Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Caring for Grandad's Orchids

My grandad had a very beautiful collection of orchids. He lived with us when I was little and my dad built Grandad an orchid house at the bottom of the garden. Grandad spent a lot of time in it, tending to his beloved plants,reading and doing the crossword and probably hiding from us kids for some peace and quiet.  When Mum died, I inherited many of his plants but unfortunately not his skills in caring for them. Don't you just wish you learnt more from your grandparents and parents before they died?

There are so many questions I want to ask him. 

These fronds above are from Grandad's plants that are now around 50 years old (or perhaps much older). It amazes me that they are still alive and thriving. Most of the plants I inherited are of yellow tones and I wanted to add some darker pinks to my collection so I bought a couple of plants from Nick at the Orange Grove farmers markets a few weeks ago.


I had a long chat to Nick about my grandad's orchids and how I wished I'd learnt more about how to care for them. I basically leave them be. Nick gave me some great advice and said that next year when the orchids are ready to divide, he will invite me to his orchid farm and teach me. 

Nick's advice on caring for orchids

Water them deeply twice a week
Divide only at certain times of the year (late August in Sydney)
Fertilise monthly
Use sticks to support the fronds

I also found this great website that I'll be trawling for information. 

Last year Phil and I divided some of the orchids at the wrong time of year and as a result we have some dead roots which is disappointing. So much to learn. I hope to get these orchids thriving even more.

In the mean time I'm enjoying some prettiness in the corner of my garden. Especially as much of the garden is a building site!

If you have some more tips for me on caring for orchids I'd love to hear them.

Fiona xx


  1. I have never had any orchids. My friends all kill theirs and they are better at being plant parents than I am!

  2. They are beautiful! Looks like you are good with them already, Sarah x

  3. When I was growing up my friend's father had an orchid house at the bottom of his garden too. He gave me a couple when I was about 10 and I remember dividing them with my dad when I was a bit older. Later I moved overseas with my now husband and unfortunately couldn't take my orchids. They live at my parents place, and dad sometimes sends me pictures when they are flowering. Thanks for the memories.

    1. my pleasure Charlotte. such nice memories I'm sure xx

  4. My mother grows a similar type of coloured orchid & the fragrance is amazing! Brings back lots of memories..... Hope all is going well with the build - been lucky with the weather lately! Need to organise that coffee! Mx


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