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Orchid Plants and How to Care for Them!

How many times have I heard - "I had an orchid plant once and I killed it"! Well, I can tell you I've heard it more times than I can count. What I tell people is that no, you did not kill it, it bloomed, it ran it's natural course and while you thought it was dead and threw it away, it was actually alive, looking for nourishment, ready to burst forth and bloom again! This blog is designed to make you feel better so that you know you didn't really kill them, they were just sleeping. Thank you so our employee Melissa for writing this blog! Her background in horticulture made her a natural. And my shameless plug is please remember that we sell gorgeous orchid plants and that they make wonderful gifts. 

Take it away Melissa!!
Did you know that there are over 30,000 of regular species and when you throw in hybrids it comes to over 140,000 worldwide, with more species being discovered and created each day? The most popular orchids that are grown in most homes are Phalaenopsis, Dendrobium, Cymbidium and Oncidium.  For many people, orchids can seem difficult plant to grow.  With a few helpful tips and a push in the right direction, you’ll be running to the store to pick one up today! 
            In general, the three major keys to keeping an orchid plant and having it rebloom comes down to water, humidity and light.  In nature, many orchids are epiphytes or "air plants".  They live on trees in rainforests with their roots exposed to the elements around them.  Remembering where they original come from can help you to take care of them.  Orchids never like sitting in water.  If they are left in a pot with too much water, it can cause the roots to rot and for their flowers to fall off.  Use filtered or rainwater (not tap water) to water the plant thoroughly then letting the pot dry out before watering again.  Many species can be watered 2 to 3 times a week.   All orchids have special fertilizer that you can use every other week to promote better growth.  Being from the rainforest, orchids love to be in more humid climates.  To simulate these conditions in your home you can try misting the leaves, or, after taking a shower, place your orchid in the bathroom to absorb the humidity from the air.  For lighting, many orchids like indirect sunlight. If exposed to too much light, the leaves can burn or turn an unattractive color. If your plants leaves are bright green, that means it is getting enough light while dark green leaves can mean insufficient light.
The flowers on many species of orchids can last a very long time, ranging from one to three months. Depending on your orchids, it will bloom once a year, two to three times a year or continuously. To promote new growth once your orchid has finished flowering, cut the flower stalk back to the base of the plant. After that, with the proper are, a new growth can be seen in a few months. A great tip for prompting growth is to get a fertilizer that is made for your orchid species. When taking care of your orchids keep in mind that each species has their own care tips and guidelines to follow. If you have quesitons, call your local florist or nursery shop to get a better understanding. The orchid plant is not a difficult plant, it's just different. When you understand what they need, and take care of them properly, the results can be breathtaking! 
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