How to Care for an Orchid

Knowing how to care for an orchid can sometimes seem difficult. Orchids may look very delicate, but in reality, they are not that difficult to grow or keep alive. According to the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families there are approximately 26,570 accepted orchid species.

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Even though there are so many different types of orchids, like all plants, they require these three things to survive:

  1. Growing medium
  2. Sunlight
  3. Water

In addition to the basic needs, there are a few more things you might need to know to help your orchid thrive.

What are basic care instructions for an orchid?

On a basic level, most orchids need the following to survive:

  • A well-draining growing medium

  • At least six hours of indirect sunlight (bright shade) a day

  • Moist, but not waterlogged, soil

  • Once-a-month fertilizer feedings (quarter strength)

  • A humid environment

  • Pruning, as needed

Keep in mind, some of the more delicate species of orchids require more light, less water, lots of humidity, and so on. If you’re growing orchids for the first time, you may want to start with a common species that doesn’t require special conditions.

You can use any plant food or fertilizer to care for your orchid, but you should only use one fourth of the amount directed on the package.

You can provide extra humidity to the area around the orchid by either spritzing only the leaves with a mist of water a few times or by setting the plant on top of a dish filled with moist or wet gravel.

Do not nest the orchid down in the gravel as it might soak up the moisture into the growing medium and waterlog the root structure. Also, do not mist the flowers. This may cause them to mold.

What growing medium do you use for an orchid?

The growing medium is subject to your preferences. Typically, most growers will use either moss or ground-up tree bark. And special orchid potting mixes can be purchased.

Do not use regular potting soil for your orchid. It will suffocate the roots and kill the plant.

If you want to be creative, you can mix mediums or you could even grow an orchid in a wad of wet paper towel. (With the paper towel method, the plant would need watered and fed fertilizer constantly. It is not recommended).

How much sunlight does an orchid need?

In nature, orchids like partially shaded areas. When growing an orchid indoors, it is recommended that it receive six hours of indirect sunlight a day to stay healthy.

  • East-facing windows provide morning sunlight and the orchid will not overheat or dry out directly in the sun.
  • South-facing windows provide sun exposure all day, but the heat is too intense for an orchid to stay healthy. With this kind of light, the plant will usually dry out and die.
  • West-facing widows provide evening sun and, similar to south-facing windows, are too hot for an orchid to sit directly in the sun.
  • North-facing windows do not provide enough light to keep the plant healthy. The plant will likely become droopy and will die.

If the plant starts to look like its drying out and getting too much sun, try filtering the sun with a sheer curtain or moving the orchid further away from the window.

If the plant starts to look droopy and over-watered but the growing medium isn’t wet or soggy, try moving the plant to a room with better sun exposure or rotating the plant from indoors to outdoors.

How much water is too much water for an orchid?

Watering an orchid is as easy as watering any other plant. You can tell an orchid is getting too much water if the leaves start turning yellow. There is no recommended schedule for watering an orchid. If you take a regimented approach, you will likely end up with a dead plant. The water requirements for orchids can vary based on the environment the plant is living in, its size, and the time of year.

When watering the orchid, make sure to water the soil and not the plant directly. If water goes down between the leaves, it can cause crown rot. When crown rot occurs, the leaves fall off and eventually the whole plant will die.

Instead of creating a water schedule, try checking the orchid to evaluate whether it needs water. Stick your finger in the growing medium or soil, and if it feels dry, water the plant. If the soil feels wet, then wait and check again in a day or two. Always water the plant just before it goes completely dry.

How do you get an orchid to flower?

Orchids only produce flowers once a year and the flowers bloom continuously for about a month. Some varieties bloom in winter and some in spring, but the bloom period for most orchids is around August or September.

Towards the end of the bloom period you can trick the plant into blooming again by pruning the flower portion of the plant away at the node just below the first flower.

If you take note of the light and water conditions and duplicate the environment, you can actually keep trimming the node to keep the plant blooming all year.

What does it mean if an orchid goes dormant?

If your orchid drops all of its flowers, do not be alarmed. It will bloom again in one year. If it does not bloom again, it means the plant has gone dormant. Likely, the roots are stifled and the orchid needs new growing medium. Dead roots and stems need pruned before you pot the plant. This process usually needs to be done every two or three years. The orchid should send out a new stem and flower again during blooming season.

You can speed up the new growth by feeding the plant a quarter strength of fertilizer with every watering. Once the orchid is back to normal, you can cut back to regular feedings.

Are you new in the orchid world? No worries.

They are easy to grow just take some time and learn about them. They are not grow in the dirt rather choose to grow in bark of trees, on Rocky Mountains and loamy soil in the jungle.

Orchids have long-lasting bloom and very beautiful plants in crisp colors like white, pink, hues, magenta, yellow and purple. Orchid aka Orchidaceae, symbolize love and fertility.

How to care for an orchard?

They have a different process from traditional plant growth. You can say it is not that difficult. With good care, they can bloom for months in a year. Definitely they can live and have excellent value. You can grow varieties of orchid just need to know some basic requirements and knowledge.
There are over 800 different types and 20000 above species. Most are epiphytes or “air plants”, grow in trees, and remains are terrestrials grow in loamy soil in the jungle.

Below are some tips for caring orchid:

  1. Growth Environment
  2. How to water them?
  3. How to care after they b loom?
  4. How long does an orchid live?

Let’s discuss them one by one.

1. Growth Environment

In the jungle, the orchid plant hangs from the tree and gets food from organic matters or animals droppings, and absorb water from the air. It stores a huge amount of water for the dry season. This is the natural grown of orchid.
If you plant it in the pot, you should do a proper potting, soil base, watering, and lightening.

• Potting

  1. The pot should have plenty of drainages.
  2. Drainage hole at the bottom to drain excess water.
  3. If your pot has not any hole, then re-pot it.

• Lightening Requirements

  1. It needs a lot of light but not direct.
  2. Place it in a window with an east to south directions.
  3. If the west window, then put sheer curtains on the window because very strong sunlight comes.
  4. If in the north window, then it does not find enough sun-light.

• Temperature Required

  1. It needs a lightening of 16- 20 degrees Celsius.
  2. A moderate temperature with little air circulation required for orchids

2. How to water them?

Don’t overwatering you orchids, first check it moisturizer by putting some fingers in the soil and if you feel moisturizer then don’t water. If it doesn’t then water them. If you live in an air-conditioned environment and humidity is below 40 then you should do water spray daily.

3. How to care after they bloom?

• Fertilize

Fertilizer is important for good growth of orchids. You should follow balanced house plant fertilizer variety and instructions to feed your plant.

• Prune

Orchids need to be prune because at the old stem, orchids not bloom.

If you do proper care of them, they live for decades its life periods comes with 3 phase initially bloom, after that a dominant period and then reblooms.

Orchids are sometime easy to grow and sometime hard, they depend upon the climate and the orchid species.

Why are orchids so hard to grow?

Orchids are extraordinary manifold and species-rich. Most people grow orchid just for the fancy and showy look of the room that came from humid and moist climate of various species.

Places where orchids easy to bloom and re-bloom:

  • If you are living in humid and moist type of area than orchids are easy to grow even they are re-bloom.

  • Orchids are easy to bloom inn climate controlled greenhouse.

  • Terrestrial is a species that are easy to bloom and can be planted outside in moderate climate.

Places where they bloom hardly and die:

  • If you planted an epiphytic specie type of orchids inside a house with air-condition or dry or heat environment or in too dark and too bright area, than your orchids are hard to grow rather died because they don’t feel like home in these climates.

  • Epiphytic orchids cannot tolerate and adopt the home condition or environment and people also do not want to live in mild or humid environment because the furniture, electronic, wood, wall and antiques can’t retain in good condition. But Orchids cannot easily adopted to live in your house with good airflow.

Easy Orchid Varieties for Beginners

The great way to care for an orchid is to know that what kind of orhid you have. All orchids are different but there are 5 orchids that are easy to grow and care:

1. Miltonia orchids:

They are very beautiful flowers and comes in the combination of white and purple. The speciality of this flower is, it have face like look as the pansies flower has. They loved to live in cool environment like 12 degree Celsius and its will good when certain fluctuation arise in climate. Keep it in bright light but not at full and direct sun-light.

2. Odontoglossum orchids:

Orchids are spectacular and flamboyant flowers. They love low light so you can place them in west window and ii nth temperature of 10 degree. They mostly bloom in high humidity so place on a damp pebbles tray.

3. Dendrobium orchids:

Dendrobium lived in the temperature of minimum 16 degree and can live in less humid places. In autumn they need less water and place it in bright place. They must stay dry and cool until spring season comes. When temperature goes increase, increase the watering and kept in indoors.

4. Phalaeonopsis orchids:

They are easily to care and bloom easily and available ever where, they plant well in central heated places like homes with the temperature of 16 degree. But you can keep them in filtered bright light in east window. They love humidity so do well in kitchen and bathrooms.

To do best care for your orchids, you must know what are you feeding them and how.

How you feed an orchids?

1. Fertilizer feeding

  • If you using a liquid fertilizers, make sure it was not touches the leaves, it will burn them.
  • Use a slim headed bottle and just pour it into the soil by moving away the leaves.
  • After feeding the fertilizer, there is no need to water them.
  • Wash out remaining fertilizer when you water next time.

2.Ice cube feeding

  • Mix up you fertilizer with water and freeze it, like ice cubes.
  • It allow the food to be absorb by the orchid more effectively and efficiently. And prevent from burning down the leaves.
  • It is the easiest way to feed plant but make sure to place it separately in the freezer.

Tips of feeding Orchids:

  • Make sure you are not increasing the amount of fertilizer. Dark green leaves that are dropped is the signature of too much fertilizer.
  • If you missed a feed so more frequently give weaker dose to the orchid, nt give too much dose.
  • When you see that orchid go poor and poor day by day, than stop fertilizing.