a cream and pink-speckled orchid at the Cleveland Botanical Garden orchid show

Orchids Are in Bloom Just for You

a large pot of cream and purple moth orchids sits on a sunlit windowsill

Orchids bring fragrance and beauty wherever you find them, and in January in Cleveland that means Orchidmania at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens.

The orchid show has come to an end, but the blooms haven’t.

Flowers as Food

white, pink, and yellow orchids are planted in sisal lined flower boxes

If you are starved for flowers in these final weeks before spring’s arrival, you may be tempted to pick up some potted orchids at the market or home improvement store.

So, what kind of orchids do they sell at these stores?

You’ll notice that most are called “Phalaenopsis orchids.” Their common name is moth orchid, and they are easy to grow and propagate, plus they have a long bloom period.

These and other orchids should be kept away from drafts in a temperature between 65 and 90 ?. 

When you water them, keep the water temperature similar to the air temperature. Do not use ice, even if that is what the directions say. No orchids grow in freezing temperatures, so ice only stresses the plants.

Since orchids in the wild collect moisture from the air, be sure to set your orchid pot in a dish filled with pebbles.When you water your plant, let the water come out of the drain hole and settle in the dish.  

Orchids for Real

a cream and pink-speckled orchid at the Cleveland Botanical Garden orchid show

Have you noticed the neon bright flowers available in stores?  These are most likely injected with dye, because crazy colors like fluorescent greens and purples are rare.

Though the dye isn’t a big problem, if you are planning to keep your orchid and try reblooming it, the new blooms will be white.

Reblooming Orchids

pink orchids bloom prolifically

If your home is a consistent temperature year-round, you may need to lower the thermostat for a while to simulate fall conditions.  

These lower temperatures stimulate orchid plants to send up flower shoots.

If you are successful, the plants will bloom from late winter through spring.

It’s That Time of Year

a large orchid bloom reminds us of the garden in Alice in Wonderland

So, now you know why you are seeing so many orchids while food shopping these days. And, you know that caring for these plants isn’t a crazy task. In fact, it’s fairly easy.

If you still don’t think raising orchids is in your DNA, visit your local conservatory or glasshouse.

The Cleveland Botanical Garden is preparing a new interactive exhibit opening March 9.

On the west coast, The San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers is a popular destination for plant enthusiasts.

This time of year, couldn’t everyone use a bloom boost?

These orchids have mottled lavender petals reminiscent of a leopard's spots