Hey there Orchid lover! Confused about how to take care of your precious orchid plants? Are you someone who is keeping an orchid plant and worrying why it doesn't bloom like in those pictures you have seen? Or are you currently planning to start gardening Orchids? Well then, I got you! Stay on the page and let me tell you how to take care of orchids aka "the beauty of the tropics".
It is a common misconception that these strikingly beautiful flowers are very hard to take care of. But the truth is most of them don't know what they are doing wrong. If you have proper understanding and interest, anybody can keep them as an ornament for their garden.
Being a member of the family Orchidaceae, Orchids blooms in a wide range of varieties in color and shape. They are one of the largest plant groups commonly found in wet tropics. Orchid flowers are praised all over the world for their unparalleled elegant flowers.
As a symbol of strength, beauty, and love, orchids are cherished on special occasions as well as in personal gardens.
Ancient Greeks consider orchid flowers as a symbol of virility. Each orchid has its own meaning and you can't go wrong with gifting orchids to your beloved ones. With a little bit of care and attention given, we could keep the orchid plant alive and healthy for years.
Let’s get to it:
5 important things to keep in mind while growing and caring for your orchids
The first and foremost rule in orchid gardening is not to overwater the plants. It’s hard for beginners to figure out the right amount of water needed. Try using ice cubes to water as it ensures more absorption and prevents the roots from rotting away. You can also learn more on how to water potted plants.
You don't have to water orchids daily like the other plants. Once or twice a week is enough for them as they can hold water in the plant. If the roots of your orchid appear brown, then you are overwatering it and if it is grey they need more water.
If they are still green, you are doing great!
These delicate tropical rainforest native plants love humidity. Orchids do not want excess water in their roots but they need adequate moisture on their leaves and stems. While growing them inside the house, spraying mist will help to adjust the temperature.
Spray on the aerial roots too, excess water will be evaporated quickly. Use distilled water or boiled, lukewarm water instead of plain tap water. Be careful not to give too much moisture and also present them fresh air to prevent stunted growth. You can also use an indoor plant humidifier instead.
Like all other plants, orchids also need optimum sunlight. Their light requirements are different according to their variety and breed. But never place an orchid under direct sunlight. If you do so, they might get sunburnt within a few hours.
Try to place them under indirect sunlight, not too high and not too less. Growing orchids in greenhouses or giving them artificial light with fluorescent bulbs are practical ideas. You also can place them at window sills facing north or west.
When the sun goes down, a bit of cold and darkness will help your orchids to rebloom.
You can try the ice cube method in fertilizing also. Freeze the orchid mix with water into small ice cubes to increase absorption. If you are using the pouring method then you don't have to water the orchid at the same time.
Use the fertilizers specially designed for orchids that are available in most garden centers and online. A good example is the rePortme Orchid fertilizer available at Amazon. Keep in mind that orchids may not be able to absorb some components in common fertilizers like Urea.
If the leaves appear very dark green, then you might probably be feeding the orchid too much. Do not increase the concentration of the fertilizer if you miss feeding one time. Coffee grounds, used tea bags, and eggshells are all excellent natural fertilizers for orchids as well.
Furthermore, here’s a list of the best slow-release fertilizers for flowers and most shrubs.
After one blooming cycle when the flowers dry and fall off, it's pruning time for your plants. If you’re a complete beginner, you might be a little anxious about how to successfully prune the plant. But don't worry, orchids need to be pruned to become healthy plants and for better blooming.
To do it, select a green and firm stem. Cut it with sterilized scissors or a knife with its end diagonally. If the stem seems unhealthy, cut it a little above from the base. Try pruning during the fall, as orchids are mostly dormant in that season.
Bonus tip: Common Orchid varieties for beginners
Still puzzled about which orchid variety you should choose? Well, there are thousands of options for you. But let's start with some easy-to-take-care ones.
a. Phalaenopsis or Moth Orchids
Phalaenopsis orchids are inexpensive and also easy to grow. They are available in different colors. One of the best options for beginners as they require less space to grow. A spot with adequate light and warmth will make them smile.
b. Tropical Slipper orchids
They have different-shaped flowers and they last for a long time. They don't require extreme care and blooms even when the conditions are not so favorable. If you have not so much time to spend on orchids, go for this one!
c. The Oncidium Alliance
They have stunning flowers which look like dancing ladies and also have a scent of vanilla and chocolate. What's more to ask for? They can be grown in your window sills and decorates the house with attractive flowers.
d. Prosthechea cochleata or Cockleshell Orchid
Also known as Octopus orchids, they have upside-down flowers which look like an octopus. Their flowers have a nice fragrance and they bloom all around the year. This variety is pretty easy to culture too.
You’ve just read about five vital tips on how to take care of orchids anywhere at home. To summarize, always select appropriate varieties of the plant which go well with the climate of your country. Once you start growing them, it is easy to find out which variety is suitable for you.
Besides, keep in mind that orchids are delicate plants and they need a lot of love. If you give them proper care and shower them with love they will bloom gracefully.
Once you pick up the pace of orchid gardening nothing can stop you. Surprisingly, orchids are pretty easy to maintain if you have the right knowledge about them. So, what are you waiting for? Go, make a bright and lovely orchid garden.
Happy gardening folks!