Bet you didn’t know that the orchid family has over 880 different types and over 22,000 species and these numbers are growing every year. Most orchids are tropical plants which live as epiphytes, hanging on to trees for support, while some orchids are lithophytes or rock plants and grow on or among rocks.
The remaining orchids are terrestrials which grow in the loamy detritus of the jungle floor. With a plant family this diverse it is challenging to give general guidelines on orchid care. Yet, there are only several dozen species widely produced and even fewer that are available at your local nursery.
Orchids require more care and attentiveness than your normal house plant, but once you get the hang of it, they can be relatively low maintenance.
What Is The Best Pot For An Orchid
Orchids do not grow in pots in the wild. We put them in pots for convenience and decorative purposes. As a result, it’s important to understand how strange this is for the plant, whose roots like to breathe and be free. This need to breathe through their roots makes it perfectly acceptable for orchid roots to grow outside of the pot.
Because most homes are not humid enough to support epiphytes, a pot can help by holding some moisture around the roots. The secret to growing healthy orchids is to grow healthy roots. While the health of other potted plants are judged by their leaf growth, in the case of orchids, the root growth is the best indicator of the health of the plant. For orchids grown in pots, be extra careful not to rot or smother the roots.
When growing orchids in containers, be sure to select shallow pots with 4-12 drainage holes. Woven plastic or fiber pots most closely resemble how many orchids grow in nature. These basket like containers loosely hold orchid roots and potting media, allowing air and water to easily pass through. Mesh pots are best in humid environments to ensure plants do not dry out too quickly.
What Is The Best Orchid Mix?
The best orchid mixes promote healthy drainage and good airflow. It is important to note that orchids do not grow in soil which can smother their roots and kill the plant. Orchids require special media in which to grow and the best media for an orchid is the one that best matches the type of orchid and the conditions in which it is growing.
How Often Should I Water An Orchid
The first step to a thriving orchid is to make sure that it’s getting enough water. Orchids have a very distinctive way of telling you that they need to be watered—their roots change colour. When their roots turn grey, it means that your orchid needs to be watered. When the roots are a bright green, they are hydrated and do not need any additional water. Orchids will usually come in a transparent pot, so just lift the grow pot out of the planter and check the roots once a week.
In general however, most orchids will need to be watered about once or twice per week, depending upon the season and temperature. But rather than stick to a strict schedule, check the orchid’s roots and let the plant tell you exactly when it needs water.
The best place to water your plant is in the kitchen sink. Use lukewarm tap water and water your plant for about 15 seconds and be sure to thoroughly wet the media. Then allow the plant to drain for about 15 minutes. It may appear dry but it has had enough water.
What Is The Best Spot To Place An Orchid
Orchids prefer indirect sunlight or the shadiest part in your home and because orchids are tropical plants, they enjoy humidity. To give your orchid an extra dose of humidity, let it spend a day or two in your bathroom so it can soak up the steam from the shower.
How Long Before My Orchid Re-blooms?
To prolong the flowering time, keep the blooming plant in a cool, bright room out of direct sunlight. Once the last flower drops off the flower spike, follow the tip of the stem back to the stump of the lower-most flower. Then continue to follow the stem down to the second inverted V-shaped node beneath that stump.
Phalaenopsis are among the few orchids that will rebloom in home conditions. The spike should be cut between the scar that’s left by the first flower and the last node on the stem. One of the lower nodes will then initiate and produce flowers within eight to 12 weeks.
How Often Should I Fertilise My Orchid
Orchids thrive when given a bit more fertilizer than other houseplants. Once you’ve set your orchid in indirect sun, are checking its roots to tell when to water, and are fertilising it regularly, your new houseplant will reward you with beautiful blooms.
We hope that this article will help. If you have successfully managed to keep orchids, do share your tips with us!