Tips on caring for orchids; see orchid show day & at night!

orchid display by Niagara Frontier Orchid Society
Members of the Niagara Frontier Orchid Society create displays of their wonderful flowers at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens during shows in spring and fall. Photo courtesy Donna Lipowicz

by Connie Oswald Stofko

“Orchids are easier to care for than people think,” said Donna Lipowicz, president of the Niagara Frontier Orchid Society.

In this article, Lipowicz will give you tips on how to care for your orchids in Western New York.

You can get even more information while you enjoy beautiful displays at the Orchid Show to be held March 3-5 at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens.

Orchid Show and Orchids After Dark

orchid show poster in Buffalo Niagara NY
The orchids on this poster are Cattleya purpurata v. coerulea, top left; Cattleya labiata, top right; Cattleya warscewiczii, middle left; Cattleya maxima, bottom left, and Cattleya princess, bottom right. Image courtesy Carl Schultz

The Niagara Frontier Orchid Society will hold the spring Orchid Show at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo.

The event will include award-winning orchid displays, orchid vendors, artist Carol Koziol Clark, Kapong Pottery, orchid supplies and an orchid raffle.

In addition to daytime hours, you’ll be able to see the plants with beautiful lighting during Orchids After Dark.


  • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 4
  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 5

Orchids After Dark:

  • 6 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Friday, March 3
  • 6 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturday, March 4

Note: The Botanical Gardens will be closed on Friday, March 3 from 10 a.m. -4 p.m. and on Sunday, March 6 at 3 p.m. to set up and tear down for this event.

See admission prices here. 

How do I get my orchid to bloom again?

Many people ask why their orchid plant isn’t blooming.

“That’s a popular question,” Lipowicz said.

It comes down to three things:

  • Potting media. The media breaks down after a while and isn’t good any more, she said. It needs to be changed every couple of years.
  • Fertilizer. If you don’t fertilize, your orchid won’t thrive.
  • Light. If your plant isn’t doing well, it may need more light.

Orchid tips for beginners

Easy-to-care-for orchids

Lipowicz recommends orchids from the genus Phalaenopsis for beginners because they are easy to care for. They can bloom for six or seven months straight. Find them in local garden centers or even big box stores.

She calls them “windowsill orchids.” You don’t want them in direct sun, but they can take morning sun, so set them in an east-facing window. If you have a west-facing or south-facing window, hang some sheer curtains to diffuse the light.

Watering orchids

When you water orchids, make sure the water is tepid water, not cold or hot. Let the water drain out of the pot; don’t let the plant sit in the water. Water your orchids once a week.

Give your orchids a summer vacation

In the summer, many Western New Yorkers set their orchids outside–in the shade.

The plants “like the difference in temperature between the night and day,” Lipowicz said, “and they like the air movement and wind.”

You can put your orchid outside starting around the beginning of June, when the temperature is at 50 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer.

About the Niagara Frontier Orchid Society

The Niagara Frontier Orchid Society maintains the Botanical Gardens’ extensive orchid collection. The group holds two orchid shows each year at the Botanical Gardens–a display in the spring show and a judged show in the fall.

At every meeting there is a show table where members are encouraged to display their plants for the enjoyment and education of the other members. The group has frequent plant sales, auctions and raffles. Members often bring plants to trade or share. Other activities include shows, exhibits, displays, plant auctions, social gatherings and trips to orchid growers and vendors. 

Guests are welcome to their meetings. The next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 4 in the Administration Building at the Botanical Gardens. The topic will be mounting orchids.

“We’re always looking for new members,” Lipowicz said.

See more information here.

3 Comments on “Tips on caring for orchids; see orchid show day & at night!

  1. Good questions Susie & Linda!
    We recommend fertilizing your orchids weakly-weekly 1/4 strength once a week March- October, November to February there is not much growth so don’t fertilize. Different orchids like different type of media. NFOS will have media & fertilizer for sale at the show
    March 3-5 at the Botanical Gardens. Bring a picture of your orchid & we will give you recommendations.

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