Alan Titchmarsh's simple 'trick' to looking after orchids you can buy from Asda and Tesco

Alan Titchmarsh
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Alan Titchmarsh, the household name in British gardening, has imparted a wealth of advice for green-fingered enthusiasts throughout his career - particularly on the nurturing of indoor plants.

The moth orchid, holding the title as the UK's favourite orchid variety, thrives in the tropical climates of Asia and Australia, with a preference for balmy conditions. Given the UK's variable temperature, replicating this environment can be challenging. However, in a YouTube video, Alan revealed his best tips for moth orchid care.

He explained: "There's one group of flowering plants which until recently terrified the pants off people because they thought they must be difficult to grow - the orchids.

"Then a few years ago, along came the moth orchid, phalaenopsis. Well, to be absolutely honest, it's been around for a long time. These flowers will last not weeks, but months.", reports the Express.

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Key to their maintenance, he pointed out, is moisture management. "The trick is looking after them. Mainly not overwatering them, because if you look right down at the bottom you'll see most of them come in a transparent pot."

This is due to a special requirement of the plant. "That's because these roots here, well they're coated in something which is called phellogen."

"It absorbs atmospheric moisture but it also quite enjoys being exposed to light, so these transparent pots will allow the light to get through."

The seasoned gardener recommended the moth orchid as an excellent choice for those just starting their houseplant journey. Despite their resilience, he warned that pitfalls such as excessive watering could be fatal due to root rot.

Alan shared: "By growing them in, not really compost but chipped bark, because this is not a terrestrial orchid, one which grows in the ground, it's an epiphyte."

Moth orchid
Moth orchids are a common feature in many UK homes -Credit:Getty Images/EyeEm

He also offered a crucial tip about watering orchids, cautioning owners against letting them sit in water, advising that water can freely drain through the compost and out of the bottom.

The plant expert explained: "If you look back at this orchid which is flowering so beautifully, you'll see that it isn't the first time it flowers.

"It flowered before up here, the stem was cut back... this bud grew out, and turned into another new flower spike, and that's the key."

He further noted: "If you look down the stem, you'll see scales every so often, and they're actually surrounding buds."

Alan concluded with advice on pruning, saying: "If you cut back to where the stem has died a little, not going any further than that, then other stems can grow, just like this one, from these buds."

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