Orchids look stunning when they are in bloom but aren’t much to look at when the flowers go over. So, when the orchids in our office planting schemes cease to flower, we usually replace them with a new orchid in bloom and return the used one back to our plant room to prepare for re-budding. This ensures our clients always have a floral display in full bloom.
The exotic and delicate nature of orchids can also be off-putting, so it can seem easier to mulch them than to try to nurture them into re-blooming. But with the right care, they can reward you time and again with stunning flowers.
So we were encouraged to hear about a scheme set up by our London West branch to save old orchids and give them chance to live on, at the same time teaching people how to care for them.
Reluctant to waste these beautiful plants and keen to get more people to learn to care for them, Urban Planters London West saw an opportunity and set up the Adopt an Orchid scheme. Through it, any orchid which has stopped flowering is offered up to the client’s employees for them to take home and nurture back into bloom.
Adopt an Orchid started off three years ago at a long-standing client’s London offices and was an instant success: over 100 people joined a waiting list at the time of its launch and so far over 300 orchids have been re-homed. Even the top managers have got involved.
“All of the orchids we change on all our client sites are gathered up by our staff and the stems cut back. Then, when we hand the plant on, we attach a care card with tips on how to encourage the orchid to re-flower,” explains Urban Planters London West’s Liz Cabble.
“We’ve even had requests from staff who leave to go to other companies for it to be started at their new company. So, our little idea has grown and grown to become a resounding success with both clients and for us: we never mulch an orchid!”
In our throw-away world, where we are often looking for something new and ditching the old, it is great to see a scheme aimed at taking the time to keep and revive something with plenty of life left. We hope this will encourage more people to do the same.