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How to Select a Healthy Orchid from the Store

July 15, 2014

selecting-orchid-from-storeYou’ve admired Just Add Ice® orchids in your local supermarket for months. Well today’s the day you finally decided to buy one. But as you approach the display, you realize you’re not entirely sure what qualifies as a healthy orchid. Owning a Just Add Ice® Orchid should be an experience you treasure from the first moment you bring your plant home. Today’s post will give you five tips to help you select the best orchid from the store.

Inspect the Roots

The roots are a visible indicator of the health of an orchid. As such, they should be the first thing you check at the store. Healthy roots are plump to the touch and white or green in color, whereas brown, mushy roots indicate overwatering. Don’t be afraid to remove the grower pot from the decorative pot to get a better look at an orchid’s roots.

Look for Bright Green Leaves

Yellow leaves may indicate an orchid is in distress. But yellow doesn’t always spell trouble. If an orchid’s top leaves are a bright, vibrant green, but its bottom leaf is yellowing, this is normal. Over time, mature leaves die off so newer leaves can take their place. However, if all or most of the leaves are yellowing, the plant is likely dehydrated or is being overwatered. Yellow spots can also mean an insect infestation, so check the top and underside of the leaves for webs or white bumps left behind by mealy bugs and spider mites.

For more information on what an orchid’s leaves are telling you, check out this guide.

Judge the Blooms

Ideally, you should look for orchids bursting with beautiful blooms. The flowers should be healthy looking and firmly attached to the spike. Take a couple of extra minutes to try to find one with extra buds growing on it. This means more flowers are just around the corner.

Choose Strong Spikes

One of the most important requirements for a healthy orchid is the strength of its spikes. A stem must stand tall and be able to hold up the weight of an orchid’s blooms. (Depending on the number of flowers produced, they can be quite heavy). If you notice a plant’s stem buckling under the weight of the flowers, this is a sign of a weak stem.

Give it a Smell

How do you determine if milk is still safe to drink? You do a sniff test! You can apply this same method to an orchid. Bring the plant close to your nose and inhale. If you notice any foul smells, this is a sign that the plant is rotting.

With these tips, you’ll be sure to select the best possible orchid from the store. After your purchase, be sure to check out our helpful orchid care guides to keep your plant healthy for years to come!

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