Say it with a beautiful orchid this Christmas

The Moth-Orchid
The Moth-Orchid

SOUTHSEA GREEN: Trees going begging... come and get 'em

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Iam going to buy Pam an orchid for Christmas and have decided to choose a Phalaenopsis, often called the moth orchid.

These orchids have become very popular because they are so easy to grow and a good one will cost under £20. You will see these at all garden centres in full bloom.

Mums love these gems, bloke readers take note!

Simply choose one with lots of flower buds with just one or two in bloom. They will continue to flower for more than six months.

This orchid thrives on rain water, bright light, frost-free conditions and an even temperature of not less than 45F.

Sounds like it could thrive in your sitting room?

Yes, give this one a try.

The plant will be in a special compost and the roots may be growing out of the pot, but don’t worry as the roots are part of the overall mystery. They take moisture out of the air so that they can survive as they do in trees in the rainforests.

When the flowers fade, remove individual dead ones but always leave the flower stem intact because new shoots will arise from the base of the flower stem and quite often a baby one will appear at the top of the stem.

If this happens you have been doing everything really well. Buy a green split cane, squeeze some sphagnum moss in the shape of a teaspoon and tie this into the split cane with fuse wire.

The roots will grow into the moss and the baby shoot can be cut off and put into a pot of orchid compost.

Once the flowers have all faded we are left with a group of leaves. Don’t be upset, more flowers will 
appear .

In the meantime buy a couple of artificial stems of flowers and insert the ends into the pot.

No-one will ever notice!

While you are at the garden centre, buy a little tub of orchid fertiliser and use it regularly. The instructions are on the tub. If you do this you will probably enjoy orchid blooms all through the year.

Pam and I wish you a very happy Christmas and a wonderful new year.