Welcome to my orchid growing hobby. No, I don’t have a huge room for growing orchids. When we became ‘Empty Nesters’ and moved to Utah, we downsized to fit our new lifestyle. It would be nice if growing orchids was as easy as growing a bloomin’ onion, but the dry climate of Utah adds a special challenge.
I’ve loved these unique flowers since my first prom date, when I received an orchid in my corsage.
My “orchid room” consists of a large plastic container, lined with heavy plastic to hold water. This plastic liner can then be easily replaced when it becomes dirty. A plastic ceiling grate or grill was cut to fit on top of the container, so the plants can sit above the water and receive needed humidity. Shining down on the flowers are two Fluorescent lights – one regular and one warm or grow light. An automatic timer takes care of producing each day of artificial sunlight.
My flowering Phalaenopsis or moth orchid’s only care is a watering “weekly and weakly.” This means the flowers are given water each week with a weak amount of orchid fertilizer. Some growers recommend placing three ice cubes around each plant weekly, which is the equivalent of 1/4 cup of water. Apparently the ice cubes melt so slowly that the temperature doesn’t affect the plant.
If the orchids are to receive light from a window sill, it’s recommended that the windows should be cleaned frequently. Well, now you know why I don’t keep them on a window sill.
For more information on growing orchids, click to the Just Add Ice website. What flowers challenge your green thumb these days?