Plant of the Month: February
Our plant of the month is the beautiful orchid. If you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day this month, it’s a special gift that lasts much longer than cut flowers. Orchids are even said to bring good luck to your home!
Orchids can bloom for three months, making them a great value houseplant. They are easy to care for, once you know the basics. Orchids come from a humid environment, but they can tolerate a cool spot, so long as you keep them away from cold draughts. They mostly like bright natural light. Avoiding positioning them in direct sun, which can scorch the leaves.
Water your orchid every seven to ten days. Leave it for half an hour in a bowl of water before draining it away, so the orchid doesn’t sit in water. They suffer for being over-watered.
The moth orchid, or Phalaenopsis, and the Cymbidium are two of the easiest to look after. Their flowers can last for months and they come in a variety of shades to suit all colour schemes. There are also fragrant varieties.
When orchids are not on bud or blooming, they’re building up the energy for another cycle of blooms. If you want yours to last more than one season, feed it with a balanced orchid fertiliser. Apply it every third watering in spring and then switch to a high potassium orchid fertiliser in summer. In winter, feed occasionally, using half-strength general liquid fertiliser.
There is buy one, get one free on selected orchids at Garsons in February, so treat yourself or someone special to a late winter boost. You’ll find a lovely selection in the houseplant section, with a beautiful range of pots to show them to their best advantage.