Show off!
Home South Africa|October/November 2021
Would you love your orchids to flower repeatedly? Read on to find out how to achieve this.
Marie Esterhuyse

Who can resist the temptation of buying a beautiful Phalaenopsis orchid or giving one as a gift to a fellow plant lover? However, when they have finished flowering, these plants are often cast aside or left to perish. Cobus Coetzee, horticulturist at Woolworths, explains how best to care for these plants and get them to bloom again and again...

Here's how...

1 [GROWING MEDIUM AND WATER]

Since Phalaenopsis orchids are air plants, their roots should never lie in water. If you give them too much water, they will die. These orchids can be grown in bark or Sphagnum moss (also known as peat moss).

A plant growing in moss looks beautiful in a glass container - the moss keeps it in position while the roots are still visible.

Plants that grow in bark drain better and need a little more water. Give them 100ml of water a week in summer and every two weeks in winter. Orchids growing in Sphagnum moss need less water as this growing medium doesn't drain as well as bark so the roots rot more easily. Give them goml of water every week in winter every second week). The growing medium should be fairly dry before you wet it, but it should never dry out completely.

You can also immerse the plant in its plastic pot in water for a minute or two. Do this once a week in summer for plants growing in bark and every two weeks in winter. For orchids in Sphagnum moss this is only necessary every two weeks, and only if the moss is fairly dry. Make sure the water drains completely before placing the plastic pot back in its pretty container.

The easiest and safest way to water orchids is with ice cubes. An ice cube contains about 25ml of water. Place them at the base of the plant on top of the bark or moss (see photo right). With ice cubes, the plants should get the same amount of water and just as often as mentioned above (.e. 4 or 2 cubes on bark and moss respectively).

2 [POSITION]

Phalaenopsis orchids are tropical plants that like filtered sun. They occur naturally in forests with high humidity where the temperature ranges between 16 and 35°C.

In order for the plants to perform at their best, you must try to create similar conditions at home. Place them in a warm room or on a windowsill that gets enough bright light and filtered sun, but remember: they should never stand in direct sunlight.

Direct sun will cause the leaves to get large yellow spots.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM HOME SOUTH AFRICAView All

Al fresco!

A well-appointed stoep is a must for outdoor summer fun.

7 mins read
Home South Africa
October/November 2021

An eye for design and colour

Marilouise van der Merwe has lovingly revamped a farmhouse at the foot of the Langeberg mountains that now glows with the same rich jewel tones as its surroundings.

5 mins read
Home South Africa
October/November 2021

A shore thing

Despite a protracted renovation with multiple setbacks, these homeowners agree: their view made it all worthwhile!

5 mins read
Home South Africa
October/November 2021

Seasonal splendour

The flowers and foliage in Isabel Johnston's English-style garden provide colour and interest throughout the year.

7 mins read
Home South Africa
October/November 2021

There's a Trump in my cappuccino

In the face of gentrification in the small town where she lives, Karin Brynard gets more of a grasp on the madness that is Trump.

3 mins read
Home South Africa
October/November 2021

Show off!

Would you love your orchids to flower repeatedly? Read on to find out how to achieve this.

5 mins read
Home South Africa
October/November 2021

Lamingtons WITH A BLACK FOREST TWIST

This classic treat boasts the proverbial cherry on top!

2 mins read
Home South Africa
October/November 2021

Throwback to the '60S

Make a stylish retro couch upholstered with cheerful outdoor fabric for your stoep.

4 mins read
Home South Africa
October/November 2021

NEW LIFE IN Nieuwe Street

A neglected house in the Karoo is now a Paarl family's home away from home - complete with a cosy stoep for get-togethers.

4 mins read
Home South Africa
October/November 2021

Don't move, improve!

An architectural interior consultant shares her own home renovation.

4 mins read
Home South Africa
October/November 2021
RELATED STORIES

Woolworths - How David Became A Goliath

The white, bold W on a black background, one of South Africas best-known logos, is gaining traction elsewhere on the continent. To think it started with a small hotel-based shop 84 years ago.

6 mins read
Forbes Africa
October 2015

13 ways to PARTY without piling on the pounds

Eat, drink and still stay slim with these festive tips for keeping the calories in check

4 mins read
WOMAN - UK
December 06, 2021

Pony puddings

After last year’s spartan Christmas, we’ll all want some figgy pudding this time, perhaps even the horse. Martha Terry goes in search of some equine recipes

4 mins read
Horse & Hound
November 25, 2021

A NEW KIND OF MAGIC

Break a few rules this Christmas, ('cos it's been that kinda year) and make new traditions with Abigail Donnelly’s inspired modern menu

10+ mins read
Woolworths TASTE
November/December 2021

THANKS FOR sharing

Best way to do Christmas on a budget? Pot luck, you guys! Make some menu “suggestions”, says Khanya Mzongwana, set up a buffet table and ask everyone to bring a shareable dish that costs less than R50 per person. Think of it as food-nerd secret Santa

10+ mins read
Woolworths TASTE
November/December 2021

Freddie: My ‘Robin Hood' past at Woolies!

FREDDIE Flintoff has confessed to a ‘Robin Hood’ past when he worked at Woolworths as a lad – stealing expensive goods for his pals.

2 mins read
Manchester Evening News
November 01, 2021

On the bright SIDE

WE’RE HEADING INTO SUNNY DAYS ARMED WITH AN ARSENAL OF SUMMERY STAPLES: THINK CUTE COZZIES, BREEZY COVER-UPS, OVERSIZED SHIRTS, ALL-WHITE ENSEMBLES AND JUST A LITTLE BIT OF DRAMA, LIKE A PAIR OF GLITTERY EARRINGS.

2 mins read
Fairlady
November/December 2021

LISTED GROCERY RETAILERS PICK UP THE PIECES – AND MAYBE MORE MARKET SHARE

finweek analyses the outlook for South Africa’s Big Five grocery retailers in the aftermath of July’s riots and looting.

10+ mins read
Finweek English
20 August 2021

Food and Nutrition - Right Nutrition when you are COVID +ve and recovering at home

After you have come out of the Covid infection and is still recovering at home, it is natural to feel very tired, body pain and no energy to do your work routine. More importantly the appetite must be off due to lack of taste, smell and also a bitter taste in the mouth due to medicines. Above all, it takes time to be mentally energetic because of the ordeal you have gone through.

1 min read
Health Vision
August 2021

The Taste Case

Want to expand your cellar this season? Or make some daring pairings? We asked Woolies’ experts Rebecca Constable and Rob Gower to use their insider knowledge and recommend some winter gems

2 mins read
Woolworths TASTE
July/August 2021