Decorate your home with orchids

I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to flowers. Much like cars, I have a tendency to refer to blooms by their colour rather than their type. My ignorance in this was illustrated to me at the Chelsea Flower Show as I overheard someone’s conversation about how lovely the rhododendrons were and I had no idea which clump of flowers they were referring to among the many.

That said, I have a soft spot for houseplants and although mine like to die for no discernible reason, my enthusiasm is undimmed. So I was part intrigued, part hopeful when The Art of Life, a group representing pot orchid growers offered to send me an orchid to decorate my home. In fact, they sent a few:

Orchids – the ultimate decorating flower

Orchids – the ultimate decorating flower

Orchids are now one of the most popular houseplants thanks to a wide variety of species (around 25,000) and beautiful flowers. What you might not know, too, is that they’re incredibly versatile when it comes to pairing with different interior trends, happily hanging in baskets as well as sitting in pots.

Phalaenopsis orchids in copper bowls

Phalaenopsis orchids in copper bowls

Channel a Seventies vibe with Paphiopedilum (Venus slipper) in pots

Channel a Seventies vibe with Paphiopedilum (Venus slipper) in pots

So good, so pretty. But what about care? Having given my parents an orchid that liked to go dormant for years at a time, I know that there’s a few points to remember. While all orchids are different, generally, most don’t like to have wet roots, so a weekly 10-minute dip and drain is far better than daily watering. They’re also not keen on draughts, direct heat or sunlight and – this surprised me – being near a fruit bowl as the gases fruit give off make the flowers age.

But beyond that, you’re free to get as creative as you like. Try different pots or pop a plant on the floor if it’s out of the way.

Phalaenopsis in a wire basket

Phalaenopsis in a wire basket

Dendrobium Nobile comes with a bewitching scent

Dendrobium Nobile comes with a bewitching scent

As for me, I’ll be trying to keep my orchids happy in preparation for their move to a new home office, news of which is coming soon.

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