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Deadhead orchids

Deadhead orchids

Deadhead orchids as soon as they finish flowering to encourage them to send up a new spike of those luscious, tropical blooms. Phalaenopsis (moth) orchids, available in your favourite garden centre, are by far the easiest to grow, and flower for months right through winter. But once the flowers die down, snip back the stem, cutting just above a swelling around 10cm from the base. A new flowering shoot should spring up soon after.

Water only when the pot feels light: orchids hate sitting in water, so wait till it's fully drained before returning the plant to its position (if you live in a hard water area, use rainwater instead of tap water). They'll also appreciate some liquid feed in the water every few weeks to keep them in tip-top condition.

If you're looking for some orchid inspiration, the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, West London, opens its annual Orchid Festival this weekend. They'll be transforming the Princess of Wales Conservatory with thousands of brilliantly-coloured tropical orchids displayed over arches and growing up pillars. It's not only a much-needed feast for the eyes at this time of year – you'll also come home full of ideas for great ways to display your own orchids at home.