Orchids: How to get them flowering, again and again

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Orchids belong to the Orchidaceae family, with about 28 000 different species growing in different habitats around the world. Many orchids, such as the well-known Phalaenopsis, are  air plants (epiphytes) that grow in trees with their roots hanging in the air. This type of orchid is a popular house plant as it bears flowers for long periods.
Orchids belong to the Orchidaceae family, with about 28 000 different species growing in different habitats around the world. Many orchids, such as the well-known Phalaenopsis, are air plants (epiphytes) that grow in trees with their roots hanging in the air. This type of orchid is a popular house plant as it bears flowers for long periods.

Photographs Jeandri Streicher l Styling Melissa Rautenbach

Who can resist the temptation of buying a beautiful Phalaenopsis orchid or giving one as a gift to a fellow plant lover? However, when they have finished flowering, these plants are often cast aside or left to perish. Cobus Coetzee, horticulturist at Woolworths, explains how best to care for these plants and get them to bloom again and again.

Since Phalaenopsis orchids are air plants, their roots should never lie in water. If you give them too much water, they will die. These orchids can be grown in bark or Sphagnum moss (also known as peat moss).

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