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Display Stunning Orchids

Stems of rich 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.

Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything
Massai Red Orchid Blooms Last Up to Seven WeeksHow To Grow Practically Everything ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

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.

Add Pebbles to Bottom of Container to Absorb WaterHow To Grow Practically Everything ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

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 Their Pots in BasketHow To Grow Practically Everything ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

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.

Hold Orchids Upright in Basket with Clay PebblesHow To Grow Practically Everything ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

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.

Top Basket of Orchids with Garden Moss SubstituteHow To Grow Practically Everything ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

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.

Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2010

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