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How to make your orchids flower

Green thumb and DIY virtuoso Tina Barkley shares her flower bloomin' secrets.

pink-orchids-white-flower-pot

Masterfile

The key is to be patient. Moth orchids (the most common type) typically bloom once or twice a year, more if you’re lucky.

1. Cut the flower spike about halfway down the stem, just above one of the nodes.

2. If you can muster the energy, repot it (it’s not critical but will make for a happy orchid) with moss or bark, not soil, to promote healthy root regrowth.

3. Place it in a bright space for about four hours a day. A south-facing window is best, but not in direct sun.

4. Let the moss or bark go crunchy dry on the top half-inch before watering, usually every 10 to 14 days.

5. When watering, let the water run through the pot in a sink for a full minute and drain well before putting the orchid back in its spot.

6. Fertilize once a month if planted in moss. For bark, fertilize weakly, weekly. And for best results drop the temp at night by 10C.

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