Alan Titchmarsh shares ‘key’ to getting ‘unique’ orchids to rebloom

Alan Titchmarsh details method for keeping orchids flowering

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The orchid family is one of the largest groups of flowering plants on the planet, with the moth orchid the most popular variety. It comes in various different colours including pink and white and is quite low maintenance, requiring water regularly and a consistent temperature. Although quite slow growing, they do need to be re-potted every couple of years to make sure their pot is big enough. In a video for Gardeners’ World, Alan Titchmarsh shared the “trick” to caring for these plants.

Because they’re from the tropics, moth orchids, also known as Phalaenopsis orchids, enjoy a high humidity environment. 

However, this can be extremely hard to replicate in the winter months, because central heating makes the air quite dry.

In a video for Gardeners’ World back in 2016, Alan explained: “There’s one group of flowering plants which until recently terrified the pants off people because they thought they must be difficult to grow – the orchids.

“Then a few years ago, along came the moth orchid, phalaenopsis. Well, to be absolutely honest, it’s been around for a long time.

“These flowers will not last weeks, but months. The trick is looking after them. Mainly not overwatering them, because if you look right down at the bottom, you’ll see most of them come in a transparent pot.

“That’s because these roots here, well they’re coated in something which is called phellogen. 

“It absorbs atmospheric moisture but it also quite enjoys being exposed to light, so these transparent pots will allow the light to get through.”

Although this houseplant is great for beginners, it also needs the correct care in order to thrive, which means not overwatering it.

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Overwatering indoor plants is one of the main causes of dying, and orchids are highly susceptible to being watered too much. This can cause root rot as well as dying foliage.

To prevent overwatering, Britons can mist their orchid regularly or place them near to a tray of wet pebbles.

The bathroom and kitchen are great choices because they are areas of the home which produce a lot of humidity.

Thankfully, going into the winter months means orchids are a lot less likely to burn in the sun. However, owners should still be cautious and place them out of direct sunlight.

The expert added: “If you look back at this orchid which is flowering so beautifully, you’ll see that it isn’t the first time it has flowered.

“It flowered before up here, the stem was cut back…this bud grew out, and turned into another new flower spike, and that’s the key.

“If you look down the stem, you’ll see scales every so often, and they’re actually surrounding buds.

“If you cut back to where the stem has died a little, not going any further than that, then other stems can grow, just like this one, from these buds.”

Houseplant experts at Baby Bio® have also shared how orchid owners can encourage their plant to rebloom. 

The experts said most orchid owners will admit getting their houseplant to repeat bloom can be extremely difficult.

This is because their nutritional needs are “unique” and need feeding both when in bloom and dormant.

The experts explained: “Once your plant’s flowers have fallen, you can encourage it to re-bloom the following season by pruning the whole flower stem and continuing to care for it as usual while it lies dormant.

“Remember there are many species of orchids, so each should be treated according to its requirements.”

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