I know your dirty secret- you’ve brought dozens of beautiful supermarket orchids home, only to watch helplessly while they die slowly on your windowsill. I know, because I’ve done the same thing too, over and over and over again. I’ve sprayed them, let ice cubes melt on them, fertilized them, used those little evaporating trays… all to no avail.
I am no orchid expert by any means, but with the help of my friend Mindy (thanks Mindy!) I have figured out the secret to not only keeping supermarket orchids alive, but getting them to rebloom multiple times over multiple years! Check out these beauties thriving in the middle of winter in my front room:
The key to keeping these babies alive is repotting them.
Yup, you heard me. The orchids you buy at the grocery store are hopelessly root-bound. Have you ever taken one out of the pot it came home in? Most of them will look like this!
That’s definitely not a good environment for orchid roots. The majority of orchids are epiphytes- meaning they are plants to live on other plants. So most orchids are happiest clinging to the branch of a tree in some humid, tropical climate, where their roots are extracting moisture from the air. These supermarket orchids are all crowded like this to make more compact to store and ship, and likely need less frequent watering as well. However, it is a set-up for the roots to rot and once that happens, it’s bye-bye orchid.
So, this is what you need to do: watch my video on how to repot your orchid on Youtube, here:
Then, go below and buy all the stuff on this list (I never said this was going to be cheap LOL). Yes, they are affiliate links but they are the exact items I use and that I have told many people to use, with great success. Buy them or something like them, and do as I say in the video.
- Glass vase – https://amzn.to/3kTeBMC
- Orchid bark – https://amzn.to/3vdBG1A
- Glass pebbles – https://amzn.to/3t2VkLP
- Sphagnum moss – https://amzn.to/38fiCWz
- Spray bottle for watering – https://amzn.to/3sYUorA
- Orchid fertilizer – https://amzn.to/2O8sw5y
After you repot your orchid, you’ll need to be patient. After the flowers fall off your orchid, it may be months before it blooms again, but just keep taking care of it. (Some brief hints below- like I said, I’m not an orchid specialist, just someone who has hit upon this one thing. If you want advice from a botanical expert, the Internet is full of them). If the leaves stay shiny and green, it’s putting down roots and biding its time. When it reblooms, it’s always wonderful because the flowers are so long-lived, maybe a month or more.
Brief tips on orchid care:
Water sparingly. I prefer to mist heavily with a water spray bottle, so that the moss gets quite damp. Others place a couple of ice cubes to melt on top, others pour some water into the bottom but never enough to reach the base of the plant. Never let the orchid’s roots sit in standing water (*this is why I prefer to repot into glass, so I can see the level of the water).
Place in bright indirect light- a south or east-facing window seems to work best.
Fertilize with a spray fertilizer made specifically for orchids, use as directed.
And again as mentioned above: BE PATIENT and HAVE FAITH.
Let me know how it goes!
You’re beautiful! – Sara