How to Care for Your Orchids

Orchids are beautiful flowers that can brighten any home. These delicate flowers can be found in a variety of colors, such as white, pink, purple, and yellow. Orchids are often a symbol of love, elegance, and fertility. They are common gifts for new parents.

Orchids require specific care to keep them alive and healthy. Proper nutrients and watering help to ensure they can produce the beautiful blooms everyone enjoys. These tips and methods can help anyone care for their orchids to keep their beauty lasting longer.

Orchid Care Guide

The biggest issue with providing care for orchids is the fact that there are several different types of orchids, each requiring different care. This makes it important to know the type of orchid and to find a guide specific to that type. This guide will provide easy steps on how to care for orchids .

The most popular type of orchid is the moth orchid or phalaenopsis. This variety is popular because of its long-lasting blooms. Although it only blooms twice a year, those blooms can last two to three months.

The dendrobium and oncidium are two other rather popular types of orchids. These can provide their beautiful blooms once or twice a year. These blooms last significantly less than the moth orchid. A little over a month is all the longer these precious blooms can be seen.

Again, it is important to know which type of orchid to ensure proper care is given for that particular flower. There are approximately 880 types and 22,000 species of orchids, each with their own needs. However, there are some general tips that work well for almost any orchid, especially those that are more commonly kept in the home. 

Soil

Orchids need to be planted in fast-draining soil. Bark or moss based potting soils can provide the right type of drainage needed for the plants to thrive. It is important to remember that orchids need to stay moist but cannot sit in water.

The orchids should be kept in a pot that has holes to allow water to drain easily. There are specialty fertilizers available that can provide the right nutrients for an orchid. These should be applied weekly. When repotting, always use a fresh potting mix to ensure the right nutrients are available and water can easily drain.

Watering

Most orchids are tropical plants . Some orchids are known for hanging on trees for support, while others grow on or among rocks. Although they need a lot of water, they are also very used to the water draining away quickly. Keep this in mind when providing water for the orchid.

If using a bark-based potting mix, the water will drain very quickly. This means that the orchid will need to be watered more frequently. Moss, however, holds more water. Less frequent watering is needed for this type of soil. Usually, watering once a week is sufficient.

It is very important to avoid overwatering an orchid. To check the moisture of the soil, gently push a few fingers into the soil and then remove them. If there is moisture on the fingers, there is enough water, if there is none, add some water.

Orchids also love a humid environment. If the home is in a dry climate or the air conditioning keeps the home dry, the orchid will need extra moisture. Misting the orchid daily is needed when the home’s humidity is less than 40%.

Sunlight

Just as with any plant, orchids do need sunlight. However, their needs depend on their species. There are some orchids that require a lot of sunlight and there are some that require very little sunlight to grow healthy and strong.

It is important to keep the orchid away from direct sunlight. Even orchids that need a lot of sunlight cannot handle the direct sunlight. This makes it important to keep the orchids near a south or east-facing window. West-facing windows will get light that is too strong and north-facing will not provide enough light.

Temperature

The temperature of an orchid is also dependent upon the type of orchid. However, most orchids do prefer temperatures on the warmer side. Keeping the temperature at about 60 to 75 degrees is a good environment for most types of orchids.

It is also a good idea to allow a little air movement for the orchid, as well. Air circulation helps the orchid grow healthily and helps to prevent mold or other issues with the moist soil of the plant. It is also recommended to let the temperature drop about ten degrees at night for the proper blooming of the orchid.

The temperature changes between the day and night are helpful in allowing the orchid to register the changes. These day-to-night changes allow the orchid to maintain a proper growing season. This helps the orchid know when to bloom.

After Bloom Care

Often, when an orchid is first brought home, it is already in bloom. To ensure the orchid blooms again, it is important to provide proper care for the orchid. Once the flower has withered and dried, the stem needs to be pruned.

It is also strongly suggested that the orchid be replanted after blooming. When replanting the dormant orchid, it is important to provide it with fresh soil filled with the right nutrients the flower needs during the dormant period.

Regular fertilizing is also very important during the dormant phase of the orchid. Providing the same care as when the orchid was in bloom is important to ensure it reblooms. In a few months, depending on the type of orchid, it should bloom again.

No Rebloom

If after six to nine months the orchid is not blooming, then there is a problem with the plant. It may require testing a few problems to find a particular cause. This is a skill that will take some practice, but the results are well worth the work.

Too much or too little water can prevent a bloom. This is the same with light and fertilizer. Too much or too little can be a problem for the delicate flower. The wrong temperature or even the wrong season can be the cause of no flower appearing.

This guide is not a comprehensive list of all that an orchid may need. However, it could provide a little insight into the steps needed to care for the average orchid. It is important to research the specific species to ensure the right care is given.

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