Orchids are perceived as temperamental and difficult to grow. Fortunately, most orchids are actually easier to grow than a weeping fig. The Mokara orchid, first grown in Singapore in 1969, is a hybrid of the Arachnis, Ascocentrum and Vanda orchids. The Mokara is one of the easy-to-grow orchids and has a beautiful and exotic appearance. With careful attention to light, temperature and water, it thrives in the modern home.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- River rocks
- 30-10-10 orchid fertiliser
Select a Mokara orchid. When choosing an orchid, look at the leaves and roots. The leaves should be firm and green. The roots should be plump and healthy, without withered or dead tips.
Place the pot in an east-facing window, where it receives full morning sun. Orchids tend to be top heavy, so a few river rocks placed around the base of the pot will keep your orchid from tipping over.
Place a fan in the room, set on "low." While the Mokara orchid will tolerate temperatures between 50 and 100F, good air circulation and extra humidity helps the plant tolerate higher temperatures.
Water Mokara orchids in the morning. Run room temperature water through the potting mix for several minutes. The roots absorb water quickly; do not allow the orchid to stand in water. Water several times a week during hot weather.
Fertilise the orchid with a 50 per cent dilution of a 30-10-10 orchid fertiliser, after a thorough watering. In the growing season, spring to fall, fertilise every four days. In the winter, fertilise once a month.
Tips and warnings
- Dark green leaves mean that the orchid needs more light.
- Do not repot until the orchid is climbing out of the pot. Many orchids prefer tight quarters.
- Mokara orchids are epiphytic orchids. They do not grow in soil; epiphytic orchids generally grow on the bark of trees.
- Orchid potting mix consists of various organic and inorganic materials, such as bark, coconut husks, sphagnum moss, charcoal, volcanic rock and perlite. It does not include soil.
- Do not prune Mokara orchids. The stem continues to grow after blooming.
- The Vanda orchids, from which the Mokara is derived, are sensitive to salt build-up from fertilisers. Water thoroughly before and after fertilising.
- Do not repot using standard potting soil. Use orchid potting mix only.
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