comment aout this? David.
Kate really got us talking! That's what good journalists do - they invite debate and discussion!


I also buy orchids once the garden centres reduce them after flowering, I have several and they all flower over and over, I find them trouble free to look after.
Hi everyone, thanks for all your comments! I do agree that orchids are very beautiful and make wonderful gifts etc, and one day I would love to go and see them growing in their natural environment. Ruth - if the flower stalk has gone brown (and has it shrivelled?) I would cut it down and hope it grows again. There's a range of orchid plant food available (just Google 'orchid plant food'), which might help the plants recover. After the accident, my orchid did grow a new spike from the base of the plant, so there is hope!
Orchids of any type. I luv 'em! A message to Ruth on the back of Kate's last note. If the flower spike has gone brown, then I think that's it really. Because of the way they grow, a lot of energy goes into producing a good flower spike so moth orchids do like to have a rest from flowering. I've found that if the leaves are still nice and healthy, keep feeding and be vigilant. It will flower again. PS I've had a Phalaenopsis for about 8 years now and whilst its been bashed about a bit, it still flowers.
I having been growing house plants for years and find orchids and in particular phalenopsis one of the most rewarding as far as blooms are concerned. They sit on my window sill and it is not often I do not have at least one in flower and at the moment I have 3 with another one growing a spike. Flowers last for ages-months at a time and are so spectacular to look at. Since all the plants bought in shops are hybrids grown for sale you really should not worry about where their grandparents come from just enjoy the flowers. I certainly feel they are better value for money than the amarylis I was given 2 weeks ago as a present. It came with 2 spikes which have been beautiful but by the end of the week they will be finished.
My first lovely phalenopsis lasted 3 weeks. It was then VERY dead. My next 2 are not good - I took a stem to the Gardener's world exhibition last year and the experts said it was too wet. I get flower stalks growing, but the buds dry up and fall off before opening. This has happened for 3 years now. The plants are on a N facing windowledge, though I might now try them in the bathroom which faces S. I water infrequently, and sometimes with orchid food. I have bought some new compost so maybe I will try repotting. I have found the comments here encouraging.
My Moth orchids keep flowering and grow new flower spikes after resting for about 6 months. I didn't know you weren't supposed to cut the spike off at the bottom when its finished! I keep mine on south-west facing window sills - they don't seem to like any other. One of mine has also produced a baby plant on one of the finished flower stalks. Please can someone tell us what to do?
lets hear itfor the cymbidium orchid,you dont see them in the supermarket,but garden centres often have them for £10+,and they are great,can be put out side in Summer,june/Oct lots of foliage and beautifull sprays of flowers, had mine for 15 years,swap with friends and repot every 4 years and take new plants off..try them.
loved all the posts, this is my first orchid and I am definitely smitten. Can anyone tell me if I should continue to feed now it is winter? I have been using the special little bottles that you stand upside down in the compost.
I was given an orchid last Christmas and didn't know how to care for it apart from little watering and using an orchid feeder bottle as mentioned by Diane. I completely removed the flowering stem back to the base and thought I wouldn't see anymore flowers BUT it is flowering again and has 8 blooms as I write. Thanks to all the tips given by your site I am going to try to follow the advice and hope for even more flowers in the future.
Greenman: learn some manners. If you are going to leave mean-spirited, rude responses to articles, at least have the courage to do so under your real name.


The key is feeding them. Put in a drip feeder (sold in garden centres and probably supermarkets) and water occasionally. That's it. No need to worry about cutting flower spikes and humidity - it'll produce at least one flower spike if not more and mine has flowered constantly for at least 6 months if not longer.
I have lots of Phalenopsis happily flowering away in north facing windows; an odontocidium & several dendrobiums re-flowering for the third year on a south facing window sill; By my north-facing front door I have a rampant zygopetalum which is coming back into flower for the second time this year; In my greenhouse I had an anguloa and a vanda re-flower this summer but I can't keep paphiopedilums or miltonias! I recently picked up a reduced price miltoniopsis with wonderfully scented, creamy yellow flowers. It had been neglected in the garden center and the top buds had died, but I was hopeful that I could give it enough TLC to see it thrive, however it is not doing well. I have tried it in various positions but the flowers and buds all died and now the leaves are yellowing. This is my third attempt at this type of orchid, can anyone help? Further to the question of whether moth orchids should be left to the rainforest, most of the varieties on sale are nursery-bred hybrids! I do think that they should come with more detailed care instructions, usually, due to being imported from abroad, they just have a set of vague diagrams and often they don't even have a proper name. I think it is sad that companies sell them as potted bouqutes and expect most of them to die - so that people will buy more! They can be such rewarding plants to grow.
I have four orchids, two are in flower now the other two finished flowering a month ago and already have new buds forming. The first orchid I bought about 4 years ago and until last month it had 54 flowers on four stems. The flowers fell from two stems and the remaining two stems still have 24 flowers! I have had my moneys worth from this plant alone as it is rarely without flowers, orchids, I love them!
I was given an orchid at the end of August 2008(an M&S one)It had 3 stems full of flowers&buds.I'm now down to 1 stem and the last 3 flowers.What a birthday present!,it has given me such pleasure for 14mths.Now looking forward to caring for it until it decides to throw up more stems.They may seem expensive but are really good value,but only in the right hands(or should that be green fingers!)
Yep. me too. Bought a moth from Sainsburys for £7 in Jan 2008, with a smile from the girl on the checkout. It has flowered ever since, a second spike coming as the flowers on the first were reaching the tip. Now this flower spike is reaching the end, it is producing two new leaves so i have bought a drip feed from B&Q. Otherwise just misted and moistened with rainwater. On a desk, near a radiator and a large north facing window