Archives for posts with tag: Growing orchids

 New year again – already.
I am still managing to keep the same orchids growing and the good news is that the one ‘twin’ miniature orchid is growing much more healthily and has three small leaves but no flowers as yet. I am now quite confident that it will produce flowers – maybe this year!
There are flower spikes at various stages of development on all seven of the others.
The quality of the plants (some over 10 years old) can clearly be seen, and this has been achieved by following the same growing conditions since I started.
Two of the plants are keikis removed from one miniature and one regular phalaenopsis orchid plant.

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It is very heartening to see all but one of the phalaenopsis orchids blooming.
There are signs that the one miniature that has not bloomed for some time may be starting to grow.
This time I have included another orchid blooming in its natural state, attached to a tree in the Tropical Biome in the Eden Project at Bodelva in Cornwall.
It is important that we try to get as close to these conditions as we possibly can when attempting to grow these beautiful plants.
My growth conditions are outlined in full in many of my blogs. I have kept these conditions throughout the time that I have grown orchids and the only changes that I have made has been re-potting when really needed. They do benefit for a time from being slightly pot bound.
I hope that you continue to grow and derive pleasure from these beautiful plants.


Most of the orchids now have a profusion of flowers. The ones not flowering as yet still look healthy, but some will soon need re-potting.
I know many find this task somewhat daunting, but with a little care it can be achieved without too much of a problem.
Choose a clear pot one size larger, and fill to approx one third with ‘bark mixture’ growth medium.
Carefully remove the plant from its old pot and remove all the old bark mix, cut out any roots which are not a healthy green colour. Place the plant in its new pot resting on the bark medium and carefully fill the remainder of the pot with the same, taking care not to damage the roots and making sure that all the spaces are filled. Flush the new pot through with rainwater (or clean tap water) and finally feed and water and mist the leaves.
The newly potted plant should look like this picture.
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Some flowers are starting to fade now, though there is still a mass of blooms.
The miniature phalaenopsis with the keiki now has a new flower spike along with its group of flowers. There are plenty of healthy green leaves on all of the plants too.
One of the ‘twin’ miniatures now has a well developed flower spike, whilst the other has as yet not shown any signs of flowering, however, this one is often later than the others.

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It is the 29th of August 2015 and the orchids seem to be growing quite well.
The pink one which is over eight years old is still growing new flowers on the old stems.
The other large spotted orchid which is called ‘Flare Spots’,
still has two flowers on the old spike and now has a new spike which will eventually have at least ten new flowers.
The twin plants now have developing flower spikes too, and the single miniature is losing its flowers with just one left.
The keiki from ‘Flare Spots’ now has a better root system, but the flower spike seems to be’holding back’ and not showing any new growth, possibly still developing roots.
I still feel that my growth conditions seem close to optimum for these species.

Orchids 16th April 15

All the orchids in the bathroom are flowering well as you can see from the picture opposite.
The ‘twin’ miniature phals each have large flower spikes and the single miniature phal has two flowers on an old stem and a great many flowers developing on a new one.
The spotted phal is still developing fresh flowers on its new spike.

There has been an interesting development on the mauve/pink phal which had the two native flowers (highest part of the plant). As you can see a third flower has developed up there which is a hybrid between the native and peloric forms. The petal on the right is fully open, whilst the one on the left is still pulled back as in the peloric form.

Half way between

Half way between

Native flower

Native flower

Peloric form

Peloric form

Silk and Plastic!

Silk and Plastic!


I have been growing orchids now for five years. My wife had one as a birthday present and I somehow got to look after it. It was a beautiful magenta coloured orchid, but unfortunately did not survive for more than a few months due to my complete lack of knowledge about these plants.
I think I made the classic mistake that most people make, which is to treat orchids the same as any other houseplant.
Later my wife bought me a beautiful mauve orchid, and this time I did my research on google and in books, adding a bit of learned knowledge from my now careful observations of these exotic saprophytes.
Over this period of time I have bought one orchid and been given three as presents. At the time of publishing all are surviving well.
When going down to Devon and Cornwall in the last few years we have stopped at Lifton Farm Shop and restaurant, on the border of those two great counties.
I couldn’t fail to notice this beautiful orchid which was growing in the lobby next to the lavatories. This magnificent specimen has inspired me for many years. It always looked perfectly cared for. Recently I wondered why it never seemed to change, always bearing a flush of perfect flowers, and never any foliage dying back.
Last week I realised why. My perfect orchid is cleverly constructed from silk and plastic.
Back to the drawing board !