Caring for Orchids:
You Can Do This
Many believe that caring for orchids should be reserved only for the rich who have adequate help such as a “gardener”. But with more than 25,000 species and more than 100,000 hybrids, it is possible today for anyone to find an orchid that will fit into their lifestyle, budget and level of skill as a horticulturist. And that’s the good news for lovers of houseplants everywhere.
Most types of orchids do not require any more work than any other house or garden plant. But – some orchids do have special requirements… so your first step in orchid care should always be to find out the particular requirements that your orchid needs.
Phalaenopsis Orchids Blooming in the Garden
There are very few plants that produce such a delicate and beautiful bloom as an orchid. It is one of the things that make them such a popular houseplant. If you give your orchid extremely good care, you can keep them blooming just as healthy as they were in the nursery. The popular orchid you probably have received as a gift or bought from the store is a phaleanopsis. This is the white or purple orchid that is available due to the fact that they are easier to care for than some of the less common varieties.
Orchids will bloom for at least three months if they are taken care of correctly. You should place them near the window so that it can receive sunlight throughout the day. But you should avoid the midday sun which can be too harsh for these plants -- aim to give your orchid morning and evening sunlight. For this reason, the eastern side of your home is an excellent place to put your plant. You can substitute natural sunlight with fluorescent lights that are about a foot above the orchid’s flowers but, you must limit this exposure to normal daylight hours. Timers are a great help there.
Orchids thrive in temperatures that are above 55 degrees F but no higher than 80 degrees. Orchids that are in weather that passes 90 degrees will start to lose their buds or will stop blooming altogether. It is important to make sure that the flower stays moist, but do not over water the roots because it can kill the blooms. Instead, water the plant once every ten days, or keep the orchid in a water tray filled with stone. Make sure that the roots do not touch the water tray or it will then be soaking up too much water.
A great tip to keeping the orchid in bloom for the most amount of time as possible is to fertilize the plant before it blooms. Once it has bloomed, you don’t need to fertilize it any longer. Plus, another tip to keeping your orchid in bloom is to carefully prune the orchid while it is blooming. You will then be able to see a second set of flowers develop.
With the right amount of care and attention, you can own a gorgeous orchid plant that will display a full and rich blooming season.
Esther Smith, author
You don’t have to be a horticulturist to grow orchids. With 25,000 species surely there are some that a less-than-green-thumb orchid lover can grow and enjoy. Speak with your nursery people and they will recommend an easy going species for you. For more on caring for orchids visit us=>