Chocolate orchids, known as "sharry babies," are a great plant for beginners and master gardeners alike. These flowers emit a rich, chocolaty smell that will bring a smile to anyone's face. This plant is a must-have for any avid orchid collector. These special flowers have been highly hybridized and come in many variations. Here are some tips for taking care of chocolate orchids:
Sharry Baby requires high humidity, so pot your orchid on top of a layer of pebbles, as it will ensure water evaporates. The chocolate orchid can be placed in a variety of pots, but make sure whatever option you choose provides easy drainage. This is especially true if you tend to over-water plants. It is also important to find a pot large enough to give your chocolate orchid ample room to grow. Though this flower can be repotted, it should only be done if necessary. Consider potting chocolate orchids in baskets to ensure proper drainage.
Chocolate orchids can handle a wide range of warmer temperatures, but they will likely not thrive in an environment that dips below 50 degrees. If this plant is normally exposed to low temps, it will potentially not bloom. If you plant your chocolate orchids outside, keep track of the nighttime temperature to ensure that your flowers aren't regularly getting too cold.
Sharry babies should be watered daily, but it is of utmost importance that there is free drainage. Orchids are susceptible to root rot, and too much standing water will increase the likelihood of this condition. Chocolate orchids have pseudobulbs that shrivel if the plant is being under-watered, so use this as a sign that you're being too conservative with the watering can.
Chocolate orchids require a significant amount of sunlight. They are hearty plants that can survive in a wide array of light conditions, but also note that too much sun will potentially dry out the leaves. Place your sharry baby in a location that receive sun in the morning and early afternoon, but that will also get partial shade as to not hurt the leaves.
These plants bloom with flowers that emit a strong aroma of cocoa, which may or may not make you desire chocolate. It's best to have a bar or two on hand in case you get the craving. The flowers are a brownish color, which adds to their chocolaty disposition.