Home & Garden

Keep Orchids Beautiful and Blooming

Credits: Gardener’s Supply Company

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Lift your spirits, enliven your indoor décor or give the gift of beautiful blooming orchids.  You’ll enjoy these exotic blossoms for months with just minimal care – once you know what to do.  

Start with a healthy flowering plant.  The phalaenopsis or moth orchid is the most widely available and easiest to grow. It’s similar to caring for an African violet. When you provide the proper growing conditions, maintenance is a breeze. 

The challenge comes with less-than-ideal indoor growing conditions of low light and dry air. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to create a better environment for your orchid.

Sign Up for E-News

Keep in mind that most orchids are epiphytes. In nature they grow on other plants and obtain water and nutrients from the air, water and plant debris that accumulates in their environment. This is why they are grown in an orchid mix made of organic material such as peat, fir bark and perlite. This or a similar combination retains water while providing needed drainage.

Give your orchid a good soaking once a week. Pour off any excess water that collects in the saucer. Don’t allow orchids to sit in water and don’t water them too often. This can lead to root rot and death of your plant.

Further improve the environment by increasing the humidity around the plant. Group them with other orchids and indoor plants. As one plant loses moisture, or “transpires”, the others will benefit from the increase in humidity. Plus, you’ll create a beautiful display while improving the growing conditions.

Alternatively, you can create humidity trays.  Place pebbles in the saucer and the pot on top of the pebbles. Allow excess water to collect in the pebbles below the pot. As this evaporates it increases the humidity around your plant. This also eliminates the need to pour off the excess water that collects in the saucer.

For larger plant collections use rubber humidity plant tray grids. These save space by allowing you to place several plants on one tray. These are perfect for growing on tables or light stands.

Place your plant in a bright location.  Orchids do best with 12 to 14 hours of sunlight. Unobstructed south- or east-facing windows are usually the best. Or give plants a boost with artificial lights. Newer full spectrum LED lights provide needed light while using less energy. 

And there’s no reason to hide your orchid and light setup in the basement. Check out the attractive, new indoor grow light systems like the Coltura LED Grow Frame (gardeners.com). It can be mounted on the wall or set on a table. Either way, your orchids will be in full view for all to enjoy.

Fertilize actively growing plants with an orchid fertilizer.  Michigan State University developed a fertilizer that efficiently provides the nutrients orchids need. They have “Orchid Tap Water” and “Orchid Pure Water Fertilizer” formulations. Just follow label directions for best results.

Once the plants are done flowering, you can keep them growing indoors. If you like a challenge, try reblooming. On phalaenopsis orchids, just cut back the flowering stem between the second or third node from the bottom. Or give the plant a rest and cut the flower stem back to the leaves.  Continue to provide proper care and wait to see if you were successful.

You can also simply treat an orchid plant like a long-lasting bouquet. That way there’s no guilt if you decide to toss it.  And if the guilt is too much, just look for an avid gardener. There’s always someone who would be happy to adopt and try to rebloom your non-flowering plant.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Like

Sign Up for E-News

Piscataway

Had ENOUGH of the Same Old, Same Old? Let’s Bring The NEW Back To Jersey!

October 19, 2017

Had ENOUGH of the Same Old, Same Old? Let's Bring The NEW Back To Jersey!

A wise New Jerseyan by the name of Albert Einstein once said, "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it."

Another wise New Jerseyan, Rev. DeForest "Buster" Soaries, a former Secretary of State of New Jersey, profoundly said at a recent Affordability Summit ...

LD17 Candidate for State Assembly Robert Quinn: Candidate Statement

            It is my desire for the public to know several important points about my candidacy, which they may take into consideration when determining who to vote for: 

I have been a resident of Franklin Township for 12 years. Born in North Plainfield I have lived in New Jersey most of my life. 
I am the father of two. My children, Terrence, ...

Alexandra Lopez for Piscataway Township Board of Education

1. Why are you running for re-election to the Piscataway Township Board of Education?

I have been a resident of Piscataway for 18 years. I specifically chose Piscataway as a place to raise my family because of its rich diversity. As a Latino woman, married to a Latino man, we made a conscious decision to ensure that our children were raised in a community that represented our values. In 2011, ...

Dr. Tom Connors for Piscataway Township Board of Education

1. Why are you running for re-election to the Piscataway Township Board of Education?

I have been a resident of Piscataway for 29 years.  I have been a member of the Board of Education since 2008.  I am running for re-election because I believe in public education.  I grew up under difficult financial circumstances and getting a good public education was key to my success.

Letter to the Editor: Vote YES on Ballot Question 2

October 22, 2017

If you are concerned about having clean water and clean air in New Jersey, you should vote YES on Ballot Question Number 2 on Nov. 7. Voting yes on this question is voting to use funds collected from natural-resource damage claims against polluters to fix the damage done, or, if that’s not possible, to restore nearby areas. If passed, it would prevent these moneys from being siphoned ...

A Call for All Library Supporters to Vote "Yes" on Nov. 7

Dear Editor:

As a New Jersey resident and strong supporter of our local library, I urge all New Jersey citizens to vote “YES” on Tuesday, November 7 for the NJ Library Construction Bond Act, supporting libraries across NJ. 

Libraries are increasingly becoming the social hubs of our communities.This act  authorizes New Jersey to issue ...

South Brunswick Police Release More Gas Station Shooting Details, Victim Still Hospitalized

October 22, 2017

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – Police released more details about the suspects they are seeking in a botched robbery and shooting at a Kendall Park gas station Oct. 15 that left the 60-year-old attendant hospitalized.

According to police, an older model tan or light brown SUV pulled up to the BP Gas Station on Route 27 and Alston Road in Kendall Park around 4:15 a.m. Oct. 15 and a black male with ...

Obituaries

Kenneth H. Stewart, 85, died Monday, October 9, 2017 at the Center of Hope Hospice in Scotch ...
Read more
James Faraci, 96, passed away on Friday, September 15, 2017 at Brandywine Living at Middlebrook ...
Read more

CareOne Raises More Than $4 Million for Hurricane Relief in Puerto Rico

October 20, 2017

CareOne, a premier family-owned healthcare company with more than 30 centers in New Jersey, today announced its “Starry Night Masquerade” event raised more than $4 million in support of hurricane-relief efforts in Puerto Rico.  The October-19 charity fundraiser was held at the Skylight Clarkson North in New York City and was in partnership with CareOne’s sister company ...

Train through Time Rolls on Four Centuries In A Weekend

Bring the kids, bring a friend, because once again it’s that time to ride the rails into history.

On October 21 and 22, Union County celebrates Four Centuries In A Weekend, when historic sites and museums across the County open their doors to the public, free of charge.

Many of the sites are within walking distance of the train stations across the County, with some sites offering ...

Rutgers Football Tops Purdue for Homecoming Win

PISCATAWAY, NJ – Rutgers football (3-4, 2-2) posted its second-straight Big Ten win with a 14-12 victory over Purdue (3-4, 2-2) on Saturday at High Point Solutions Stadium. The Scarlet Knights recorded back-to-back Big Ten victories for the first time since joining the league.

Fueled by touchdowns from fifth-year senior Gus Edwards and freshman Raheem ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, October 25, 8:30 AM

The Ives Architecture Studio, Fairlawn

JBN Presents: Breakfast Networking in Fairlawn

Business & Finance

Carousel_image_ea23baccf392468d07be_halloween_pd

Sat, October 28, 11:00 AM

Eisenhower Elementary School, Piscataway

Halloween Costume Contest

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_651b9b387de6cfcb2a72_jersey_devil

Sat, October 28, 2:00 PM

The Metlar/Bodine House Museum, Piscataway

The Hidden History of the Jersey Devil

Arts & Entertainment Education

Carousel_image_6382d6cf212139443be9_arbor_trunk-or-treat-flyer

Sat, October 28, 4:00 PM

Flea Market Field, Piscataway

Arbor Firehouse Halloween Trunk or Treat

Arts & Entertainment

Warren, Watchung and Long Hill Men Named in $5 Million Mortgage Fraud Case

October 20, 2017

NEWARK, NJ -  A real estate investor, a builder, a mortgage loan officer, and a real estate settlement attorney were arrested and charged this week with using “straw buyers” to fraudulently obtain mortgage loans from a bank, acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Victor Santos, a/k/a “Vitor Santos,” 57, of Wachtung ; Arsenio Santos, a/k/a ...

Want to Take Your Business Global? New Jersey Businesses Eligible for Grant Funding

October 11, 2017

Are you a New Jersey business owner who has already realized the potential of a global market or an entrepreneur seeking to increase sales and profit by taking your business worldwide? 

The New Jersey Business Action Center (BAC) has been awarded a $606,151 State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration to help New Jersey companies gain access to ...

The Mommy’s Review - Welcome back, water bottles!

Well, the kids are firmly back in school, and one of my priorities this year is for everyone to stay dry! No, not in the potty training sense! What I mean is that I’m tired of taking out soggy folders and wet assignments from their backpacks! I can’t tell you how many times my kids came home with wet lunchboxes and school bags this past school year. Their reusable water bottles just ...

Suicide rates highest in rural counties across country

Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the October 6, 2017 issues of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, found the highest suicide rates across the country in 2013-2015 were in rural counties. While the overall suicide rate was just under 14 deaths per 100,000 people, in rural counties the rate was almost 20 deaths per 100,000 people.

For the full ...