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Bring orchids back into growth9 April 2013
Bring orchids back into growth following their rest period in winter, to encourage them to start putting out fresh leaves and flower spikes for the new year.
Tropical indoor orchids such as moth orchids (Phalaenopsis) and Cymbidium need a quiet time over winter to gather their reserves for the season to come. Move them to a cool but frost-free place and reduce water and feeding to a minimum.
Now though it's time to return watering back to normal, making sure you're using saved rainwater rather than tapwater and avoiding the plant standing in water for any length of time. While you're at it, add a liquid orchid fertiliser to the water every three weeks or so to perk them up and give them the nutrients they need.
You can treat yourself to a dazzling display of orchids this week at the Horticultural Halls in Westminster, London, where the annual London Orchid and Botanical Art Show gets under way this Friday and Saturday. It's a feast for the eyes whether you're an orchid specialist or just an admirer of these wonderful, spectacular tropical blooms. While you're there, look out for hardy native orchids, too – they're far easier to grow in the garden than you'd think.