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Flower Care Guide: Orchids

Orchid Care

Few flowers are as stunning, bewitching, and captivating as orchids.

From their popularity in Ancient Rome and China to holding the title of Britain’s favorite flower, their adoration by the masses has spanned both time and space. Did you know Beyoncé had 70,000 white dendrobium orchids (her favorite flower!) flown in from Thailand to make her and Jay-Z’s wedding day unforgettable? Let’s be honest, if Queen Bey likes something that much, then it must be good.

To flower enthusiasts and horticulturalists, it’s not hard to see why orchids are so appealing. After all, orchids come in every color under the sun, have bizarre evolutionary traits (like being completely symmetrical,) can range in size from a dime to a couple hundred pounds, and are the largest flower family with over 25,000 species and 300,000 variations. Needless to say, orchids are weird and wonderful.


More Charming Than Most Houseplants

As for the everyday person not knee deep in the weeds, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what has made orchids so incredibly popular for over two millennia. Most likely, it’s due to their sexually-charged allure (we’ll get to that later *wink*), exotic appearance, or their rare and delicate nature. Whatever the case, we can say one thing with absolute confidence: Orchids evoke intense emotions that, if we’re being completely honest, are undeniably irresistible.

And, oh yeah, that sweet and delicious vanilla extract you love? Yep, you can thank orchids for that too!

As you can see, orchids are much more charming than common houseplants. They’re dazzling. Dare we say, even mesmerizing. But…they are fragile and can be more expensive than other houseplants. So, take our word for it, understanding proper orchid care and giving them proper love and attention is paramount.

But before we get into how to care for orchids, let’s cover a little bit of the history and symbolism of orchids. Trust us; it’ll make that orchid Bouq you just received so much sweeter and more meaningful.


Orchid Symbolism

In general, orchids represent many things including decadence, indulgence, luxury, power, love, beauty, and strength. But over the years, the flower has carried many different meanings depending on the specific culture.

In Ancient Greece, orchids carried heavy sexual connotations and were often used as an aphrodisiac. In fact, the word orchid derives from the Greek word “orkhis,” which literally translates to “testicle.” Ewww…takes a bit of the beauty away, doesn’t it? But thanks to that namesake and their bold appearance, they are seen as a symbol of virility, fertility, and sexuality. The Greeks also believed that by eating orchid tubers, parents could pick the sex of their coming child.

In China, on the other hand, orchids have come to signify integrity, elegance, and friendship while in Japan, they are commonly exchanged as gifts during business celebrations. The Aztecs used vanilla orchids mixed with chocolate to create an elixir which they claimed gave them strength in battle.

Also, depending on the color, orchids carry other meanings and symbolism:

  • Black orchids represent evil, death, mystery, authority, and submission (yikes…talk about dark.)
  • Pink orchids symbolize femininity, grace, and joy
  • White orchids signify elegance, purity, and innocence
  • Yellow orchids embody accomplishment, friendship, and fresh beginnings
  • Orange orchids symbolize pride, enthusiasm, and boldness
  • Purple orchids represent respect, royalty, and admiration


How to Care for Orchids Indoors

So, you were lucky enough to receive some fresh-cut orchids or bought some for yourself. It doesn’t matter how you got your hands on those rare and delicates beauties, they’ll still look gorgeous adorning your home. But, but, but… That’s only if you keep them alive and well, which for orchids is a tad more demanding than other cut flowers.

Do it right though, and you’ll have fresh-looking, eye-catching orchids for upwards of 2-3 weeks. With that being said, let’s hop into proper orchid care, shall we?


Cut Your Orchids

  • Unpackage your orchids and submerge them in water for ten minutes to refresh the blooms.
  • Cut one inch off the stems at a 45-degree angle to make water absorption easier.
  • When cutting the stems, make sure you cut them underwater to prevent any air bubbles from clogging them up.
  • Remove any leaves that would rest below the waterline in your vase—excess foliage can introduce icky bacteria.


Get Those Head Turners a Worthy Home

This isn’t real estate, but the same principle applies to your orchid’s longevity: Location, location, location! Indeed, if you want happy and beautiful orchids making a statement in your humble domain, give them a home that eliminates stress and duress and promotes a healthy environment. Here are some tips:

  • Find and wash a suitable vase with warm water and soap.
  • Mix together cool water and the included flower food into your vase.
  • Drop those pretty little things in and let them soak up that all that delicious H2O.
  • Place your vase of orchids in a cool room away from direct sunlight, heat, or drafts.


Pro Tip: Make a Homemade Bleach Concoction

By brewing up a DIY bleach preservative, you can keep your orchid’s blooms looking fresh and attractive for even longer. And it doesn’t take a trip to the grocery store either. Just a few household items:

  • Add 1 tsp. of chlorine bleach and sugar into a 1 qt. pitcher of room temperature water.
  • Add 2 tsp. of lemon or lime juice.
  • Pour enough of the solution into the vase to cover half of the stem length.


Recondition Every Other Day

Congratulations! You’ve got a gorgeous vase of orchids prettying up that kitchen or living room of yours. Great job! But the work isn’t over. To ensure your orchids live a full life, you’ll need to make sure their living environment always stays clean and healthy.

This means recutting the stems, changing the water, and removing foliage that falls below the waterline. And if you want to go the extra mile, why not give them some soothing music to listen to—vibrations from music are said to help them produce more helpful internal nutrients. Crazy, right?

Having and maintaining stunning orchids doesn’t need to be hard work. It just takes a few minutes out of your day and some thoughtful care. No sweat, no tears! Just beautiful flowers!

When you’re looking for orchids delivery, head over to The Bouqs Co. and send a fresh, handcrafted Bouq of orchids to a friend, family member, or loved one? Or, if you want some self-care, keep that Bouq all for yourself.

Hey, we’re not judging!

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  • Linda Schmitt June 12, 2018 at 4:28 pm

    How doI care for an orchid plant?