To successfully nurture an orchid, you must think like an orchid.The golden rule for orchid success is to imitate the plant’s native environment as nearly as possible. In nature, the majority of orchids are epiphytes, which means they grow on other objects, such as rough bark to support their growth. Most people choose phalaenopsis hybrids (also known as moth orchids) or dendrobium hybrids as flashy orchids.
Optimal Growing Conditions for Orchid Plants
These plants flourish in bright light, but not in direct late-afternoon sunlight, despite the fact that dendrobiums can withstand more sunlight than most other plants. They also need high humidity and ventilation around the roots.
They need regular intervals of dryness alternated with strong watering. Orchids do best in temperatures above 50 degrees but below 85 degrees.The closer you can come to achieving these circumstances, the more success and better blooms you will have.
Most store-bought orchids are packaged in cheap plastic pots with the roots coated with moist moss. This breaches two of the main requirements of successful growth. There is no airflow around the roots, and the roots are never allowed to dry up. Thus, the plant cannot breathe and root rot is unavoidable.
Orchid roots are extremely specialized organs intended to sponge up water very quickly and breathe. They do not deplete the soil’s nutritional reserves.
Repotting Orchids for Success
The first step in caring for any store-bought orchid is to take pleasure in the bloom. Do not attempt to re-pot a plant that is in bloom. After the bloom has finished, remove the dead flower spike from the plant with sterile snippers and repot the plant in a new container.
Orchids should be potted into specialist orchid pots in an orchid mixture. Orchid pots contain big drainage openings so water will run through the pot. They are commonly available. Orchid potting mixture is frequently constructed of numerous chunky components, including pine bark, charcoal, and even styrofoam.
To re-pot your orchid, follow these steps:
- Remove it from the plastic container and carefully scrape away as much of the moss as you can from the surface. Healthy roots should be white and firm, with a little green growth tip.
- Cut away any withered, rotting, or charred roots.
- Set the plant into the pot and fill it around it with potting mixture. The plant should be firmly planted, but it will not be anchored. Eventually, new roots will emerge through the potting mixture and adhere to the pot itself, essentially anchoring your plant.
Once it’s re-potted, choose a good spot. An east-facing window with a couple of hours of gentle morning sun is great. To give the proper humidity and catch run-off water, put the plant into a broad, deep tray and fill the tray with gravel.
Tips for Indoor Orchid Care
Caring for your orchid is quite straightforward. Water it weekly and heavily during the hot months. Let the water saturate the roots and fill up the pebble tray. It doesn’t hurt every so often to put the plant in the kitchen sink and soak it down.
Don’t worry, you won’t kill it as long as it’s allowed to dry out later. During the growing season, feed it weekly with a dilute solution of a powder or liquid fertilizer.
In the winter, keep your plant warm and decrease the water back to once a month or so. It should be misted on a regular basis to ensure that it remains hydrated. Don’t fertilize it. If you observe signs of discomfort, such as fading leaves, wrinkled leaves, or no blossoms, move the plant and keep tuning your circumstances.
Once an orchid finds a pleasant position and falls into a habit, the plant should routinely throw forth new roots and leaves or canes and repay you yearly with a gorgeous bloom.