Stems of rich ruby-red flowers, set off by a basket-weave container, create a spectacular display for an east- or west-facing windowsill, or a bright spot out of direct sun. The orchid you could use for example, Colmanara ‘Massai Red’, will flower for many weeks and is very easy to look after.
When to plant: Late spring.
At their best: Late spring to summer.
Time to complete: 30 minutes.
You will need: Large plastic-lined basket, expanded clay pebbles – such as Hortag (available from garden centers and orchid nurseries), garden moss or moss-like substitute, thin wooden stakes, Colmanara ‘Massai Red’.
Line the container
If your container does not have an integrated lining, use a sheet of plastic to line it. Then add a layer of expanded clay pebbles, which absorb water and slowly release it to increase humidity.
Add the orchids
Keeping the orchids in their pots, arrange them in the basket. Make sure that their flowering stems are well spaced out for maximum impact. Stake any wayward stems to create a fanlike shape.
Fill the gaps
Hold the orchid pots upright and fill around them using more expanded clay pebbles. Firm them down gently to ensure that they hold the plants in place, which can be top-heavy when in flower.
Top with moss
Finally, add a layer of garden moss, or a moss substitute, over the clay pebbles and tops of the orchid pots. Water the pots and add some water to the pebbles as well.
Place the orchids in a bright room, away from full sun; keep them at 59–73°F (15–23°C) during the day, and 50–59°F (10–15°C) at night. Throughout the year, water the plants when the soil is almost dry and apply an orchid fertilizer with every other watering. Spray every few days with rainwater or filtered tap water to maintain humidity.