Businesswoman and television personality Martha Stewart is no stranger to the world of gardening. Her very own lifestyle media brand regularly shares gardening tips and tricks with its cult following, so we're always curious about her latest insights into the technical world of planting.
Earlier this week, Stewart took to Instagram to share a series of images of one specific houseplant – a rare type of orchid that's led us to the gardening experts to understand more.
A photo posted by on
Bringing a dramatic sense of greenery to the home, indoor plants are guaranteed to uplift a room and connect the home to nature. As pictured above, this particular type of orchid shared by Stewart is named the Dendrochilum Magnum, and acts as a statement in the room, while its luscious leaves look endlessly healthy.
We asked the gardening experts to share their tips on how to take care of orchids indoors, to help you follow the ways of Stewart and create your very own orchid collection.
Drew Swainston, Homes & Gardens gardening editor explains: 'Orchids are renowned as being difficult and temperamental plants to grow. This does not have to be the case and orchids can be a low-maintenance plant to brighten up your home. In order to help keep orchids happy, there are some important aspects to get right in terms of light and watering.'
Drew qualified as a journalist and wrote for many websites and publications, before studying for a horticulture qualification. He worked as a professional gardener for several years, specializing in kitchen gardening. He's now bringing his expertise and passion to Homes & Gardens as a member of our team.
The first key step to consider to maintain healthy orchids is making sure they have access to plenty of natural light, as Swainston explains: 'Orchids want a bright space in which to grow, but not basking in direct sun. Light is highly important to ensure that they put out blooms, though direct sunlight is capable of burning the plants. A south or east-facing window is the perfect location – finding that sweet spot of indirect light is crucial for happy orchids.'
As with all indoor houseplants, knowing how often to water an orchid can be a mystery, but Swainston talks through how to strike a happy balance: 'Orchids do not like lots of water, and ideally you would always use rainwater rather than tap water but do enjoy misting on a regular basis to keep the air moist.'
Gardener Alex Worley also vouches for this approach to watering orchids, and shares some further tips: 'Dendrochilum magnum enjoys humid conditions, so I recommend regular misting or placing a pebble tray with water nearby to keep the air moist.'
Alex's gardening journey and love for plants started back in 2011 as an apprentice gardener at the Outback Nursery in Baxley, Appling County, Georgia. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Agriculture from Andrew College in Georgia and is also a certified master gardener since 2019. He is happiest when helping gardening enthusiasts build their backyard gardens, select, grow, and care for their plants.
Swainston goes on to explain that providing too much water is a common mistake that should be avoided in order for orchids to thrive: 'Overwatering is a very common way to kill an orchid. A key way to avoid this is to allow them to dry out between waterings.'
'Test with your finger the moisture levels under the surface, where the eyes can't see, and if you feel moisture then put down the watering can. Orchids left standing in excess moisture are likely to start rotting and ultimately die,' Swainston concludes.
If you're feeling green-fingered and have your very own orchids at home, you can read all about how to propagate orchids to see them rebloom. Or rather, if you're looking for something more low maintenance, we have lots of easy indoor plant ideas.
Sign up to the Homes & Gardens newsletter
Decor Ideas. Project Inspiration. Expert Advice. Delivered to your inbox.
Emily Moorman is a News Writer at Homes & Gardens, working across a range of topics spanning interiors, celebrity and emerging trends. With a background in the fashion industry, Emily is well-versed in the world of design and trend cycles. Her undergraduate degree was in Fashion Communication and Promotion which she studied at Norwich University of The Arts, specialising in writing and digital communications.
This feature in Jonathan Scott and Zooey Deschanel's living space is 'reminiscent of Parisian design,' designers say
The 1930s Georgian revival pays homage to its roots with a vintage-inspired aesthetic that's just as current this 2024
By Megan Slack Published
How to fix ripped carpet – 5 steps to restore the appearance of your flooring
Don't let a tear completely undermine your carpet's aesthetic value – instead of replacing your carpet, try these 5 simple DIY steps to repair your flooring
By Lola Houlton Published