The art of growing a Malaysian gem

Choo Fooi Lin and her husband arranging flowers at the talk.

PETALING JAYA - You do not need green fingers to grow healthy plants but must have passion, patience and a proper system, said orchid entrepreneur Steven Cheong.

The founder of Waltec Biotec Sdn Bhd shared tips on growing Phalaenopsis orchids with about 140 gardening enthusiasts and orchid lovers at the StarLIVE held at Cybertorium, Menara Star, recently.

Cheong gave the hour-long talk entitled "Phalaenopsis Orchid: A Malaysian Gem".

His talk covered tips on sunlight, watering, humidity, ventilation, potting material and fertilisers needed by Phalaenopsis orchids.

A sample of Phalaenopsis violacea and seedlings were also passed around for the audience to view, while a question and answer session also got Cheong to share more detailed information on the care for the orchid species.

A preview on floral arrangement was also held for the audience by Orchid Culture store manager Doris Yong.

The event concluded with a lucky draw session, where five gardening enthusiasts each won a personal session on basic floral arrangement.

A lucky draw winner, Choo Fooi Lin, from Damansara Utama, said she found the talk useful.

"My husband and I are gardening enthusiasts and through this session, we now know more tips to initiate flowering in Phalaenopsis," said the petite 54-year-old, hoping that more of such events would be held in future.

An orchid hobbyist, Saw Kum Kheng, 62, said that Cheong's tips on care for Phalaenopsis orchids were helpful, although the floral arrangement session was very basic.

He also concurred with Choo that more of such activities be carried out in future.

StarLIVE is a monthly free event organised by The Star. To receive updates on the next StarLIVE, email