Here's a little secret ... the orchid that you received as a gift—that beautiful, showy flower that will last for months on your dining room table—is doomed. That's right. To make it easier to ship and display potted orchids, growers pretty much guarantee the plant won't live for more than a few months after it's purchased.
But why? Is it really that hard to grow orchids as houseplants? No. Check out my guide to growing orchids inside and I'll tell you everything you need to know.
For now, let's just talk about how much I love orchids. I love them. A lot. Enough to kill dozens of them before I figured out what I was doing wrong. And apparently, a lot of other people feel the same way. Orchids are by far the fastest growing category of houseplants in America, with sales of almost $200 million annually—and they are also the most expensive. For most people, orchids occupy a nether world between cut flowers and living houseplant. No one seriously expects them to live. Yet isn't there always a tiny heartbreak involved when such a beautiful plant withers and dies?
So here's what I say: Your gift orchid doesn't have to die. Take a few simple steps—learn to think like an orchid—and you can enjoy your plant for years to come.Photo credit © Jon VanZile