Aha! Guide to Gardening

Decorating With House Plants

Seven ideas for gorgeous displays and the secrets for keeping your indoor greenery growing strong. 

Phalaenopsis orchid
Christopher Baker
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Take Advantage of a Steamy Spot With a Humidity-Hungry Orchid

Think of a phalaenopsis orchid as a long-lasting bouquet: It’s magnificent for a month or so, and then the blooms are gone. Phalaenopsis are fans of light and humidity, so they do well in a sunny bathroom. Because they come potted in a fast-draining medium (a mix of peat, charcoal, and bark), they can be a challenge to keep hydrated—water seeps out the bottom quickly. To trap moisture, set the pot on gravel in a low glass cylinder; as water evaporates, it will be caught by the glass and reabsorbed by the orchid. Choose a plant with bright, shiny, firm (not droopy) foliage and only a few of the lowest flowers open.

Care: Direct morning light. Protect from bright afternoon sun. Allow the top half-inch of medium to dry out before watering again.

Glass cylinder (similar to shown), $12, jamaligarden.com.

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