Orchid plants are famous house plants that are easy to grow and glow up the space with their beautiful aura. Orchid plant care is necessary for the healthy and beautiful growth of the plant.
Once provided with the ideal growing conditions, Orchid plants can quickly be grown and cared for. Orchids come in hundreds of species, but the most commonly grown are – Phalaenopsis, Cattleya, Dendrobium, and Cymbidium.
Orchids have some different requirements from other flowers that you might grow at home but don’t worry because, in this article, we covered everything that you need to know about growing Orchid plants.
Things to keep in mind:
Bright and Indirect Sunlight
Orchid plants should be kept in bright but indirect sunlight. It is suggested to place your Orchid plants near the sill of a north or east-facing window so it gets enough sunlight throughout the day without getting burned.
If you don’t have a north- or east-facing window keep the orchid plant near a west or south-facing window and cover them up with a sheet or curtains.
Apart from sunlight, you can always use a growing light. Place the light 6 to 8 inches above the plant for 12 to 16 hours.
How to water Orchid Plants?
Orchid plants need to dry out completely before watering to prevent rot. You can check if the plant is dried by sticking your finger gently in the mix. Or you can look directly at the roots, if they are plumpy and green they are watered, if they are gray and shriveled they need water.
Generally, orchids need water twice a week in warmer months and once a week in colder months. Use lukewarm water and pour it slowly until it comes out of the drainage hole of the pot.
This is an important orchid plant care tip for beginners.
How to fertilize Orchid Plants?
Fertilizers help orchids to produce blooms and keep them healthy. A balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 is suggested so that the plant gets equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Only fertilize orchids in the growing season before flowering. Stop applying fertilizer after the bloom and in the winter.
Temperature & Humidity
Orchids do well in a moderate temperature that is neither too hot nor cold. But they can survive in a warm and humid environment. They do best in temperature ranges between 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Provide a humid environment that levels between 40 to 60 percent. If your home’s humidity is low use a tray filled with water and pebbles and place it under the pot. Use a dehumidifier to control extra humidity.
Potting mix and Soil for Orchid Plants
Orchids won’t thrive in a regular potting mix. It is suggested to use a fast-draining mix such as moss or bark. If your orchid is in a regular potting mix you might have to change it as the plant won’t produce any blooms. A slightly acidic ph of soil is ideal for orchids.
Bark-based potting mix is a fast-draining mix that prevents water-logging but it fades out easily so you have to replace it as soon as it breaks down. Moss-based mixes are cheaper than bark and retain moisture easily. This orchid plant care tip is often ignored by many beginners so it is important to check it.
When to Repot Orchid Plants?
Check if the roots of your orchid plant are growing out of the mix or if the growing medium is breaking down, if so it is time to repot your plant. Make sure that your plant is done blooming before repotting it.
Choose an appropriate pot for the orchid plant such as a terracotta pot or a clear plastic pot with multiple slots for water to drain out.
While repotting the plant moisten the soil so it easily slides out of the pot. Use a larger pot and fill the empty space around the plant with a fresh mix. As the roots of the plant need time to adjust to the new mix you have to provide support to the plant to keep it upright.
Common Orchid Pest and Disease problems
Orchid plants don’t have any major pest or disease problems but can be prey for many common pests like aphids, fungus gnats, spider mites, scales, and whiteflies. Orchids can also get affected by root rot and fungal diseases such as anthracnose.
Getting rid of these pests is easy, you can use a jet of water, or you can gently rub a mix of soapy water or neem oil on infected areas.
How to Prune Orchid Plants?
It is necessary to prune old parts of a plant to make way for the new ones. When pruning Orchids make sure your tool is sharp and sterilized. A clean cut will keep the plant healthy.
Different species of orchid plants have different pruning needs, however, remove faded blooms from the plant regardless of species. Only remove the faded bloom and not the spikes as some species bloom on the same spikes. Orchid plant care includes regular pruning for healthy growth.
Most common and famous species of Orchid Plants:
Dendrobium (cane orchids)
These orchids are native to Southeast Asia and can grow in all types of climates. Dendrobium are generally epiphytes meaning they grow on other plants but they don’t take any nutrition from the host.
All species of this genus are known for their profuse blooms that come in a variety of tones. The flowers are small and are generally white or purple in color.
Cattleya (corsage orchids)
This species of orchid plant is native to Central and South America. They feature showy, fragrant flowers that come in several shapes and colors. Cattleya flower only once a year, the time frame varies depending on the species.
Phalaenopsis (moth orchids)
This orchid plant species is native to only the tropical regions of Asia and Australia. Phalaenopsis remains the most famous orchid plant as they are very easy to grow and is a popular choice for beginners.
The flowers of these species are generally white, pink, or purple in color and are round in shape.
Cymbidium (boat orchids)
Cymbidium aka boat orchids are native to Asia and Australia and are a much more cold-tolerant species of orchids. They feature a large bloom in winter that can last up to three months with long and thin leaves.
Cymbidium grows best in a moist, loamy, and acidic environment and prefers warmer and humid conditions just like the native tropical regions of Asia and Australia.
These were some of the orchid plant care guides and tips for healthy and beautiful plant growth. By ensuring these few steps anyone would be able to grow beautiful orchid plants in their house. But even after following these plant care tips, if you face any problems you can always rely on the Plantora app for help.
Plantora app is the best plant care app that helps you solve any problem you face with your plant’s growth or care. Plantora provides you complete plant care guide for any question you might have while growing any plant.
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