8 Ways to Kill Your Orchid


8 Ways to Kill Your Orchid

Orchids are some of the easiest plants to grow if given the proper exposure, potting mix and right amount of water

It’s just not fair: Orchids have this bum rap for being some of the most finicky plants to grow. And don’t even talk about getting a second bloom out of them. Most frustrated indoor gardeners just toss them once that last flower’s gone.

Yet, the truth is orchids are some of the easiest plants to grow if given the proper exposure, potting mix and right amount of water. Just ask Becky Brinkman, longtime manager of the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Fuqua Orchid Center, home to one of the country’s largest collections of species orchids. There, envious visitors corner her every day for advice on what they’re doing wrong with their own plants. So much so, that Becky has come up with her Eight Ways to Kill Your Orchid:

1. Water it every day.
The most frequently asked question is “Do you water the orchids every day?” The answer is, “No, but we check them every day.” Checking means looking at the potting mix to see if it’s dry. A good grower learns to recognize the change in color that accompanies the drying process.


2. Establish a watering schedule for your orchid. Make it conform to your schedule. Water it on the same day of the week that you go to the gym, or the grocery store, or the car wash. This one is really tempting. But let’s say it’s September. Did you notice that yesterday was one and a half minutes shorter than the day before and that the sun is now lower in the sky than it was in July? Your plant did. So, two months from now, when your orchid receives one less hour of light and considerably weaker light intensity, does it make sense to water with the same frequency?

3. Water your orchid whenever you water your other plants.
Convenient, yes. Good horticulture, no.

4. Water your Phalaenopsis orchid with ice cubes.
Tell me you don’t do this. In nature a moth orchid seldom experiences temperatures below 60 degrees. And you’re thinking about applying ice water to its roots? Why not just put it in the freezer for a day?

Read the rest of this story on HDTV Gardens….

Aneta Zurawski

Aneta is your "go-to" person here at Plainview who will answer your questions on how to best care for your gorgeous new Plainview Growers plant. She wears many hats, and serves as our photographer, plant stylist and nascent flower blogger.

  • Ange DeWitt
    Posted at 8:31 PM, October 10, 2018

    What will make a leaf on my orchid plant yellow………….not enough light, too much light, too much water, not enough water. I water it every 10 to 13 days with less that 1/4 cup of water. It is never in the sun, but dark days it does not get much light.
    I want to save it! I have had some buds flower on my plant.

  • Juliann
    Posted at 2:53 PM, February 13, 2021

    I just purschaseed a small orchid in a small plastic bag like pot, with a drainage hole, at of all places CVS. This pot went inside a nice decorative ceramic pot.Then, there is a rectangle bag, hard as a rock which I assume is soil. No diections as to what to do with the packet. Do I smash the pkt to soften the soil and put it in the ceramic pot. Then, take the plant out of the plastic pot and put into the soil? The small plastic pot which is 3″H x3″ W? The ceramic pot is larger 6″H x3″W at the top narrowing down to 2 1/2″ at the bottom. Please advise me.
    TX in advance.

  • Gladys Gamas
    Posted at 10:02 PM, April 23, 2022

    Por favor necesito saber si se puede ponerle tierra abonada a mi orquídea gracias


  • Linda Murray
    Posted at 2:14 PM, June 28, 2023

    Can you repot orchid and what type of soil to use

  • Pete
    Posted at 5:47 PM, October 16, 2023

    My wife had the green thumb but just passed away. Someone gave me a pure orchid. I watered it once a week and emptied any water that drained into pot. All flowers have fallen off and new buds look off white in color. Is it too late for this plant. If not, what should I do?

  • Ellen
    Posted at 12:10 PM, November 27, 2023

    when the blooms fall, how to rebloom orchid

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