Orchid Care Tips From New Plantita, Zsa Zsa Padilla
Zsa Zsa Padilla is starting to grow her greenhouse at Casa Esperanza in Lucban, Quezon—and she’s adding beautiful new orchids to her collection!
They say orchids are some of the trickiest flowering plants to care for—but actually, we’re lucky that orchids love the Philippines’ tropical climate, making it easier to propagate and maintain it here compared to colder countries.
It may take a bit of an effort, but flowering orchids are beautiful to have on your home. This is why new plantita Zsa Zsa Padilla has started collecting orchids to make her greenhouse more beautiful and alive.
Zsa Zsa recently debuted Casa Esperanza, her private farm in Lucban Quezon, on Youtube. Inside Casa Esperanza is a beautiful greenhouse that she says her partner, Conrad Onglao, built for her. “Conrad built this greenhouse so I can care for flowers and de-stress,” she says.
Housed inside the greenhouse are a variety of flowers and plants, including her favorite mayana for tablescape, tarragon for tea, and orchids.
Although Zsa Zsa is just a starting plantita, we’ve got some precious tips from her new vlog about buying and caring for orchids.
For beginners, buy flowering orchids
If you’re like a newbie plantita like Zsa Zsa, you’re better off starting your new hobby with already flowering orchids. Seedlings may take years to flower, so buying an already flowering orchid is easier to maintain given the right conditions.
To start off her orchid collection, Zsa Zsa visited Golden Bloom Orchids in San Rafael Bulacan, a store who imports their orchids from Thailand.
You don’t need a greenhouse for your orchid
Zsa Zsa is fortunate to have a greenhouse for her plants, but she finds out from Golden Bloom Orchids that it’s not necessary to have one to care for and grow your orchids. All you need is to provide shade for your orchids, so it can still be exposed to rainfall and precipitation.
There are so many varieties and species of orchids. Currently, there are more than 28,000 species and about 763 genera. But don’t be intimidated! For starters, go with Zsa Zsa’s favorites: the Cattleya, Dendrobium, Oncidium, and Waling-waling.
The Cattleya are very popular because the flowers are beautiful and huge. After its flowering season, it requires patience because the intervals between flowering is generally longer.
Oncidium are also popular because they have small, but numerous flowers. Oncidiums are medium range in price and start at 550 pesos. They can bloom 2-3 times a year.
Dendrobiums are popular because they’re one of the most common and affordable types of orchids. They also produce a lot of flowers regularly, so you’re instantly rewarded for your efforts.
The Vanda Sanderiana or locally known as Waling-waling is considered the "Queen of Philippine flowers." This specie is endemic to Mindanao and has been declared the national flower alongside sampaguita because more than 3,500 species of the 8,000 species of Vanda Sanderiana can be found only in the country. It is also a favorite of breeders for propagation because they’re very hardworking and easy to care for. In Zsa Zsa’s words, “parang pinoy! Masipag!”
Rainwater is the best for watering orchids
Plants hate “hard water” or chlorinated water. Your orchids, especially, would prefer it if they receive rainwater. A tip from Zsa Zsa is to store rainwater or leave tap water overnight before using it to water your orchids.
Orchid roots need to breathe
When potting, choose pots with draining holes to allow excess water to run out because root rot may kill your orchid. Zsa Zsa also demonstrates how to repot an orchid efficiently using lots of coconut husk so there are small air pockets for the roots to breathe.
To check out Zsa Zsa’s greenhouse and her orchid-buying trip, watch her newest vlog below.