Orchids have become one of the most popular gifts for many occasions! Let's Review how to keep these orchids happy and growing.
Care of your OrchidsThere are 5 really important tips to keep your orchids happy and growing. They are not rocket science, rather, they are the conditions that will make them prosper and thrive.
1. Indirect Bright Light
This is possibly the most important aspect of caring for orchids. They don't want to be in direct sun. They don't grow that way in their native settings and they don't like it when you bring them to your home. If you have a nice sunny south facing window, your orchids will love it there, but only if there is a light curtain or shade between them and the window.
Most people love to go around watering their plants and maybe even letting them sit in a small saucer of water. For orchids this is a death sentence. Orchids are symbiotic in nature, they cling to areas in other trees where branches "v" out. Their roots hang down from the branches and are watered during the rains. When the rains stop, the roots are no longer wet, but dry out rather quickly. At home they are looking for the same treatment. Water them only when they are dried out. Every 7 to 10 days and then do not let them sit in a pool of water. If water seeps out after they have been watered, remove all the water in the saucer.
3. Fertilizing Orchids
Use only fertilizers made for orchids. There is a saying in the orchid community, when you feed your orchids, feed them weekly, weakly. Orchids also do well with a marked change in temperatures during their growing season. If you have nice hot summers, you can find a nice shady spot for your orchid and then leave it outdoors until the temperatures start to drop. 10 to 15 degrees in temperature drops helps orchids to push their new stems and blooms.
Most home gardeners don't like the look of the arial roots on orchids. They just seem to want to stay out of the pot instead of in it. Most of the time orchids look like they are trying to crawl out of their pots. But and this is a big but, you should not repot them until you see a marked decline in the orchid bark and in between the plant flowering. Never ever repot during a blooming period!
5. Check your Orchids often
As part of growing orchids at home, you should check your orchids often. They do happen to come down with some bugs that will impair their looks and could end up killing them. The worst of these pests is scale. Again it is easy to take care of if you are aware there is a problem. A "Q-tip" dipped in rubbing alcohol will dislodge and kill scale insects. You can watch this You Tube video to see how to do this!
If there was just one more tip that I could add in here, it would be to make sure your orchid is in a pot that has drainage. There are specialty orchid pots available. Some of these pots are very beautiful and have designs that make them a really nice focal point. How the pot looks though, is not as important as the fact that it drains water away.
So there you have it! 5 Very Important Tips to keep your orchids happy and blooming for many years to come.
If you have never grown an orchid before, now is a great time to try it. The flowers are incredible and last for months. There is no other houseplant that will do that for you! Drop me a line if you'd like to know more.
*orchid pictures courtesy of Pixabay.com
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