Growing orchids is becoming more popular as people begin to enjoy the true beauty of the various types of orchid flowers. Unfortunately, many people have the misperception that orchids are difficult to grow. Actually, most orchids are easy to grow if you follow a few simple steps.
Orchids come from tropical climates and typically like warmer temperatures. The ideal growing temperature for most orchids is between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid exposing your orchids to freezing temperatures.
Most orchids prefer bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid placing orchids where they will be in the direct sun. Ideal locations include covered patios, well-lit rooms, bright bathrooms (which are typically high in humidity) and window sills. A southern facing window will usually provide the bright light orchids like – just not in direct sunlight. Most orchids will perform well inside the home with the proper amount of light and the correct temperature..
Plants require food for energy – just like people do. Feeding your orchids regularly with a good quality orchid plant food is essential to maintaining healthy plant growth. Plant foods that you dissolve in water (called water soluble) work very well for feeding orchids. A plant food like Better-Gro® Orchid Plus® is ideal to use throughout the year to help maintain and promote plant growth. Use it weekly when watering your orchids.
Overwatering is often the most common mistake when caring for orchids. Typically, orchids need to be watered every 7 to 14 days, but this will vary depending upon the temperature and humidity where you are growing your orchid.
As a general rule, let the potting media your orchids are planted in get fairly dry before watering. To check how dry the potting media is, simply stick your finger down inside the pot to feel for moisture. You should never just check the surface as that dries out the quickest.
Plants require water to keep them hydrated. When watering your orchids (whether with a watering can, hose, or under the kitchen faucet) apply enough water carefully and directly to the pot until water runs through the bottom of the pot. You don’t want your orchids’ roots to sit in standing water.
For orchids which are planted in a decorative container without a drain hole, pour off any excess water in the pot after each watering.
Most potting media breaks down (or rots) over time and in so doing, undermines the health of your orchids’ roots. Healthy roots are one key to a healthy plant, so most orchids will need repotting every one to two years. It’s best to use a good quality mix designed for your orchid type, such as the mixes from Better-Gro®. Some orchids, like Phalaenopsis, also grow well when planted in a high quality sphagnum moss, such as Orchid Moss.
Although caring for orchids can be a bit different than other houseplants, it’s easier than most people think. The key is to provide it the proper amount of light, watering and feeding for them to thrive.
Click here to watch our video on general orchid care.