You may have noticed we've recently been selling some beautiful orchid flowers at Lidl - hopefully some of you may have even bought some! Orchids are among some of the most commonly grown houseplants and can make a lovely addition to your home. These interesting flowers can be found in a variety of colours and sizes, and if you haven’t had the chance to pick one up from Lidl don’t panic as they will be coming in and out of store over the next few weeks. These plants don’t require much attention if you provide the proper growing conditions and follow our tips below:
How to water
Orchids need ample water but not too much otherwise you risk killing them (with overwatering being the most common way to kill orchids). Ideally you want to be watering them every 5 – 7 days, but to avoid overwatering you can stick your finger about an inch beneath the soil. If it feels dry, water a little. If damp, leave it be. Another method to avoid over-watering your orchid is to lift the pot to see if it feels heavy – only water when it feels light.
The right light
Orchids prefer bright but indirect sunlight, so placing them on an east or west facing ledge is ideal. If they don’t get enough light they won’t flower properly, but if they get too much the leaves will be scorched (if your orchid does get scorched, don’t remove the damaged leaves until there are several additional healthy leaves).
As most orchids come from humid, tropical regions they appreciate a humid atmosphere (you should avoid keeping them in temperatures below 15 ºC). In most centrally heated homes the air is dry, but there are various ways to increase the humidity in your home. Place a water-filled tray of damp gravel beneath the plant-pot, mist them every 2-3 days (avoiding the flowers as the petals can be marked by water), or use a humidifier.
Deal with pests
Keep an eye out for pests, the most common of which are scale insects, aphids and mealybugs. If the leaves are sticky or have a black sooty mould, it’s likely there’s an infestation. These pests can easily be removed by hand, using a soapy sponge to clean the leaves. Alternatively, spray with an insecticidal soap.
If you stick to these rules to manage light, temperature, humidity and unwanted guests your orchids should flower regularly and live for many years.
If you have any tips on keeping your houseplants blooming then let us know. We’d love to see any photos too!