Orchid Care

Orchids are hardy plants that do not die easily (we know that’s debatable through experiences shared with us by orchid hobbyist, enthusiast and amateurs alike). But as long as fundamental conditions are catered to, orchid plants will do just fine.

This guide will share about species/genus-specific pointers on how to keep the plant healthy; followed by more advanced techniques. Notably, every orchid hybrid is unique and optimal conditions can only be deciphered through certain trial and error; notwithstanding genetic, seasonal and environmental attributes.

First and foremost, the type of conditions will depend on the species/genus of the orchid. So, knowing the species/genus is the first step in gauging desirable conditions. But in general, most orchids available in tropical Singapore can be categorized as:

1) Need 50 ~ 75%  exposure to sunlight – (Examples: Dendrobium, Oncidium, Cattleya, Spathoglottis, Doritis, Phalaenopsis, Alicerea, etc.)

2) Need 75 ~ 100% exposure to sunlight – (Examples: Vanda, Mokara, Aranda, Ascocenda, Aranthera, Holttumarra, Yusoffarra)

3) Need 25 ~ 50% exposure to sunlight – (Examples: Paphiopedilum)


The guide that follows, is about orchid species/genus commonly found in Toh Garden, and other relevant topics  :


149 Responsesto “Orchid Care”

  1. Hi there,

    Thanks a lot for your guide.

    I’d like to see on your website about Vanda orchid orchid care too as Vanda are difficult to grow for the beginner.

    Looking forwards to seeing your update soon.

    Thanks in advance,
    Nwe Lay

  2. I just purchased a Vanda Ruby Prince branch, but I don’t know whether I should put the branch in a port curved with orchid’s media or just hugged in basket like other vandas grown with long rots. Please advised. Thanks


  3. Hello Nwe lay & Wedney,

    Most local Vanda needs full sunlight, without which, the plants will thrive but will not flower well. Vanda, as with most orchids, also need to be fed regularly with fertilizers for them to flower well.

    If you have a garden, you can plant your Vanda on the ground, stake the plant with a bamboo to provide support, and use wood shavings as growing media.

    Vanda can also be grown in hanging baskets, but do remember that since the roots are exposed to air, you will need to keep them moist more frequently, particularly if they are grown in hot spots.

    For young Vanda plants, it is advisable to keep them out of direct sun until the plant matures as sometimes leave burns may occur if the plant is too young and their leaves have yet to harden.

    We will make a general tutorial for growing Vanda gradually. =)


  4. Hi, I am keeping a pot of orchid (white flower with some pink at the bottom) in memory of my beloved pet and so it is very dear to me.

    Recently I noticed the bottom part down to the roots have turned brown and become very soft.

    However, the leaves are very green, firm and looks “normal” which obviously the plant itself is not in a healthy condition.

    How can I save this plant? What should I do? Shall I bring down to your place to have a look? Please help urgently.

    Thank you in advance.

  5. Hello delpiero,

    You may send us a picture of your plant for us to identify the cause or bring it to our nursery to have someone look at it.

    From your description, I can guess that you have most likely encountered root rot problems.

    To rectify, you will need to trim off the rotten parts. Make sure that you cutters are clean each time after you cut and trim more into the healthy parts of the plant to ensure that the entire affected region is cut off. After that dip your plant entirely in fungicide before repotting it again.

    Check out our common orchid pathogens page for more information here.


  6. Hi
    You webpage is very informative.
    In you webpage you mention dendrobium require 50-75% of sunlight. Is this sunlight you refer to morning or hot afternoon sun?

  7. Hi Anakcili,

    50 – 70% sunlight would refer to both duration and intensity. In the case of Dendrobiums, it’s recommended to expose them generously to the morning sun. That way, the plant could “warm up”, before being exposed to the hot afternoon sun. Monitoring the leaves would help you ascertain the amount of exposure. Direct exposure to the hot afternoon sun may damage the leaves, because they have not been “warmed up” ; or it has been exposed excessively.

  8. Would greatly appreciate to receive advice on these:-
    1) Is it possible to plant orchid along the HDB corridor or balcony spaces?
    2) Could we plant orchid using hydroponic system?
    3) Could Toh Farm be able to clone a specy for us and if so what would be the price and how long would we be able to see the result?
    Thank you

  9. Hello Laussen,

    1)Yes, it is possible to plant orchids along HDB corridor or balcony spaces depending on the type of orchid and the climatic conditions of the mentioned spaces.

    2)It depends on which type of hydroponic systems but aeroponic systems will be better as most orchids don’t like their roots to be waterlogged.

    3)Yes, cloning of a species or a hybrid is possible. Kindly drop us an email at [email protected] specifying the quantity of plants that you would like, and at which stage (flasks, seedlings, mature plants or blooming plants) and we will provide you with a quotation accordingly.

    Thank you.

  10. Dear Sir/Madam, I Mr Dharma Rai and I’m very interesting about orchids plants. I want to know more about orchids. My home county is Nepal. Can I visit your orchids farm? I am waiting your response.
    Your sincerely
    Mr Rai

  11. Dear Mr Rai,

    Feel free to drop by anytime during weekdays, from 9am to 4pm, if you are interested in visiting on a weekend, kindly contact us prior so that we can assign someone to bring you around.

    Thank you.


  12. Hi,
    I have a small orchids farm in the philippines, and mostly is Vanda and few dendro, but I’m planning to expand the farm but a bit scared on maintaining it, due to my limited techincal idea on growing such plant. to answer this uncertainness do you provide a Book from basic to advance growing instruction which we can purchase.. your answer is much appreciated.


  13. hi,
    i have many orchids growing on a dead tree trunk, given by my aunt. would it be easy for the orchids to flower as it is concentrating on growing roots all the time?(on the trunk no pots no limits)

  14. Hi Christopher,

    It is good for an orchid plant to have a strong root system, this is in fact true for all plants. A strong root system enables the plant to obtain a firm grip on the substrate that its growing from, thus achieving stability as well as good absorption of nutrients. By growing your orchids on a trunk with no spatial limits, your orchids will grow faster and larger as there are no spatial constrains. This is good as a larger plant will tend to produce more and better flowers. However, if you are growing different varieties of orchids on the same trunk, do take note that some varieties may grow much faster and may overcrowd or shade out the sun for the slower growing varieties. When this happens, you can transplant the slower growing variety elsewhere whereby it can receive adequate sunlight and nutrients.


  15. Hi, my sister bought me some Mokara from your garden last month and I brought them back to Taiwan. Most of the plants have grown new roots except one which leaves are close-up and has barely no root. What should I do to save the plant? Please give me some advise on the sunlight and watering condition. Thank you so much.

  16. Hi Sharon,

    Several reasons may have prevented the leaves from “opening up”. It could be due to genetic mutations and/or physiological damage to the “crown” – the uppermost part of the mokara plant where new vegetative growth occurs.
    The “closed-up” leaves results in lesser surface area for exposure to sunlight – thus limiting growth in general (therefore the lack of new roots).
    Firstly, trim off some of the leaves (just beneath the crown), as they are obstructing new growth. If the new leaves seems closed-up, you may manually & also *gently “ply” them open – just monitor it every other week or so.
    In the event the above advice doesn’t remedy the problem. You may have to carry out something more drastic : cutting off the top section of the plant, induce growth of new plantlets. Feel free to refer to our post on vegetative propagation : Producing keikis
    Sunlight: Partial (50% ~ 75% exposure) for re-planted/young mokaras; 75% ~ full sunlight upon maturity

    Watering: Once everyday or two. Skip a day if it rained. The Mokara will be alright in pot medium that is periodically dry in a day. The plant would only look wrinkled if water is inadequate – simply increase the frequency and/or amount for watering gradually, obvious recovery can be observed over a month or so.

    Environment: Mokaras are tropical plants – so it may take awhile to adapt to Taiwan

    Seong Cheng, Toh Garden

  17. HI,
    May I know what “fungicide” do you use or sell? Are they the same as any other plant pesticide off the shelves?
    I came across this commercial all in one plant “food” called No 7 Organic Essence. It has claimed to be fertilizer, pesticide, virus disease cure and soil revitalize for all plants and corps. Can this be used as fungicide?
    I realized that few of my orchid plants have these tiny jumping insects jumping around when I “shower” the plants. My florist told me to soak the pot in water and these insects will eventually drown. She disapproved of using chemical spray to treat the plant as it might do harm to the plant. I did that however, one of the plants seems to have roots rot (my guess). The leaves started to turn brown and soft and eventually dropped off. It started with one stem, and now 2 other stem is showing the same sign. Is there a way to save the plant?
    Thank you for taking time to read this and hope to hear from you.

  18. Is it true that sympodial orchids are easier to flower than monopodial orchids? I have a Dendrobium and a Mokara. My dendrobium has already flowered but no matter how I hard tried, my Mokara just simply refused to flower.

  19. Patricia> We use fungicide like Thiram once to twice a week. Yes fungicide are mostly the same but the application rate may differ for different concentration. You can always refer back to the packaging for more details.

    The tiny jumping insects, which may be orange to pale yellow are thrips larvae, these damages the flowers and cannot be eliminated by drowning, you have to apply pesticide to more regularly, fungicide doesn’t work on thrips.

    CT> Its not true that sympodial orchids are easier to flower than monopodial. The conditions for growing sympodial and monopodials are different. Most monopodials require more sunlight than sympodials. Try shifting your Mokara to somewhere with more sunlight and see if it flowers.

  20. Hi silverelf,

    You mentioned that ” 50 – 70% sunlight would refer to both duration and intensity. In the case of Dendrobiums, it’s recommended to expose them generously to the morning sun “.

    How to expose full morning sun & protect from afternoon sun for the same location?

    Nwe Lay

  21. Can we plant Dendrobium Lucian Pink in HDB corridor. Please provide watering and maintenance tips

  22. Hi all,

    NL> Yes, what you mention is true but it will more effort to keep putting on and off the shade. Thus its okay if you shade them from strong sun to prevent any damage to the leaves due to excessive light.

    MM> Yes you can plant Dendrobium Lucian Pink at the HDB corridor provided that it has sufficient lighting. Some HDB corridor that receives full sun for most part of the day can be too hot for the plant as the cement heats up during the day as well as the plant may get leaf burns if placed too close to the wall. If your corridor doesn’t have much sunlight, you may have to prop up your plant, place it on a planter etc to let it receive more light. For more info on how to take care of Dendrobiums, kindly refer to https://tohgarden.com/orchid-care/dendrobium/

  23. Hi silverelf,

    Do you give your orchid rest period?

    I heard dendrobium & Oncidium need resting period or else they will not bloom. Is it true?

    How about for Vanda alliance? I don’t think they need that.

    If you do give resting period to your orchid, when & how do you give?

    Thanks in advance,
    Nwe Lay

  24. Thanks for the reply, if I need to replant Dendrobium Lucian Pink to a bigger pot, what is the procedure and what medium should be used.

  25. I notice sticky patches on the leaves of Dendrobium Lucian Pink. What is reason for the same. Any specific care to be taken for the same. Please advise

  26. Hi all,

    NW> By resting period, do you mean to stop feeding them?

    We do not have resting periods for our orchids. They are constantly fed throughout the year.

    MM> You may find more information on re-potting of Dendrobiums in the link I sent you the last time. There are also pictures depicting the steps here, https://tohgarden.com/orchid-care/dendrobium/

    Please send a picture to our enquiry email so that we can further advice on the sticky patches. Sticky patches could be due to chemicals or leaf rot etc.


  27. Hi Silverelf,

    I mean do you reduce/stop watering when orchid matures to provide rest period especially for Oncidium & dendrobium.

    Nwe Lay

  28. i ve got a Rhynchostylis gigantea. is it a difficult plat to look after?

  29. Hi Yee Fong,

    The Rhynchostylis gigantea is a rather slow growing plant. Its not a difficult plant to look after but its not an easy plant to flower in our tropical climate. Generally, Rhynchostylis gigantea grows very well in our climate, it requires a good amount of light (about 50% – 60% shade) and require cool nights to flower. In our climate, it generally flowers about one to three times a year depending on variation in climate. Its flowers are highly fragrant and last up to 3 weeks in our climate. If you are looking for something slightly similar with fragrance but flowers more frequently, try growing the Vascostylis (Ascocentrum x Rhynchostylis x Vanda).


  30. Hi Nwe Lay,

    I see, no we do not reduce nor stop watering/feeding our orchids to provide for a rest period.


  31. does orchid bears fruit? my Rhynchostylis seems to bears a fruit like object. do i need to pluck it off before it affects the plant?

  32. Hi Yee Fong,

    Its likely a seedpod that you are speaking of. The seedpod will generally take about 3 months to develop. Upon maturity, it ripens and burst to release powder like seeds. You can remove it if you find the seedpod unsightly. It will not affect the plant.


  33. Hi

    I’m a newbie to orchid. I’ve 3 pots given to me. Sorry do not know the name. but I do notice that the leaves are beginning to turn yellowish.

  34. Hi,
    one more question, is it normal for the stem of the plant to looked wrinkle like bittergourd?

  35. Hi Casey,

    It is not normal for the stem of the plant to look wrinkled unless its an old plant that has already stopped flowering. Old plants are not productive but they tend to produce new shoots that are productive from the remaining nodes. New shoots should have thick and turgid stems and they will flower upon maturity.

    Yellow of leaves can be due to several reason like insufficient sunlight, too much sunlight, too much watering etc.


  36. Hi,

    I have quite a few orchids at home. And noticed that some of them aren’t doing so well.

    1. Ants – I’ve observed ants crawling about in the pots. Are they harmful to my orchids? If so, how do I get rid of them. (Dendrobium
    Burana Jade and miniature orchid)
    2. Dry leaves & flowers – how do I ‘re-hydrate’ the leaves and flowers of my orchids. They are growing but they look dry. How do I plump them up? (Red spider orchid & orchid with pinkish purple petals, yellow centre and white insides-don’t know the variety)
    3. Round black spots – I read that the black spots could be caused by too much sunlight. I place my Dendrobium Burana Jade in my planter (gets afternoon sun). Besides moving it to get less sunlight, can I buy a netting to ‘shade’ the orchid?

    Thank you!!


  37. Hi Olivia,

    1. I doubt that ants are harmful to orchids. I’m not exactly sure though but if they don’t damage the orchids, I think its ok to leave them alone.
    2. You will have to fertilize and water your orchids. If the plants are too old, they can also shrivel up. Try repotting the orchid if its overcrowded. New shoots that are produced should be turgid and plump if grown correctly.
    3. Brown/black spots will also appear easily on the leaves if the plants are too old. Yes, you can buy a 50% netting to shade the orchid like we do here in our nursery.

    Thank you.


  38. Hi guys,

    I recently bought a pot of orchids, dendrobium with green flowers i guess. It has huge and thick leaves but with lots of black spots thats kinda not pleasant to the eyes.
    The guy in the shop where i bought the orchids from said that its natural to have these black spots on the leaves, but when i do some research on the net, i get many results of it being fungus.
    Would really appreciate if you guys could give me some clue on this.


  39. Hi Lean,

    Thank you for the pictures. The plant that you’ve bought is the Dendrobium Burana Jade. Black spots tend to appear on leaves as the orchid ages, be it due to chemical or sun burnt, as the plant’s resistance weakens. This is particularly common in a few varieties of orchids where senescence occurs faster, and the Dendrobium Burana Jade happen to be one of them. These spots that you have are definitely not fungus but a process of natural aging.

    You may replant the orchid when it produces new shoots/keikis. You may refer to this article for more information on how to propagate keikis from old orchid plants.


  40. Hi,

    I have 3 different types of dendrobium and all of them had young shoots that grow to about 10 centimeters and then all of a sudden the shoot turn soft, bend at the middle and die. It does not seem like root rot because the bottom part is alright but the inside of the leaves has yellowish brown liquid. It seems to rot from the leave center. After that the leaves of the older shoot next to it will start falling off and all i am left with are stalks. What could be the possible cause? Should I wait for them to revive themselves or should i just try to induce plantlets form them? Please advice. Thanks.

  41. Hi Berylily,

    From your description, its very likely that you’ve over-watered your Dendrobiums . For a start, you’ll need to reduce the watering and apply fungicide twice a week on the affected parts. Make sure that water is not retained in the crown of the orchid shoots every time you water the orchid, if there’s water, make sure that they dry up and not stay on the crown for a few days. This can happen easily in places where airflow is very stagnant and humid, or when there’s no enough sunlight.


  42. Hi,

    Would you be able to recommend a spray bottle that works for fungicide? The spray that i use is clogged with fungicide and makes it difficult to spray. Appreciate.

    And if i have some photos for your comments, which email address should i send to?


  43. Hi berylily,

    Its not the spray bottle that’s the issue but rather the fungicide. Many fungicide (e.g. Thiram) are not fully soluble in water and thus will clog up the nozzle. You’ll have to remove the nozzle and clean up the clog and your spray should work again. However, it will eventually clog up again as the non soluble portions accumulate at the nozzle. Just repeat the cleaning process and your spray should work again.

    You can send them to [email protected]


  44. Hi silverelf,

    I have email you the photos. Do advice as I feel that some of them are dying. Thanks!


  45. Hi, Can I check with you whether the ferterliser for orchid (the blue colour one) can be used for other plants such as rose?

  46. Hi Kelly,

    Yes, foliar fertilizers can be used for growing of other crops but the dilution factor used have to be suitable. If the foliar content is too concentrated, chemical burns may result particularly on soft leaf plants.


  47. Hi, iv’e been practicing to pollinate orchids lately and i would like to ask what are the early indications that a flower will bear fruit?

  48. Hi Gabriel,

    For a start, the pollen has to be uptaken into the stigmatic region of the flower. The stigmatic flaps will usually closed and seal the pollen grains into the stigma within minutes to couple of hours after they have been introduced. Furthering, the petals and sepals flower starts withering within a few weeks. The former flower stalk gradually enlarges to form the seedpod’s wall. This enlarging of the former flower stalk likely means that a seedpod is forming, however it doesn’t guarantee that the seedpod will form perfectly to maturity. There are many other factors involved that may impact the seedpod formation. (E.g. Hydraulic action can damaged the seedpod during its formation or even dislodge the pollen. Rain water itself can dilute the enzymes around the stigmatic region which may affect the grow of the pollen tube through the column into the ovules). Thus, its best to form the seedpods somewhere sunny, with very slight drafts of wind and little mechanical movements/actions for a better chance.

    Hope that this helps!


  49. Thanks,it did help!

    I revisited the orchids, and some of the flowers do have enlarged flower stalks and some wilted (i assume that these wilted flower stalks will not develop into pods anymore). One more thing, lets say that i now have a seed pod, how long can a pod reach maturity enough that it can grow on an agar medium? Do you have any recipe for a growing medium which i can use that doesn’t have any complex chemicals and doesn’t require a micro pipette?

  50. Hi Gab,

    Apologies for the belated reply.
    It depends on which type of orchids you are hybridizing. For a general guide, for Dendrobium seedpods around 75 – 90 days, Vandaceous types around 90 to 120 days and for Cymbidium/Grammatophyllum type it can take from 8 to 9 months, some even longer. The best time to harvest is actually via observation. Harvest the seedpod for germination when slight browning start to appear on a fat and developed seedpod.

    If you do not wish to use a pipette, you may purchase powder form of the chemicals but you will still need to weigh them on a weighing balance. Its best to check with your local lab/chemical supply for what’s available.


  51. Hi Silverelf, I bought a pot Singapore Scout from Toh Garden last week. But I found there us some root rot and a few leaves turned yellow. May I know what should apply. I have stop watering since yesterday, but because it’s raining. The plant still become wet. Please advice, thanks.

  52. Hi Mr Tan,

    Kindly apply fungicide to the plant once every two days particularly to the roots portion. Try to keep the plant dry where possible as the rain has been quite heavy. E.g. move it to a bench or somewhere higher where drainage and airflow is good.
    If the yellow leaves are yellowing from the bottom of the stem, its fine, just tear them off. Its normal for dendrobium to shed their old leaves as it grows taller.


  53. Hi Silverelf

    You mention fungicide, any particular brand? My orchid seem to have black spots on the stems.


  54. Hi Silverelf,

    I like orchids very much specially dendrobium, I want to put them on a drift wood but I don’t know how. Can you tell me what to do? Thank you for your time.


  55. Hi Pacita,

    Its simple. You can just tie the dendrobium to the piece of driftwood that you would to grow them on with a wire. After the roots have established with the plant clinging tightly to the driftwood, usually about 3 – 6 months time, you can remove the wire.


  56. Hi Silverelf

    Thank you very much for the information.


  57. Good afternoon. I’m from Russia Irkutsk. The store bought podaruchnuyu box with six orchids, tell me how to properly replant their roots are missing, where I’m at your site can read the full informatsiyu.Spasibo

  58. hi, I bought dendrobiums a couple weeks back. I was watering them daily, but realised the buds were browning. I thought it was from dehydration due to the crazy heat, so I watered twice a day for 3 days. the same problem persisted with drooping flowers. I have not watered for the past 3 days and still there are new browning buds. what am I doing wrong? I have taken some photos. how do I show you to get your advice? thanks!

  59. Hi chern,

    Please send your pictures to [email protected].


  60. Hi Oksana,

    Apologies, think I missed on replying your comments.
    You can read up on how to grow Dendrobiums and Vandaceous plants here.

    For information on landing prices, kindly email to enqui[email protected]

    Thank you.


  61. Hi,
    If i repot a top-cut vanda, is it possible to expose it to the normal environment (full sunlight) or better put it in a shaded place? If need to put in a shaded place how long will it stay, before transferring to full sunlight?


  62. Hi Epifanio,

    For re-potting, please do not expose the orchid to full sunlight. Where possible, keep the plant under 50% shade for a period of 3 months to allow it to recover and grow new roots before bringing it out to the normal environment.


  63. Thank you very much silverelf…

  64. Np, you are welcome.


  65. Hi silverelf,

    Just wonder how to care for the new growth (ie. new pseudobulb)? My orchid plant’s new growth turned yellowish and soft while the parent pseudobulb and its leaves still looking green and healthy. Don’t know why this is happening…

    Any advice would be great.


  66. Hi silverelf
    I recently bought a pot of orchids with 3 plants in them.
    Yesterday, I noticed that all the leaves of one of the plants had black spots all over.
    What is the cause of it and how can I ‘cure’ it?
    If cannot be ‘cured’, do I have to remove it altogether to prevent contamination of the remaining 2?

    Thank you

  67. Hi Janet,

    These are spots cause by sunburn. Older leaves are more susceptible to this black spots.
    Young leaves should be fine. Undissolved foliar crystals on leaves can also cause more of this.


  68. Hi Silverelf

    Phalaenopsis are really attractive. Do they thrive in a typical climate

    found in Singapore ços I intend to buy those that have colours other than

    white and grow them to flower again and again no matter how long it takes.

  69. Hi Silverlef,

    My top cut vandas are 2 months now and they are growing well with a lot of new roots coming out. I’m still fertilizing them with gaviota 63 weekly, how do I know if it is ready to flower so I can switch to gaviota 67?


  70. Hi Epifanio,

    That’s great! You can continue using gaviota 63 and switch to gaviota 67 when you see the spikes forming from the axillary nodes. However, if you feel that the plant is already of a good mature size, switching to gaviota 67 early can induce flowering.


  71. I have the intention to start a collection of the various types of

    Phalaenopsis that can be found in Singapore. But I wonder if it is

    sustainable. Please advise. Thanks!

  72. Hi Mr Teo,

    Yes, Phalaenopsis can be grown locally but only certain varieties like the white and medium sized Doritaenopsis can flower well when grown without a greenhouse. Generally, Phalaenopsis requires cool nights to flower but otherwise they are cultivated similarly to our tropical orchids but may require better ventilation.


  73. It has been raining heavily the past 4days and I’m worried my Dendrobiums

    may get root-rot. Can Thiram be sprayed everyday after it rains to prevent

    rotting for this period? Please advise. Thanks!

  74. Hi Tony,

    Yes, it is possible to spray Thiram everyday though I don’t think its required. You may also reduce the concentration of Thiram applied if you intend to spray them everyday.


  75. Hi silverelf
    I got this directly at your farm in early Sep 2013. At the exposed Vanda area.
    Is it Tan Chay Yan or TMA or JVB or something else?
    How to tell the difference between the 2? They look very very similar
    Thank you

  76. Hi TOH,

    We’ve only cultivated V. Tan Chay Yan in large quantity.
    If you’ve purchased this from us, it should be V. Tan Chay Yan.

    I am not an expert on the identification of V. Tan Chay Yan and TMA or JvB but I do know that you can read up more information from this book if you are interested in these hybrids.


  77. I have a Vasco. Vinita Blue that is grown in a empty basket. I wonder if potting

    it in coarse charcoal would also support this plant. I asked because misting the

    roots several times a day to keep it from dehydration was very tedious.

  78. Hi , ive bought a 2 pcs cutted vanda last sept 2013 , the other one have many new roots now. But the other 1 have no new roots still. I tried to cut the roots since it looks dried but it was not dried 1 inch from the stem. Then i applied more conc. Growth hormone , the day after four rows of the leaf from the bottom turns yellow . I decided hang inverted and to water again thinking to drain off excess growth hormone and transfer to more morning sunlight.
    What is the best thing i will do to save it since i like most its color than the other1 with many roots.
    Its my Pleasure to hear you soon

  79. Hi Leni,

    Personally I would advise against using of growth hormone as it may damage the plant.
    First of all, it depends on what kind of Vanda you have, strap leaf or terete leaves.
    They have different requirement of sunlight, you can read this up from our orchid care section.
    Vanda can require from 50% to 100% sunlight.

    Secondly its not a good idea to invert the plant.
    Instead, stick a stake into a pot of charcoal, and tie the plant to it.
    The roots should establish itself into the charcoal within 3 months.
    The charcoal will provide good drainage.


  80. Silverelf,

    I would like to ask you 2 questions-
    1/ Can Vasco. Vinita Blue be grown in a perforated pot with coarse charcoal
    instead of in a ‘basket’with its roots hanging down?

    2/ Can orchids while blooming be fed fertilizers without causing premature

  81. Hi Teoh,

    Yes, both 1 and 2 are possible. =)
    Try to avoid the flowers when fertilizing, keep to the roots portion.


  82. Dear Silverelf,

    Yes/No questions:

    1/Does Thiram destroy flowers and buds when it is sprayed?
    2/Does Captan destroy them too?
    3/Can I fertilize when orchid is flowering?( cos some say it affects lifespan)

    I had the experience of seeing orchid flowers die prematurely after they were
    exposed to heavy downpour and also some infection visible only on white/lightly colored ones. The flowers had some rusty thing on them and they spread. Please help to stop it as soon as possible-I don’t want a garden with only ‘greenery’ on Lunar New Year festival.

  83. Dear Tony,

    Over-dosage of any chemicals will damage (chemical burn) the flowers. This is also true for the fertilizers. Thiram should be more focus to the root region.
    Yes, heavy downpour can damage flowers due to mechanical damages and too much water. Open cultivation is the most ideal for plants but the weather elements can’t be controlled.
    In this case, you can either shift your plants indoors during heavy downpour or make sure that they are left somewhere airy to allow them to dry out completely after the heavy downpour.


    Fungal growth will also be more rampant in damp environment.

  84. Hi
    From this link https://tohgarden.com/others/grammatophyllum-scriptum-bell-orchid/
    you mentioned you tie Grammatophyllum scriptum to a tree.

    Is this plant receiving 100% sunlight?
    Can this plant receive full sun?
    I did not see any net to filter the sun light.

  85. HI ,
    I am from Mauritius and cultivate orchids for cut flowers …. i ahve lots of Phalaenopsis plants and they coming quite well .. after one year .. NOw i hvae started with some dendrobium from flask …. i read quite a lot of growing methods but i thing that ther are some point like watering depends on your environement and temperature … So that’s my problem ….
    when should i water the dendrobium plantlets ,.,,,.. i am now giving very light watering for 2 days and the next day a good one …
    Now that’s winter is here .. it’s quite cold 15 ot 17 degrees sometimes … waht should i do with the plants and what about watering in winter .. when it’s windy and rainy …
    of course the plants are protected from rain as the green house is plastic covered ….. but what about the wind and the cold of winter season…
    Some of the plants get yellow leaf at time … is this normal ?
    should i fertilise in winter…. or give a more balance fertislise like 20 /20 /20 npk instead of a 20 /10 /10 …

    many thanks for your prompt reply

  86. Hi John,

    Yes, the plants should be watered and then allow the media to dry out before watering again.
    I think 15 to 17 degree celsius is too cold, perhaps you can bring it indoor near your fireplace first for the winter period?
    The humidity should also be higher indoors during winter.

    Yes, it is normal for Dendrobium to have yellow leaves at the bottom.
    They shed their old leaves every now and then.
    Just remove them.

    I think for the winter period, its better for you to use 20/20/20.
    20/10/10 should be used during spring and summer.
    Too much 20/10/10 that the orchid doesn’t absorb may increase chances of fungal growth.


  87. Hi I would like to grow orchids in a vertical garden in my balcony. It get strong morning sun and is very airy
    I plan to grow them in the florafelt system
    Was wondering if you have any advise on the medium i.e chips or charcoal etc I can use inside the felt pockets and the types of orchids plants I can start off with
    Many thanks

  88. Hi Ron,

    I’ll advise you to use dwarf Arudina (bamboo orchids). You can use charcoal as medium as our climate here can get very wet during the monsoon periods, drainage is important.
    You may also try other orchids like the Epidendrums.


  89. I have checked your map, you are in Lorong Pasu where I bought seedlings of dendrobium in flask and mokara in plastic bags. Can you send me guide in potting these seedlings? The agar in bottle of dendrobium is finished and I have not potted it yet. Should it be in charcoal, wood chips or sphagnum moss?

  90. Hi Nilo,

    Remove the plantlets from the plastic bags and plant them in small charcoal or wood chips under 50% or lesser sunlight.
    Fertilize them once a week with NPK 63.

    The orchids will grow larger and more hardy in 3 to 6 month’s time.
    After that repot them to bigger pot and move them to 50% sunlight.


  91. Dear silverelf,

    I sincerely hope you are able to help me. My orchids have this disease that I am unable to solve. The infected flowers are covered in a sticky substance. The flower would dry up within two to three days. Please advise from the picture attached : http://imgur.com/GAsi3tK
    Thank you very much. Hope to hear from you soon. Regards.

  92. Dear Ce Lim,

    Your orchid has some pest infection.
    Try applying pesticide regularly (about twice a week)
    Spray to the petals using a nozzle that produces powdery fine droplets.
    Isolate this plant from your other Dendrobium to prevent the pests from spreading.


  93. Silverelf, can the fungicides Thiram and Captan be mixed
    for a spray that can control a wider range of infection?
    And, my favourite Vanda got Crownrot 3 days after Thiram was being sprayed. Could it be that the fungicide has reached its expiration date or what? Thanks!

  94. Hi, I found a non-orchid looking flower (with green pedicel) grew from the same stalk of white orchids (plesase see attached photos). I didn’t get to see how this ‘flower’ looked as I only discovered it when I tried to remove its dried petals.
    Would appreciate your advice what is this ‘flower’ and what is the cause of this growth.

  95. Dear Calawhite,

    That is a seedpod formation, not a flower.
    It will form into a mature seedpod in a period of around 80 to 90 day’s time.
    The seedpod will contain many orchid seeds that looks like powder.


  96. Hi,
    My balcony can get very strong sunlight, as my unit is on the high floors, and balcony is open to sky. Will Vanda be able to survive under such strong sunlight during the day?

  97. Salut !

    Oui , se il vous plaît écrivez-nous!


  98. Hi Linda,

    Quarter terete Vanda can take 100% sun.
    Strap leaf can’t, only about 50%.

    So it depends on which Vanda you have.


  99. Hi silverelf,
    I have a pot of “V. limbata” from your nursery.
    Specifically this one: http://ap7.tohgarden.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/vanda_limbata.jpg
    When the flowers open, “experts” immediately tell me it’s not pure V. limbata but a hybrid of, or possibly limbata x lamellata or limbata x limbata selfing.

    I scouted all over the internet and could not find any pic of a limbata variant that looks similar.
    Whilst at the nursery, you told us these limbatas came from the defunct Mandai OG?
    Exactly how pure are these MOG limbatas?

  100. Hi Mr Toh,

    There are many variants for Vanda limbata as it comes from different countries.
    Vanda limbata from a specific area tend to have similar phenotypic characteristics.
    For a Vanda limbata x Vanda limbata selfing, its still a pure Vanda limbata.

    With regards to pureness, it depends on the definition of pureness in your opinion.
    Are you looking for Vanda limbata, regardless of regions, or looking for one that’s specifically from a certain region.

    One simple way to find out how pure an orchid to the one found in the wild is to perform a selfing on the plant itself.
    Usually, the more similarities the phenotypic characteristics of the F1 generation, the purer the species.
    A selfing done for a complex hybrid will have large variations in its progeny due to ancestry from multiple parents.

    For more a more accurate method, DNA fingerprinting can carried out and compared to a compiled cDNA library of the original species obtained from the wild. However, this can be costly.


  101. Hi! Recently my dendrobium turned greenish-yellow with light green streaks from pseudobulbs to leaves. It looked Chlorotic and affected parts looked dry too. What’s wrong? Could it become worse? The leaves were free of spots and looked to be unaffected by pest. Please respond as soon as possible cos I don’t want to lose it.

  102. we have a cattleya. have had it for about 15 years. we lived on the ocean in SoCal until a couple months ago (october) when we moved about a mile inland. Until this year, the plant would bloom with around 15 flowers. this month (may) as the pods are opening, there are far less pods and when they open, there is a white power on the inside of the pods. there are no flowers yet and there are pods yet unopened. do we have a fungus and what do we do to treat whatever it is? will it heal itself? is it terminal?

  103. Hi Boris,

    I believe you mean flowers buds when you say pods and yes the white powdery net like things are likely fungus.
    Orchid flowers are more prone to pests and fungus during the blooming stage.
    If the buds are damaged (e.g due to fungal growth or stung by an insect), it may not bloom fully.
    You can try applying fungicide/pesticide when the buds are forming, once to twice a week.
    This should help to keep your flowers healthy as they bloom.


  104. I am looking for a type of orchid that would survive in office (aircon) environment, purely relying on neon lights for 10-12 hours. Can you recommend? It’s for table top.

  105. Hello Silveref, if the apartment is lack of sunlight (2 hours morning sunlight),
    is it okay to use flourescent lighting to grow dendrobium indoor ? Thanks.

  106. Hi Jeffrey,

    I’ll recommend you the Phalaenopsis type.
    They last well in office environment under lighting.


  107. Can i buy your fertilizers in malaysia?

  108. Hi Celim,

    Our fertilizers are not available for sales in our Malaysia at the moment.


  109. Hi Frenki,

    Yes, its possible to use fluorescent lighting to supplement and grow Dendrobiums indoor.


  110. Hi Silverelf, Happy New Year !
    I have a dendrobium which has dried roots and slow root growth. Any recommendation to faster the root growth ? Thanks.

  111. Hi,

    I bought 1kg of npk63 (blue powder) today from ur farm. As there is no instruction usage, may I ask what is the recommended dosage over how much water? I have a small collection of 5 pots.

    Are the powder easily dissolved? Do I need to mix and stir 24 hrs before usage?

    Thanks for ur advice?

  112. Hi sliverelf,
    Can we grow an orchid without any medium just by hanging them on the window grill?

  113. Hi Freki,

    Provide your orchid with ample sunlight, water and fertilize regularly.
    You may refer here for more information as to how to cultivate Dendrobiums


  114. Hi Chris,

    The application for our NPK63/NPK67 is 5g (1 teaspoon) to a litre of water.
    Apply about 300 – 400ml to one pot of regular size orchid plant.
    For seedling half the concentration.
    Its easier to remember the application frequency as twice a week, for NPK63 and twice a month for NPK67.


  115. Hi Janson,

    Yes, that is possible.
    Many orchids are epiphytes, the commonly seen Dendrobium orchid is also an epiphyte.
    Epiphytes grows on suspended on other plants (eg. tree trunks in the forest).
    We’ve even tried growing terrestial orchids (Papilionanthe) by suspending them to pieces of wood.
    They do fine and flowers but they still do better when cultivated terrestrially (the girth of the stem and they produce more flowers).
    The reason why we cultivate orchids with media is because the media tends to absorb and retain nutrients for the plants.
    So when you are not feeding the plants, the media does the job of slowly releasing nutrients trapped to the plants.
    Media also retains water, thus reducing watering requirements for the plant.


  116. Happy Chinese New Year !
    Many people are saying Phalaenopsis orchid will not flower if it is cultivated at the HDB flat or high rise apartment in Singapore. Is it true ? Thanks.

  117. Hi Frenki,

    Happy Chinese New Year Frenki! Phalaenopsis are subtropical orchids, they require cool nights to flower. They grow well here in the tropics. For open cultivation in our climate, we are successful with a handful of varieties. The red/pink large flower varieties generally doesn’t do well in our climate. Their petals tend to curl up and malform due to the heat. We are more successful with the large white and smaller colourful (Doritaenopsis) types. In fact most of the plants grown in open cultivation in our farm are flowering now. Also for those imported or cultivated in greenhouses, you’ll need to acclimatize them to our climate gradually before they can be cultivated easily. Direct exposure to our climate may result in the leaves yellowing and getting burned. For plants grown in greenhouses, they have soft leaves, acclimatized plants have leaves that will be much harder to touch.


  118. Hello Silverelf,

    Is Toh Garden conducting any orchid growing course ? Thanks.

  119. Hi Silverelf, how can I induce flowering in my 4-year old phaleonopsis which has not rebloom since I bought it in 2010? I spray fertilizers for flowering and even bring it into the aircon room at night since our tropical nights may not be cold enough to simulate the cold spell but without success.It is very healthy with 16 leaves and 2 keikis. I also have 20 other phals that are not reblooming. Please help.

  120. Hi Sasha,

    Phalaenopsis grown locally should be in bloom during this period of time if cultivated correctly. Most of our Phalaenopsis orchids that are under open cultivation are blooming now. Regarding the induction, consistency is very important, you’ll have to provide day and night temperature difference for at least 3 months to observe the plant spiking and not skip in between.


  121. Hi Silverelf, how do I fertilize phalaenopsis – do I just pour the water soluble fertiliser over the roots only like watering or use spray on leaves & roots? Do I spray underneath the leaves too? Some people said must stop fertilizing when they are in bloom. How often must I fertilize them?
    Can I use the neem spray as pesticide on phalaenopsis orchids?
    Appreciate your advice TQ

  122. hi Silverelf. Recently fallen in love with orchids. Thinking of starting a collection of Paphiopedilum. What species are easiest to grow in Singapore? Which of these do you stock in your nursery? Many thanks.

  123. Hi. I bought 2 vanda mookara from your garden few months ago. I fertilize them once a week with the blue and pink powdered fertilizer (alternate week for each fertilizer) I bought from you. However, there is still no blooms till now, only new leaves and roots. What should I do to induce blooming? Thanks.

  124. I have recently bought Npk63 & 67 from your Garden. My Dendrobium are sprouting spikes now and I want to know if I can still fertilise the plant during this time. I also want to know if Dendrobium orchids’ roots are normally thin or can I feed them your fertiliser to grow them thicker. Thanks.

  125. Hi John,

    We usually import Paphiopedilums during the Christmas and Chinese New Year period for decoration.
    During that period of time you will be able to get large flowering types like Paph Complex hybrids.

    For growing Paphiopedilum locally, there’s a few varieties that do well in Singapore.
    You can try varieties like Paphiopedilum niveum, Paphiopedilum concolor, Paphiopedilum bellatulum.
    You can cultivate Paphiopedilum in Singapore but usually they only produce smaller flowers than when produced in cooler climate.


  126. Hi Fred,

    Yes, you can continue fertilizing the plant during this time.
    Yes, feeding them the blue fertilizer will encourage growth.
    Do note that new roots are those with a green or brown root tip, those will continue to grow.
    Old roots that may have already stop growing are completely white and are more for trapping water with the spongy velamen.


  127. Hi Mabel,

    I suppose you mean quarter Vanda and Mokara.
    The reason why they flower less frequently is likely due to insufficient sunlight.
    Try shifting them to somewhere with more lighting.
    You should fertilize them twice a week too.
    Twice a week for the blue fertilizer and twice a month for the pink fertilizer.


  128. Dear Silverelf, I purchased 1 month ago a beautiful Phalaenopsis Orchid from IKEA. It had 9 white flowers and with 2 buds. I placed the orchid on a table not near the window but still with enough light. However, the buds fell off and all the other flowers started to fade slowly .. one by one, they are gone, I am left now with only 3 more flowers but they will also die soon. Also, the leafs – the plants had 5 – 2 of them turned and died .. I still have 3 more leaves left but one is also turning slowly yellow. I checked the roots, the green tube that is covering them looks like dry. The soil was actually moisturized. The label from IKEA was saying to let it dry. so I changed the pot and waited to dry a bit more, but no change.. the flowers were still fading . Then I added some water but no change either the plant is not doing better .. .. may be the pot is not good, maybe I need to cut a bit .. maybe it simply needs fertilizer or more light .. I really don’t know what to do and how to save this orchid .. Please help me! 🙁

  129. Dear Andreea,

    Phalaenopsis are mostly imported from Taiwan, most of them require subtropical weather and are cultivated in greenhouses thus its may not easy to cultivate them under our natural climate.
    We’ve tried cultivating them in our outdoor tropical climate, usually only the white variety and the Doritaenopsis types flower well and are more resistant in our hot weather.
    If you are interested in getting a Plant Clinic consultation, you may approach the PlantHealth Clinic by Jimmy here https://tohgarden.com/my-planthealth-clinic-by-jimmy/
    Jimmy does house visits and also provide his services at Community Centres around Singapore, he’ll be able to assist you with the issues.


  130. What can I do if the bud of my orchid is rotten?I am afraid that it will stop growing.
    It’s a type of Vanda.

  131. Hi Julius,

    Remove the rotten part and apply fungicide to prevent fungal growth.
    Try to keep the plant dry and away from too much water in the meantime.


  132. Hi guys

    I’m looking for plants for my rooftop bar. The current ones are dying as its too hot i guess. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you

    Best Regards,

  133. Dear Muralli,

    You need to grow full sun orchids!
    They are very easy to grow and low in maintenance.
    More sun = more flowers! =)
    I’ll recommend that you try growing some terete Vandas.
    Some of them produce large palm size flowers that are very good for display!
    Do drop by our farm for some recommendation.


  134. Hi, I came across your website while researching on orchids. I am looking for a suitable hanging orchid to place in my balcony of my HDB flat. The place is bright with indirect sunlight in the morning and will get 3-4 hrs of direct sunlight in the afternoon. I’d prefer Vanda orchids which are easier to grow and flower in our climate. Any recommendations of orchids that are available in your place? Also would like to check if you guys sell Doritaenoposis and if these can be grow indoors successfully with only moderate light and non-aircon environment? Thanks so much.

  135. Hi Alvin,

    Yes, we definitely have something for you.
    We have partial and full sun Vanda.
    Vandoritis (Papilaenopsis) Hao Xiang Ni is easy to flower in our climate.
    Most orchids need about 50% sunlight to grow and flower well.
    Do check out our nursery.


  136. Hi, could you give me some advice? My vanda mokara bloomed in feb, march when I bought it. It is in a pot with lava stone and charcoal. It started to dehydrate so I watered every day. I checked roots and had a few. Now fewer because several were rotten and were cut off. It continued to dehydrate so I watered all night for 2 days but nothing changed. I live in Yucatan so its quite warm here and moreless humid. I fertilize once a week (which I stopped) and put some fungicide because of brown spots on serveral leaves. The roots continued to die so I took all media from the top of the roots and only left characoal at the bottom and kept the enviroment humid. Now about 5 leaves are yellow and falling. The light is good and bright under shade cloth. No new roots or leaves. Thank you

  137. Hello Elizabeth,

    It depends on what kind of Vanda you are growing.
    Are they quarter terete or strap leaf type of Vanda.
    The former can take full sun and the latter half sun under shade.
    To be safe, grow them under shade first.
    Note that the plant can dehydrate easily when the roots are damaged as they can’t absorb water well.
    Keep your plant dry at the moment and apply fungicide to alleviate the root rot.
    Try to cure the fungal condition first.
    The roots plague by fungus rot will not be able to absorb water or nutrients well.
    Do not over water the orchid and this cause the root to rot, only water after the media has completely dried up.


  138. Hello my name is Daphne. Can store bought charcoal for barbeques be used as orchid media?
    Thank you

  139. Hi Daphne,

    Chemical treated charcoal for BBQ are not advised.
    The chemical can cause root burns, natural hardwood charcoal will be ideal.


  140. Hi greetings silverrelf,
    My vanda is about 3ft tall grows in a clay pot
    there alot of algea form all over its roots and pot.
    It’s good or bad and how i can remove it?
    Thanks in advance for the advice.

  141. Hi Saiful,

    Its common for algae to grow on the roots and pots in our climate.
    You can remove the algae using a very small amount of soap and a clean cloth if you find them to be unsightly.
    Wet the plant first and leave it for a minute or two to soften the roots.
    Wipe down the roots with the cloth dipped and rinsed with the light soapy water, the algae should come off easily.
    After cleaning the roots, rinse it with water again.
    This method can also be used to remove sooty mold.


  142. Hi, I bought the Ezy Grow Orchild Growth(Blue in colour) N Flowering (Pink in colour) supplement from
    U. I like to know which parts of the orchid to apply the supplement to?
    I like to know do U also sell the pesticide N fumicide for the orchid that
    U carry in your garden.

    I look forward to your prompt response, thank U

  143. Hi Roger, please apply the fertiliser solution to the roots.
    We do not sell the pesticide / fumicide.

  144. Hi, looking for some advice as I have little experience with orchids.

    I recently acquired an orchid that looks like a dendrobium but I’ve realized that two of the buds suddenly shrivelled up and dropped. Am also unsure of the watering schedule, I’m currently watering once every three days. Do advise if I should water more or if I should shift the plants location ?

  145. Hi Gwen! Thanks for query. Kindly send me photos of the plant to [email protected] so I can check for you what orchid it is. Watering frequency can range from daily to a week depending on the type of potting medium used and the weather at your location. A good gauge for watering is to water thoroughly at the roots when the potting medium is dry.

  146. Hi,

    Can help recommend Orchids that is small in built and able to survive in an office with centralised air conditioning.

    Basically office cubicle desk plant.

    Thank you

  147. Hi Gabriel! We recommend mini Phalaenopsis. They do well indoors in air-conditioning and make beautiful desk plants.

  148. Hi, I have just Purchased a Phalaenopsis 2 weeks ago. There are total of 4 leaves + 1 new leave popping out. However, bottom 2 leaves, 1 has turned yellow half dropped, the other started to turn yellow. Remaining 2 flower buds have blasted too. Flowers are still looking good but spotted some rotten roots. Is it they are trying to adapt to new environment? Should I repot now? or I should wait for the flowers to drop?

  149. Hi Zinnia,

    Phalaenopsis are usually grown in greenhouses with sphagnum moss used as media to retain water.
    You should not overwater them if they are not re-potted to coarser medium.
    Repotting them will likely cause the flowers to wilt.


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