Easy Orchid Care
Orchid care and cultivation is often thought of
as challenging, to be left only for expert orchid growers to tackle. Many home
gardeners don't try it due to the notion that orchids are just too difficult to
take care of. The good news is, orchid growing isn't as hard as you think.
The key to orchid care is based on a few
simple rules. Orchid plants need
- a nice, warm environment (60 to 80 degrees
- high humidity
- around 12 to 14 hours of light daily
- protection from direct summer sun
- proper food and potting
- good air circulation
Display your orchids on window sills, shallow
ornamental dishes, groups of pots, on wall-mounted brackets, or in ornate
half-barrels. The following basics will get you started in the colorful world of
Orchid Care Basics
Orchids dont grow in dirt like regular
plants do. Instead, they grow in a chunky, airy mix of charcoal, sphagnum
moss, bark, and a few other ingredients. Orchid roots need to have exposure to
the air, or the plant will die.
Most garden centers sell orchids, orchid
supplies, and the bark mix that they grow in. For the best blooms and growth,
apply a special orchid fertilizer once every 2 to 3 weeks. Feed the orchid a
weak orchid food every other week.
Another must-have for proper orchid care is
good air circulation; it's essential for healthy orchids. An open window is
all you need, or use a small fan that is directed away from the plants.
Orchids crave humidity. You can mist
them lightly each morning. An easy way to give them a humid environment is to
set the plants on a tray of damp pebbles, keeping the base of the pots out of
Water in the morning whenever the potting fiber
looks dry, but never let it get soggy. Use room temperature water. While you can
water orchids once a week most of the year, you may need to do it daily in
Good Orchid Care Means Repotting
Once the orchid plant outgrows its container,
or the fiber begins to break down, it's time to repot. This will happen about
every 2 years. The best time to transplant is after the plant has flowered.
When you repot them, groom them! Prune away
dead roots with clean, sharp scissors. Divide overgrown orchid plants so that
each new plant has three or more pseudo bulbs (the swollen stems) and some new
Orchid roots are a wonderful indicator of
the plant's health. They should be firm and white, showing healthy green
tips. Soft brown roots may mean the orchid has received too much food, or too
much or too little water. It also may indicate the potting medium has decayed
and needs to be changed.
orchid care as you go with a good starter orchid plant that is easy to grow!