Creating a Room that is a Living Space: Growing Orchids

For those that are like me and constantly crave large swaths of forested areas and valleys that only have a speckling of houses to gaze at, moving to a city for university was a challenge. I constantly craved spaces that were connected to nature. But university makes you busy, and I couldn’t take the time to go on an hour long walk at the park every day, let alone actually get  to the park everyday. And so I made my room a space filled with living things; including orchids.

I have four orchids in my room, and while they’re not always blooming, their root system and leaves are just as beautiful as their blooms. Not only do their blooms (lasting for months)  give me a wonderful feeling of spring during the winter, but they give me a sense of peace and serenity that I can only find in nature. 

 

If you decide to buy an orchid here are a few tips to get you started:

Choosing your orchid:

Most grocery stores and greenhouses sell orchids. When choosing your orchid you’re not just looking for healthy leaves, and beautiful blooms, but also healthy green roots. When orchids are sold they often come in decorative pots with a separate clear plastic pot in which the orchid is actually planted that can be removed from the decorative pot. When buying an orchid you should be taking out the clear plastic pot and checking the roots to see if they are green and round. An unhealthy root will have a flat, brown appearance to it, and will likely end up dying very soon after your purchase..

Watering:

An orchid planted in bark needs to be watered every week, while an orchid planted in moss need only be watered once every month. Orchids will rot if left in sitting water, therefore when watering your orchid you should be watering it with lukewarm water and leaving it in the sink for 15 minutes to allow it to drain. Using fertilizer every other time you water will help your orchid bloom longer and more often.

Transplanting:

 If your orchid’s roots start showing signs of rotting or the orchid has yellow leaves, in order to keep it keep it alive and thriving, it will need to be repotted. Orchids in nature usually grow in and around the bark of trees, and therefore thrive best when planted in either moss or small segments of bark. What type of orchid soil you buy should depend on how much you water them. When repotting you should soak both the orchid soil and your orchid in warm water. The warm water will make your orchid more malleable and therefore easier to arrange in the pot, make the healthy parts of its root more visible, and will prep the orchid soil so you don’t have to water it after planting. While replanting you should be cutting off the rotting bits of the root where they meet the healthy portions. In order to give it a clean disinfected cut, and to prevent further rotting, you should be putting cinnamon on the ends of the roots you cut. When planting you should first place your orchid in it’s pot and then distribute the soil around it, rearranging your orchid’s roots as needed.

 

I hope these tips help, and if you decide to buy an orchid that you get as much joy from it as I do from mine.