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Tips on proper orchid care and handling

Orchids sell because they are beautiful, long-lasting and they’re priced within a range that customers are willing to pay. In addition, consumers are learning that orchids are simple and easy to care for. Commercial orchid growers are doing an effective job of conveying this message through catchy marketing campaigns such as Green Circle Grower’s Just Add Ice.

Considering the potential loss of sales and profit dollars at stake from misinformation, supermarket floral centers can help their own cause by actively informing their staff and customers about the simplicity of proper orchid care.

Floral department managers are urged to have staff training on orchid care, especially as part of your holiday preparations.

A properly maintained Phalaenopsis orchid plant can easily last for 90 days. That means the consumer is essentially buying a three-month bouquet.

Here is some valuable information from that can be used to inform your customers, and also to create your own care sheets for floral department customers:

Temperature. Phalaenopsis orchids enjoy a fairly warm climate. The ideal night temperature is 62 to 65 degrees and a daytime temperature range of 70 to 80 degrees. Since this temperature range is similar to that of many homes, it means that orchids make ideal houseplants.

Light and shade. Phalaenopsis orchids do not require too much light to grow well. One must take care not to burn the plant by allowing direct sunlight to shine on the plant.

Watering. Water with rain, distilled or reverse-osmosis water as the plant’s medium approaches dryness — generally about once every four to seven days. Never use water that has been softened by a water softener. Plants should never stand in water, which may result in the orchid developing bacterial or fungal rot.

Humidity. Phalaenopsis orchids do not have water storage organs other than their leaves. For this reason, it is important to provide good humidity — 50 percent to 70 percent is considered ideal. However, if the plant is kept well-watered, it will adapt to a lower humidity.

Flowering. Commonly referred to as the “moth orchid,” Phalaenopsis are one of the longest blooming orchids, producing flowers that last from two to six months before dropping. After it has flowered the first time, cut the stem just above the node where the first flower bloomed — a new flower stem should emerge within two months. If there is no response or the flower spike turns brown, cut it off near the base of the plant where it emerged.

For similar information on other varieties of orchid plants ask your plant supplier or consult an authoritative website like the one previously cited.  

An informed consumer will have the best orchid experience, and a happy customer is a return customer.