Let’s talk orchids!
[TL:DR - click here if you just want to know how to look after your orchids]
You must have seen a lot of orchids during Lunar New Year - not just a pretty face, orchids are popular during Lunar New Year because they symbolize prosperity and good fortune. And bonus points for being relatively easy to maintain - cut stems lasts for a couple of weeks in clean water, while flowering plants keep their flowers on for 3 to 4 weeks!
Additionally, orchids are highly valued for their beauty and elegance, making them a beloved choice for decorations during the festive season and in bridal bouquets. With their vibrant colors and unique shapes, orchids add a touch of elegance and where ever they appear, be it in your homes during the lunar new year, or in your bridal bouquet on your big day.
Orchids are a beautiful and diverse family of flowering plants that are beloved by people all over the world. There are thousands of different species of orchids, each with its own unique characteristics and cultural significance. In this post, we will explore some of the most popular orchids we see locally, from the delicate oncidium orchids to the bold vanda miss joaquim, each with their own charm and beauty.
And the most pressing question of all, how on earth do we take care of orchids so that they last longer? Keep on reading (or click right here) to find out some care tips!
Most of us know this as "the market orchid" as this is the most commonly sold orchid in the market. Dendrobium orchids are native to Southeast Asia and are one of the most popular types of orchids in the world. These orchids are prized for their long, slender stems and delicate flowers, which come in a wide range of colors, including white, pink, purple, and yellow.
Phalaenopsis orchids, also known as moth orchids, are native to Southeast Asia and Australia. These orchids are popular for their large, showy blooms, which come in a variety of colors, including white, pink, and purple. Phalaenopsis orchids are often used in cascading wedding bouquets and other special occasions, and they are a symbol of love, luxury, and refinement.
Vanda Miss Joaquim
Most, if not all of us would have heard of the Vanda Miss Joaquim, also known as the Singapore orchid. This is a hybrid orchid that was first bred in Singapore in the 19th century and is notable for its large, striking flowers, which come in shades of pink, purple, and white. Vanda Miss Joaquim is a symbol of resilience and determination in Singaporean culture, and it was chosen as the national flower of Singapore in 1981.
Cymbidiums are native to Asia and the Pacific Islands and are known for their large, colorful flowers, which come in a variety of shades, including white, yellow, pink, and green. Cymbidiums are a symbol of strength, virility, and friendship - which is why we love using them in bouquet for that extra pizzaz!
Oncidiums, also known as dancing lady orchids, are native to Central and South America and are known for their delicate, brightly colored flowers, which come in shades of yellow, pink, and red. These are definitely a favourite during the lunar new year, as they just exude pure joy and exuberance!
And now, on to how to look after your orchids!
For cut orchids, as with all cut flowers, you should keep them in a cool, dry & well ventilated area, and make sure to change the water in your vase daily so that bacteria doesn't grow in the water. If you're unable to do so, you can put a Panadol in the water as this will help to kill the bacteria in the water. With just a little TLC, your cut orchids should easily last 10 to 12 days!
For potted orchids, this is where things get a little trickier. We're definitely no expert when it comes to growing plants but we've gathered a few tips to keep your orchids alive & thriving!
Light and Temperature: Orchids should be placed in a location that receives bright, filtered light but not direct sunlight as it can scorch the leaves.
Watering: Singapore's humid climate means that orchids need to be watered less frequently, typically twice a week. Be sure to let the soil dry out a bit before the next watering, and ensure that the roots are not sitting in standing water. To check whether your orchids need water, insert your finger into the potting mix up to the first knuckle. If the potting mix feels dry, it's time to water your orchids. If it feels slightly moist, you can wait a few more days before checking again.
Humidity: While we really hate what humidity does to our hair, our humidity in Singapore can help orchids thrive. Should you be lucky enough to live in a place where your hair doesn't turn frizzy the moment you step out of the house, it will be essential to maintain high humidity levels by misting the leaves or placing a tray of water near the orchid to help maintain the necessary humidity.
Fertilizing: Orchids need regular fertilization to thrive - use a balanced fertilizer specifically formulated for orchids and fertilize your plant once a month.
Potting and Repotting: our climate can cause orchids to outgrow their pots quickly. Repot your orchid every year or two using a potting mix specifically formulated for orchids.
Pruning: Prune your orchid's stem after the flowers have fallen off to promote new growth. Cut the stem about an inch above the node where the last flower bloomed. If the leaves turn yellow or brown, trim them as well.
Pest Control: Our ridiculously humid climate also makes orchids susceptible to pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids. Inspect your plant regularly for signs of pests and use an insecticide formulated for orchids if necessary.
And there you have it, 7 little tips to make your orchids bloom & thrive!
Till next time,
(hopefully not 3 months from this post),