5 Great Steps When Caring For Orchids
When you look at orchids you can often think that these exotic flowers are difficult to grow and only the best gardeners can grow and care for them. Years ago, this was mostly the case, but today there is so much rich knowledge out there about caring for orchids that anybody who wants to learn, can grow these beautiful plants.
With such a diverse range in species and hybrids, you could be thinking where do I start? There are 25,000 species and over 100,000 hybrids to choose from, so picking one that is simple to grow and maintain with minimal cost is easy.
Let’s go over some key steps you should consider:
Step 1 – When picking your orchid, find out if they require any special care and maintenance. This will help your orchid have the best chance for longer health and show a wonderful bloom when in season. One orchid that’s a good start to learn with is the Phalaenopsis orchid. They can be easier on growers who have little experience and still look great with a stunning purple or a silky white flower. Phalaenopsis orchids can bloom for up to three months in the right conditions.
Step 2 – Sunlight is something you don’t want to over look. Orchids love sunlight, but some varieties cannot handle the strong midday sun. A good choice is to place the orchid near a window or opening in an eastern facing direction. This should be sufficient from morning til the evening. Another option is growing them under artificial light. Fluorescent light can replace natural sunlight, while the number of hours exposed should be the same as a normal day. Be sure to keep the orchid a foot away from the artificial light.
Step 3 – Your orchid is a flower that is found in tropical climates and this is why they enjoy high temperatures and humidity ranging from sixty to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They maintain their bloom from gathering moisture from the air but when these levels drop or rise too dramatically, they begin to wither with a loss in their bloom and bud. Maintaining moisture is key but not all orchids are the same. Some prefer watering once a week, others every eight to ten weeks and even some orchids enjoy extreme dry periods.
Step 4 – This brings us to potting and the soil or orchid media. Generally, check for dampness and if it feels dry this indicates that the water periods need to be adjusted. When checking don’t just touch the top soil but go through and look at the roots and see if they are dry. For the majority of orchid species, they need to remain moist. Showing good care in fertilizing your orchid keeps their health in optimal shape. Use a mild fertilizer that’s good in quality nourishment and adding this before bloom season can extend their time in flowering.
Step 5 – When orchids are in bloom, prune them with care as you can extend their bloom time and sometimes they grant you a second batch of flowers! Use garden scissors and be careful not to snip off too much as the orchid may not recover from such a dramatic loss.
Keep these steps in mind along with good care and growing practices, you’ll see your orchids become lush and vibrant with health and colour for years to come.
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