In the Garden: Keeping orchids healthy

Published: Oct. 18, 2019 at 4:05 PM EDT
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Orchids are one of those flowers that are gorgeous right through the fall. But if yours isn't blooming anymore, Charlie Nardozzi is here to show us what to do.

Sharon Meyer: Those moth orchids are so pretty.

Charlie Nardozzi: Yes, they are one of the easiest orchids to grow indoors because they do OK with our low humidity in the winter. And they need just bright light and you can get them to bloom for months sometimes.

Sharon Meyer: I've killed one, so I've got a lot to learn.

Charlie Nardozzi: OK, but if you do have one and it's stopped blooming, often they need to be repotted. So here's one of ours that's bloomed a couple of times over the last couple of years, but you can see it's kind of climbing right out of the pot.

Sharon Meyer: So it needs help.

Charlie Nardozzi: It needs help. So, we're going to start with the actual mix that you are going to grow it in. It's not going to be a soil, it's going to be an orchid mix that is mostly bark.

Sharon Meyer: So you just buy a bag of this.

Charlie Nardozzi: Yes, you buy a bag of it and then you want to put it in water overnight, or for 24 hours, so you have this swampy little mess in here. And what that does is it really hydrates the mix, because the orchid roots are going to need that nice hydrated bark. You're going to want to pop this orchid right out. Just be gentle and you can just pull it out. You can see we have dead roots and we have some nice live roots here. And so what I'll do is clean up all of these dead roots that we're not going to need and that's going to give it a little more space when we put it in the pot... there we go. And even cut some of these live roots. We can actually wrap them around. Orchids like to be a little pot-bound. You don't need to have a big pot for them. In fact, big pots don't really work so much for them. They like to be in a tight little space.

So this one’s very healthy. iI’s got a lot of leaves but many times the older leaves will die over time. They’ll turn yellow and die and that’s OK as long as see new leaves coming out, it’s going to be fine. And then, of course, some time this winter it will send up a new flower stalk so you’ll have a beautiful bloom just like the one we have here, that will last for a long-time and look gorgeous.