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Monday, 9 July 2012

How (not) to save an Orchid

I don't have a very good track record in looking after orchids. My first one died because I kept it in the conservatory at home over the winter and the cold killed it. And my second one isn't doing too well either.

This was it last year, in full bloom as it came from the shop. But it's gone drastically downhill from there...

First of all I don't think I watered it enough, once every 3-4 weeks if it was lucky. The leaves went all shriveled and brown; and one fell off. Then as I realised I had neglected it I then watered it every other day or so! It probably thought a tsunami had hit or something!

So I started reading about Orchid care and the first thing I learned was that they dislike sitting in water as they are generally dry plants... That probably explains why it never died when I didn't water it as it still had access to water. It also explains why its root system is it a pretty bad state of repair!

I am now watering it the recommended every 7-9 days ideally with rain water (which there is plenty of right now!), allowing it to drain through rather than sit in the bottom. I have also moved it from the direct sunlight of the window as this can scorch it and I have tried to keep the leaves moist (i hate that word) because apparently they like that too!

So this is it several months later. As you can see the original flowers are now long gone but there is definitely new growth with a little flower bud starting to grow. The leaves are looking much more healthy also.

It was going so well until I watered it again this morning. I don't think it liked being moved and the bud fell off!!! Seriously not happy now; I had put so much work into it and I thought it was starting to pay off but obviously not. It really isn't my year for anything green fingered........

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