Mother’s Day Orchids: Purchasing & Care Tips
Author: Celeste Booth3 Comments
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, it’s a great time to start thinking about what to get your mom this year. While orchids were once regarded as a more rare or exotic plant, they are now the most popular houseplant, along with peace lilies. Phalaenopsis (more commonly referred to as moth orchids) are one of the easiest varieties to care for as well as having very long-lasting flowers, making them the perfect botanical gift!
While many of the big flower companies can make beautiful cut flower arrangements out of various orchid varieties, it’s becoming increasingly popular to buy the whole plant. That way you don’t just have a gift that lasts a few weeks, but one that will last for years to come.
Local Orchid Grower
Your best bet for a healthy orchid is to buy directly from an orchid grower. Usually a quick google search with your state will bring up some local growers that you can get in touch with. It’s better if you can find someone close to you that you can visit yourself, as you can talk to the grower and get care advice, find a healthy one, and end up with a great selection. You’ll also be supporting a local business! However, if you cannot find someone local to you, here’s a grower we have visited and can recommend.
Hilltop Orchids – located in Cloverdale, IN.
Hilltop Orchids is run by Dick and Sandy Wells, who have been growing orchids since 1954. We had the opportunity to visit their greenhouses and got a first-hand look into their wonderful orchid operation. They have a beautiful collection of Phalaenopsis, Oncidium, and Cattleya orchids, as well as some other more rare varieties.
Online Flower Store
1-800-FLOWERS has an entire Orchid Boutique as part of their online store that you can chose various colors, pots, and styles, with prices ranging from $35-$350. Beware of the bright blue orchid flowers, as these are dyed to look this way and will re-bloom white.
ProFlowers also has a similar potted orchid collection, with prices ranging from $35-$60. A few highlights include mini orchids in a teacup, and orchids paired with bromeliads.
Grocery or Home Improvement Store
You can also usually find orchids at your local grocery or home improvement store. This is a good “last-minute” option and will save you money on shipping. If you choose to go this route, be sure to find an orchid plant that still has a few un-opened buds, or at least one who has not begun to drop flowers. This will ensure that your plant blooms as long as possible.
Care for your new orchid
Once you’ve purchased the orchid you think your mother will love, keep in mind the following care tips that you can pass on to her so she can keep the plant happy and healthy.
1. Place the orchid in a location that has low, indirect light. Good places to put your orchid are by an east facing window, or a shaded south or west window. If your orchid’s leaves become darker than an olive green color, it is not receiving enough light.
2. Water plant thoroughly and let it become almost dry before watering again. Water with luke-warm water in the mornings and avoid using distilled or softened water.
3. Temperatures should be around 70-80F during the day and drop no lower than 60F at night.
4. If your orchid is in bark potting mix, use a high-nitrogen fertilizer twice a month. For all others, a balanced fertilizer can be used at half strength once a week.
5. Humidity should be between 50-80%. If you need to increase your humidity, try placing your orchid pot in a tray of pebbles with a shallow amount of water.
For more care tips, download our free moth orchid cheat sheet!
Have a happy Mother’s Day!