The annual Orchid Festival is on until March 5th in the Princess of Wales Conservatory at Kew Gardens. This year the theme is bursting with colour and verve as it honours that exuberant and intriguing country, India. If you’re a fan of orchids it’s a not-to-be-missed event.
Meanwhile, I want to talk about orchids in your home. Did you know they are one of the best plants for your bedroom? A NASA study suggests that orchids give off oxygen at night -and the moth orchid also combats toluene, which is found is shoe polish (if you practice the arcane art of polishing your shoes).
stripey pinks and
It just isn’t fair – where am I going wrong? Actually I know where – I have suffered from ignorance mixed with bad luck. So here’s what you need to know – orchids are fussy!
They like light, but only north-facing; they hate draughts; and they only like soft water. Never, ever cut the aerial roots off (the slightly greying roots curling around the top – apparently some people don’t like the look of them), and never, ever remove them from the original plastic pots they’ve been rooted in.
If you live in a hard water area, use cooled boiled water from the kettle and either water them once a week with an eggcup-sized amount of soft water, or stand your orchid in a bucket and drench completely with soft water to replicate a tropical rain shower – let it soak for a minute in enough water to cover the compost. But don’t let any water sit in the area where the leaves cross over [if it does, dab away with tissue]. And there you have it. I’m tempted to say – ‘SIMPLES’.