Display Stunning Orchids

Stems of ruby-red flowers, set off by a basket-weave container, create a spectacular display for a windowsill. This orchid will flower for many weeks and is very easy to look after.
Purple Massai Red Orchid

Purple Massai Red Orchid

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

From: DK Books - How to Grow
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When to Plant: late spring
At Its Best: late spring to summer
Time to Complete: 30 minutes

Materials Needed:

  • large plastic-lined basket
  • expanded clay pebbles
  • garden moss or moss-like substitute
  • thin wooden stakes
  • Colmanara 'Massai Red'

Line the Container

If your container doesn't have an integrated lining, use a sheet of plastic to line it. Then add a layer of expanded clay pebbles, which absorb water and slowly release it to increase humidity.

Pebbles at Container Bottom Absorb Water

Pebbles at Container Bottom Absorb Water

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Add the Orchids

Keeping the orchids in their pots, arrange them in the basket. Make sure that their flowering stems are well spaced out for maximum impact. Stake any wayward stems to create a fanlike shape.

Arrange Orchids in Basket

Arrange Orchids in Basket

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Fill the Gaps

Hold the orchid pots upright and fill around them using more expanded clay pebbles. Firm them down gently to ensure that they hold the plants in place, which can be top-heavy when in flower.

Clay Pebbles for Orchids

Clay Pebbles for Orchids

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Top With Moss

Finally, add a layer of garden moss, or a moss substitute, over the clay pebbles and tops of the orchid pots. Water the pots and add some water to the pebbles as well.

Garden Moss in a Basket of Orchids

Garden Moss in a Basket of Orchids

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Aftercare

Place the orchids in a bright room, away from full sun; keep them at 59–73 degrees F during the day, and 50–59 degrees F at night. Throughout the year, water the plants when the soil is almost dry and apply an orchid fertilizer with every other watering. Spray every few days with rainwater or filtered tap water to maintain humidity.

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