Feeds:
Posts
Comments


Many times when we get orchids into our homes they were mistreated before we got them. Mass production of orchids in green houses forces them into bloom (which in itself does not hurt orchids) and then they are shipped to stores. The shipping process is taxing to orchids and then they are placed in grocery stores etc. that over or underwater them and give them zero natural light.

And A LOT of places sell orchids in pots with no drainage which exacerbates all the problems stated above because the roots are basically trapped in water and begin to rot (even though the blooms may look beautiful at the time).

Then we get them, they begin to suffer and we think we have hurt an orchid when actually it was all the stuff that happened to it before we got it. It’s very frustrating but not our faults at all.

I recommend repotting orchids like this as soon as you can after you get them. I like to wait till the blooms have fallen and then repot. I also do not water them at all in between the time I get them and repot them because they normally have water trapped in their pots. 

Hope that Helps,

Hannah

How do I make my own humidity tray?

20111204-221411.jpg

Humidity is essential to healthy orchids – as explained in my post on Humidity and Orchids. I recommend these humidity trays from rePotme if you were to buy them. I have two stands already but since my orchid collection has expanded I wanted to save some money by making my own humidity trays (as shown above). It’s easy and actually quite pretty.

Here is what you will need;

1. A bucket of rocks. You can use beach or river rocks, basically any rock you find aesthetically pleasing.

20111204-220644.jpg

2. Find the right platter or tray. You can use literally anything that will hold water (Tupperware/saucer/ice cube tray) and is large enough to hold the base of your orchid pot.

20111204-222849.jpg

3. Water.

Put it all together… Easy as 1-2-3

1. Clean the rocks with hot water. Place them level in the platters/trays (rocks work well in trays because they are sturdy enough to hold your plant up while allowing water to pool in your tray).

2. Fill with water to just below the tops of the stones. Remember that YOU DO NOT want your orchids to be wet at their roots (as explained in the link/post on rot, orchid roots will rot and die placed in standing water).

20111204-234220.jpg

3. Place your orchids on top of rocks…not touching the water.

20111204-234322.jpg

And Your Done!

Note: Make sure the water in your tray is regularly filled up. Check more frequently in the summer because the water will evaporate quicker.

Hope that Helps,

Hannah

Feel free to leave comments or questions. And email me at myfirstorchid@gmail.com 

Social Media

Hello everyone,

There is now “share” buttons on the bottom of each article! You can now use email, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to share articles you find helpful with others. If you use another social media site and would like for that share button to be added let me know🙂

Also if you follow me on Facebook you can see more updates about my orchids. 

Hope that Helps,

Hannah 

Feel free to leave comments or questions here and you can always email me at myfirstorchid@gmail.com with pictures of your orchid. 

Hey everyone,

I just wanted to remind everyone that I am constantly updating these post as I gather new information, so make sure to check back! If you want updates subscribe to the blog and there is a link to my orchid Facebook page to subscribe to updates as well.

If you have a question or something is not clear please feel free to leave a comment on the blog or through email. If you have pictures then please email me – myfirstorchid@gmail.com. A lot of times when someone does this I end up changing a post to make it more clear or adding an entirely new post, as I recently did when someone was enquiring about dyed blue orchids.

NOTE: most people want to know why their orchid leaves are wilted, why there orchid is rotting etc. – most of these problems are linked to how you water an orchid. Before asking check out my post on watering. Most people (very common mistake) over water their orchids which produces a myriad of problems. 

I welcome questions but overall if you read the other blog post first on watering, fertilizing, repotting etc. it helps both of us know what is going on a little more before you ask a question. I sometimes get people who are so excited about orchids (like me) that they ask a question before reading the other blog post and then I spend a lot do time linking those post in my answers🙂

When leaving a comment or emailing – please answer these questions;

  1. How long you have had your orchid
  2. What type of orchid it is
  3. What the problem/question is
  4. How are you watering it? How much and and how often?
  5. Does it have a drainage hole?
  6. Also a picture of your “troubled” orchid helps. If you can’t take a picture that is fine.

Here is a quick guide of terms for you to use when asking questions:

I also wanted give a quick note here: this website/blog is intentionally ad free and I am not an expert. I am a orchid “learner” just like you. That being said I am here to answer questions and not mediate comments left by others. I do not indorse any companies nor any any comments left by viewers. I can only tell you what has worked for me and how I grow orchids:)

Thanks,

Hannah

Feel free to leave comments or questions here and you can always email me at myfirstorchid@gmail.com with pictures of your orchid. 

My First Orchid

  • Hi and welcome to a new world! A world of orchids. If you are new to this world, like I use to be, you need not be afraid! Orchids have a reputation of being really hard to grow but are actually very easy if you take some time to learn what they need. Click my link on “the most common orchid questions” to further help you. 
  • Orchids have also been known to be expensive but based on the fact that with good care an orchid can be in bloom for several months a year and can live indefinitely, they are an excellent value as far as blooming plants go.
  • Orchids are not like other potted plants. Orchid care is not difficult, it is just different. They are epiphytes which means that they do not grow in dirt. Most of them grow by hanging or clinging onto the bark of trees in nature (I have a post on how to grow orchids outside and one on orchids growing in nature). 
  • Caring for an orchid is not hard if you have the right tools and hopefully this site will help you to be successful! I have found very useful information on orchids that you can look through. I collected it from all over the internet and from local growers.
I hope this helps,
Hannah
Feel free to leave comments or questions here and you can always email me at myfirstorchid@gmail.com with pictures of your orchid. 

Orchid 101

Orchid 101

So you just got a brand new orchid and you want to know what to do?

  1. The first thing I do is make sure the orchid has proper water drainage. Most orchids are sold in pots without a drainage hole which produces root rot an eventually kills an orchid as shown in my link READ THIS FIRST. 
  2. Then I usually wait to water it till the mix is completely dry. Most orchids are overpacked with mix and then overwatered before we get them to make sure they are still in bloom for the stores that sell them. I water my orchids this way on my post –  on How to Water Orchids.
  3. Then I sit back and enjoy the blooms which may not last long since it has probably been in bloom for quite some time before I got it. Orchids bloom typically for a few months but store bought ones have already been in bloom before they were shipped. These blooms naturally fall off as shown as Orchid Blooms Falling off Naturalt. 
  4. Once the blooms fall off naturally I cut the bloom stem back as shown oh my post on Cutting an Orchid Stem.
  5. I then typically repot them as shown here on a How to Repot?

Do you have a question? I love helping people out and answering questions!

Here is some info on that:

I welcome questions but overall if you read the other blog post first on watering, fertilizing, repotting etc. it helps both of us know what is going on a little more before you ask a question. I sometimes get people who are so excited about orchids (like me) that they ask a question before reading the other blog post and then I spend a lot of time linking those post in my answers🙂


When leaving a comment or emailing – please answer these questions;

  • How long you have had your orchid?
  • What type of orchid it is – it’s fine if you don’t know
  • What the problem/question is
  • How are you watering it? How much and and how often?
  • Does it have a drainage hole?
  • Also a picture of your “troubled” orchid helps. If you can’t take a picture that is fine.

Hope that helps,

Hannah

Feel free to leave comments or questions here and you can always email me at myfirstorchid@gmail.com with pictures of your orchid. 

Help! My orchid is potted in a non-draining pot. What should I do?

It has happened to all of us…we are at the store and there is this cute orchid, in a decorative pot. This orchid would be perfect as a last minute gift or you just want to bring it home. Once bought we realize that this orchid is in a pot with NO drainage hole (as shown below). This is wrong on so many levels! Orchids need drainage to survive. They naturally live in the jungle on a tree, with free flowing water. Unlike other plants, orchids hate being in standing water! They WILL die in this environment because they 100% will get root rot eventually. It is essential to have your orchids in a pot that allows water to flow freely out the bottom, check out my favorite pots on my post on Clear Plastic Pots.

But what to do? Well if you just want to enjoy the blooming orchid and then throw it away go ahead but secretly I will be judging you:) If you want a potted plant, that likes standing in water, I suggest getting a mum or poinsettia. Most people think orchids are impossible to grow, which is the a myth, and they end up throwing them away. This is expensive and not necessary! Orchids are easy to grow as long as you know what to do.

So if you want to see this sweet orchid bloom again and thrive then you have another option. It can be confusing, in this case, because every website says to wait to repot orchids after their blooms have fallen…. NOT in this case! They need to escape this environment ASAP! And unfortunately they may already be lost if their roots have rotted from overwatering. This is because even if they were given the proper amount of water, their roots would be sitting in this water instead of it freely running over their roots and out of the bottom of the pot. Hopefully they have not rotted… If your plant is not dead, do this;

1. GENTLY pull the plant out of the closed container. Hopefully, inside the pot with no drainage, there is another clear plastic container with drainage. If this is the case…leave it alone outside of the “bad” pot. It may need to dry out a bit before you next water it. The next time you water it – follow these watering instructions on my post on How to Water Orchids. Once watered you may put it back in the decorative container but only after the water has flushed through it and out the bottom. I would also wait to put it back in the decorative pot until it has sat outside for an hour or so – just to make sure there is no extra water that may drain out later. Don’t water it in the decorative container because the water will just pool at the bottom and not drain out.

2. If there is not an inside clear pot – you are in trouble! – soak it in a tub of water for ten minutes and see if you can gently pull it out. If it won’t budge you may have to break to the pot in order to gently take it out.

Moving an already bloomed orchid from one pot to another is called “drop potting” and should only be done in extreme situations such as this. You are not going to want to fully repot. Once you have freed the orchid from the suffocating pot you will want to “drop” (place gently) the orchid, IN ITS ORIGINAL mix into a similar size pot. In extreme situations I cut off the bloom/stem when I realized the roots were so bad that they could not support this bloom and the whole plant would die. Orchids work in a balance between their leaves, blooms and roots. When out of balance they are in distress and can die.

3. Now that your orchid is in a cozy and free draining home let it rest for a bit before watering. Hopefully the new drainage will allow it to bloom happily for months, but quite often you may loose some blooms because repotting an orchid while in bloom can create “bud blast.” This has happened to me….the blooms that were not opened yet, fell off. This does not mean it’s dying it is just adjusting to it’s new home and is protecting itself by letting it blooms fall off.

4. Once your orchid is done blooming follow these repotting instructions because they will need completely new mix.

Note: Here are more pictures I took at local grocery stores for your reference. These are potted in non draining pots.

Hope that Helps,

Hannah

Feel free to leave comments or questions here and you can always email me at myfirstorchid@gmail.com with pictures of your orchid.