Caring For Orchids

In years past caring for orchids was considered a pass-time only for the rich and famous.  Orchids were reserved for special occasions, such as weddings.  With the information and equipment available today caring for orchids has become available to many more people.  There are over 25,000 species alone, when you count hybrids anyone should be able to find and orchid that they can care for.

Orchid care begins with knowing the requirements for the particular variety of orchid you have or plan to get.  The care for an orchid is no more difficult that the care required by most house plants, it might just be a little different.  The blooms that an orchid will reward their caregiver with make all the work in caring for the orchid worth it, few flowering plant can rival it.

A very common orchid that you will see available in stores, or receive as a gift, is the phalaenopsis orchid, ‘Phal’ orchid for short.  The Phal orchid is easier to care for than most of the other, more rare, orchids.  Two popular colors of phal orchids are white a purple.

With proper care an orchid may bloom for at least months, depending on the variety.  Most orchids prefer a dappled sunlight, or more indirect sunlight, especially avoid the noon day sun.  Placing the orchid in an easterly facing window will provide abundant light in the morning but protect the orchid from the sun when directly overhead.  Artificial lighting can be used to supplement to or substitute for natural sunlight.

Orchids prefer temperatures in range of 55 degrees Fahrenheit to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  Avoid rapid changes in temperature as this will stress the orchid.  Caring for orchids means making sure to water them when needed.  Watering an orchid is not difficult, but is done somewhat differently than many other plants.  A common error by first time orchid owners is to over water, which may cause the roots to root.  Most orchids are an aerial plant, with there roots attached to the surface of trees or other raised structures.  They are used to their roots drying out between rains and the roots store the water for release during dry spells.

Orchids tend to also like a higher humidity than many people will be comfortable keeping their house.  This may be part of the basis that orchids are only for the rich, as greenhouses are an excellent place to grow orchids.  Don’t let this dissuade you from having orchids in your house though.  Simply placing the orchid pot on a humidity pan will supplement the orchid’s immediate environment enough for it to thrive.

To keep your orchid in bloom as long as possible, fertilize the plant before it blooms.  This makes the nutrients available to the plant during it’s growing season and will lengthen the life of the blooms.  Typically orchids will bloom n the fall for the northern hemisphere.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.