Inspired to add a few orchids to your own home’s decor?
Before you do, make sure you choose a type that will thrive in the conditions where you want to display it, said Cynthia Druckenbrod, Cleveland Botanical Garden’s vice president of horticulture and its resident orchid expert.
She recommends beginners start with a moth orchid, or phalaenopsis. It likes indirect light and will thrive a long time with proper care, she said.
Moth orchids are fairly hardy and easy to care for, Druckenbrod said, but overwatering can harm them. “It’s so easy to love an orchid to death” by giving it too much water, she said.
She suggests watering by simply placing three ice cubes in the pot each week. Besides limiting the amount of water the plant gets, the ice also provides a little shock of cold that Druckenbrod said she believes helps the plant retain its flower spikes and eventually rebloom.
When the plant finishes blooming, cut off the flower stem if it gets yellow and dies back, making the cut where the stem goes from yellow to green. If the stem stays green, leave it alone.
Druckenbrod recommends giving the plant about a year to rebloom. If it doesn’t, you’re probably better off replacing it.