According to DailyMotion.com, “The greenhouse will help keep the temperature and moisture levels constant, even when the weather is anything.”
But, a greenhouse for your orchid can literally cost a fortune and take a ton of maintenance. For example, a Phoenix Greenhouse from Charley’s Greenhouse & Garden can range from $8,000 to $15,000!
I am going to show you 11-steps to an inexpensive yet, effective way to give your orchid the environment it needs to live a long and happy life! Especially in desert climate like Arizona!
- New or Bloomed Orchid
- Orchid Grow Mix
- Empty Milk Jug
- Lava Rocks
- Small Plastic Pot
- Plastic Divider
- The milk jug will be used to house the orchid. First, we need to cut out a window on the opposite side of the handle on the milk jug. Do this by using the marker to draw a big rectangle as shown below.
- Now, cut out the rectangle. To cut with ease, try poking a hole with the scissors first and working your way around. The cut out can be disposed of when done.
- The lava rocks will be used next. Simply place a single-even layer on the bottom of the milk jug. This is used because the surface area between the holes will produce the most evaporation.
- In order to put our orchid inside the greenhouse, we need to repot it into the small, square plastic pot. This is the messiest part of the process so I recommend completing this step outside. Also, even though the orchid might seem fragile, it can really take a lot so don’t hesitate to ruffle up the plant in this next step. We will need our Orchid Grow Mix, small plastic pot, scissors and the orchid. The first thing you need to do is grab the orchid out of the plant. I do this by holding it upside down and yanking it out.
- Now, there is a ton of either moss or dirt surrounding the orchid. We need to take all the moss or dirt off. Do this by pulling the material away from the roots. When you are done, your orchid should look naked with only roots and plant showing. Before moving to the next step, be sure you cut off any dead roots that are dry and white and you trim any live roots that are longer than six inches. Six inches is the perfect length for an orchid root.
- Now, cut the Orchid Mix bag and put a single layer (less than an inch) of the mix into the small, plastic pot. The Orchid Grow Mix I use needs to be pre-moistened. If yours does too, then be sure to run water through the mix before potting.
- Next, use your thumb and index finger to hold the orchid over the small plastic pot. The roots that are a light green or yellow should be placed deep in the pot, while dark green roots that are short and toward the top can hang over the Orchid Grow Mix. Use your free hand to grab a handful of the Orchid Grow Mix (pre-moistened) and start filling the pot. Use your thumbs to press down on the mix to fit more inside. The mix should be filled to the top. Now, your orchid is repotted and fertilized!
- Next, we need to put water into the milk jug underneath the lava rocks. The lava rocks will indicate how much water is needed. The water should never actually touch the orchid roots so we need there to be just enough water to cover the lava rocks half way.
- Now, we need to place our plastic divider (preferably with holes) on top of the lava rocks. This will serve as a barrier between the water and the pot and will create an even surface for the orchid to be placed on.
- It’s time to place the newly potted orchid inside, simply place the orchid inside the jug on top of the plastic divider.
- There is just one last step to complete your greenhouse! Take the plastic bag and place it over the milk jug as shown below.
You now have your very own homemade, inexpensive mini-greenhouse! Your orchid will love its new habitat because the temperature and the humidity inside the jug are perfect for the orchid to flourish for years to come!
Last Minute Reminders:
- Do not leave the greenhouse outside. I made this mistake and a storm came and blew my greenhouse away.
- The orchid still needs to be watered one to two times a week. Just take the orchid out of the jug, water it and then put it back in the greenhouse.
- The orchid will need to be re-potted when it outgrows the container.
- I highly recommend you feed your orchid plant food regularly. Orchids prefer a higher amount of phosphorus, so when buying plant food buy one with a higher number in the middle. Ex: 10-13-10
- Most orchids do not like direct sunlight so find a balanced spot for your greenhouse.