Martha Stewart welcomes an early spring with this towering orchid – experts share how to replicate her success

The Phaius swamp orchid reaches great heights at 44" – here's what we need to follow her lead in the season ahead

Martha Stewart
(Image credit: GettyImages)

As we slowly emerge into more spring-like weather, Martha Stewart's garden is a constant source of inspiration for florals. Her latest flower pick? A striking Phaius swamp orchid with 12 flower stems measuring an impressive 44" tall. 

Want to know how to look after this breathtaking flora? We got orchid care advice from one of our in-house garden experts, Thom Rutter, about how to care for and maintain these orchids – for Martha-approved blooms all season ahead.

Placement is highly important for these sun-loving flowers – but too much light can ultimately be detrimental to the orchid's health.

'Originating in the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, swamp orchids need bright but indirect light and are best placed in a warm position in the home, explains Thom Rutter, Gardens Content Editor at Homes & Gardens. 'As we can see, Martha has cleverly placed her new plant acquisition near a window, but not so close to the glass to damage the leaves. '

thomas rutter content editor at Homes & Gardens
Thomas Rutter

Thomas is a Content Editor within the Gardens Team at Homes and Gardens. He has been working as a gardener and garden writer for several years. Whilst completing his Horticultural Traineeship at the Garden Museum, London, he was able to gain experience at many of the UK's world famous gardens, including Sissinghurst, Lowther Castle and Iford Manor. Following this, he worked for two private estates in Tuscany, Italy. During this time, he developed expertise regarding practical gardening and growing in dry and hot climates. He has managed kitchen gardens and cut flower gardens, providing food and flowers to be enjoyed on a daily basis. Encouraging others to grow, even on a very small scale, is important to him.

The swamp orchid is also unique in that its petals are delicate yet stand vertically, meaning they require considerable maintenance, including routine hydration.

'The foliage of the swamp orchid is slightly different from what we might expect from this plant family, appearing upright and almost pleated,' he explains. 'It is recommended to check the foliage of your orchid regularly, as any signs of yellowing or spotting can be cause for concern. When watering your orchid, allow water to drain away from the container to prevent any root damage from waterlogged soil.'

Finally, Thom recommends being conservative in feeding the flower, whose roots are sensitive to fertilizer.

'Feeding your orchid is advised, but I find it best to err on the side of caution, feeding too little as opposed to too much, which can burn the roots,' Thom explains. 'Using a fertilizer during the growing season, such as this orchid feed from Walmart, will encourage healthy growth - floral and foliage - in the months ahead, ensuring that your swamp orchid looks as great as Martha's all year round.'


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Hannah Ziegler
News Editor

Hannah is Homes & Gardens’ News Editor, with a focus on celebrity style and entertainment content. She got her start in media as a digital editorial assistant at ELLE Canada, and has since written about lifestyle and culture for publications such as Nylon and i-D.


Her love of film is rivalled only by one with a great soundtrack, and she hopes to someday decorate a Nancy Meyers-worthy kitchen.