5 Essential Tips For Growing Orchids Indoors

Here are some tips for growing orchids in general. By following these guidelines hopefully you should have a better understanding on how to grow and take care of your orchids.

These exotic plants are distinct from other residential garden plants. The root system in most species does not work its way into the ground or soil but rather clings on to the surface of objects such as branches, trees, humus or rocks. The roots not only do they absorb water and nutrients but like to breathe as well.

Watering

Orchids are cultivated in the home in pots that more or less tend to replicate an environment of growing in soil like other plants. But the potting material should never be ordinary soil instead it should be lightly packed bark or stone to allow air movement to the roots and good drainage of the potting material. Orchid roots do not like water drenched soil but rather a moist, loose mixture therefore do not over water. Roots need to breathe oxygen otherwise they will rot and consequently your orchid will die as a result. They should only be watered once thoroughly each week and watered again as the potting media is about to dry out. Orchids are tough plants so it is best to let the medium to almost dry out than to over water your orchid. To check whether it needs watering, insert your finger one inch into the medium at the center of the pot. If it feels moist then no need to water. Also when watering the temperature of the water should not be below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) otherwise cold water might damage the roots particularly the very fine hair roots.

Temperature

An additional distinction with orchids from other home plants is the fact most orchids in the wild are conditioned to the variation in temperatures that exists between day and night. Reducing the temperature in the home at night by 10 degrees Fahrenheit (6 degrees Celsius) will induce buds in autumn and winter to flower. This means it is beneficial to reduce the temperature setting of your heater at night when you go to sleep in your home or in the greenhouse. Providing a constant temperature at night with that during the day will not help your plant to flower or grow. Orchids outdoors in the summer naturally experience the changing temperatures between night and day.

Light

Insufficient indoor light is the reason in most situations why your orchid fails to blossom. Regardless of, whether it may appear healthy and shows signs of growth. Orchids that receive insufficient light tend to have a dark green or lush green appearance of their leaves. They should have a light or bright green if they are receiving adequate light for them to flower.

To replicate a growing environment in your home for orchids is by placing them by the window sill. The best spot is by the south or east window. The west window may be too hot in the afternoon and may cause leaves to sunburn. The north window is of inadequate sun light. You will need to provide artificial lighting here if you are to keep them by a north window sill. For your orchids to obtain the full benefit of sunlight have the windows and leaves cleaned frequently of dust and dirt. In the winter, when light intensity is low the use of reflectors will enhance the lighting situation.

Humidity

Orchids thrive in humidity. Humidity is just as important as water, temperature, and light. Low humidity will result in poor health of your orchid.

Humidity is the amount of moisture contained in the air. They love humid conditions of at least 50% to as high as 70-80% relative humidity. At its lowest range of 50% it is still high and not a comfortable level for some people. Fortunately humidity levels of 30% to 40% are acceptable for both orchids and to most people.

Humidity can be increased in numerous ways, by clustering plants together, by placing the plants on water trays, in humidity tents, greenhouses or using humidifiers. Keep in mind though never place your orchids near heaters and air conditioners as these dry out the air.

Fertilizer

The nutritional value of a specific fertilizer used for an orchid depends on the type of plant the orchid is. It also depends on the type of potting medium used as well. For example bark based medium require high nitrogen fertilizers. Proper guidelines would suggest using fertilizers every 7 days while the plant is in the active growing stage. The frequency of fertilization should then be decreased as the growth slows down and fertilization should be discontinued as the plant enters its rest period and shows no more signs of new growth. At this point it would be wise to thoroughly water the orchid at the very least once a month to flush out residual fertilizer salts. The residual salts may cause burning of the roots there are diluted fertilizers available to use in avoidance of this from occurring. Always follow the instructions given for fertilizers. Even when you are using balance fertilizers they too must be diluted to one quarter of the strength to prevent root burns. If one desires their orchid to flower then a blossom booster can be used 10-30-20. This type of fertilizer is low in nitrogen (10) high in phosphorous (30) and high in potassium (20). Many orchids flower in the winter for example the phalaenopsis is such a plant that makes it a fitting orchid to bloom indoors.

Hopefully the tips suggested here should give new growers a clearer understanding and to demystify orchid growing that many beginners have when it comes to caring and growing of orchids.

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