Caring For Orchids – Orchid Care Tips
Caring for orchids is easy when you take to time to select the best
species for your comfort level and environment.
With the right knowledge, many orchids are easy to grow and care for.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how simple it is to ensure your
orchids grow and prosper.
Orchids are an elegant flowering houseplant with a finicky reputation.
you let their difficult reputation deter you from purchasing
these exotic houseplants, review the basic orchid care tips outlined
Please note - the basic tips on caring for
orchids featured below are a generalization – for orchid care tips
related to a particular species, check out the links at the bottom of
for Orchids – What Are the Basics?
indirect light is ideal for most orchid species. Two orchids
require less light are moth orchids and lady’s slippers. These two
orchids can be grown under fluorescent lighting.
Choose the best
orchid plant for your situation by selecting orchids that will thrive
in the indoor and outdoor lighting and temperature conditions that you
can easily provide.
If you will be displaying orchids outdoors,
choose locations that are protected from wind and receive filtered
shade – away from direct sunlight.
requirements will vary, depending on the species of orchid; however,
there is one thing all orchids have in common – their need for a
temperature variance of 15 - 20°F / 8 - 10°C between day and
As a rule, most orchid temperature requirements fall into one of these
Cool – 60°F / 16°C Nights and 75°F / 24°C Days
Intermediate – 65°F / 18°C Nights and 80°F / 27°C Days
Warm - 70°F / 21°C Nights and 85°F / 29°C Days
potting soil is made up of a mixture of coarsely chopped fir bard or
redwood bard, with small amounts of peat moss, perlite, or vermiculite
This medium (or some variation) drains quickly and has
enough room between the particles for air to circulate around the
Since orchid mix decomposes slowly, it is important to re-pot (using
fresh orchid potting soil) every two years.
though orchids are slow growing plants, they should be fed regularly.
High-nitrogen houseplant fertilizer at ¼ the normal strength is the
recommended dosage. Feed orchids roughly once a week.
When flowers start developing, you might consider switching to a high
phosphorous fertilizer for a few weeks.
orchids are moved outdoors during the summer, you can increase the
ratio of the fertilizer to ½ the normal strength due to nutrients being
washed away by the need to water more frequently.
shed their leaves and have a period of rest during the winter. If this
is the case, not feed you plant during this time – resting orchids do
not need to be fed.
requirements will vary, depending on the species. Orchids that
naturally grow in trees or on rocks should dry out between watering.
Ground dwellers need a more steady supply of water.
have pseudobulbs (swollen stems), which function as water-holding
organs. Pseudobulbs gather and store moisture until it is
Orchids are easily damaged by too much water; pay very close attention
to your orchids watering requirements.
are sensitive to the salts that can accumulate in the potting medium.
Flush your orchids monthly by giving your plant a thorough watering.
After excess water drains away, repeat process.
orchids require a minimum of 50% humidity. Mist plants lightly with
distilled water. Tap water can leave salt deposits on the
Another way to supply humidity is to place orchid pots on a tray filled
with damp stones or pebbles.
If you have several plants that require humidity, you can place a bowl
of water or a humidifier near the plants.
Although orchids thrive when slightly root-bound, most orchids should
be repotted every two years.
main reason is to provide fresh potting medium, since orchid potting
mix decomposes gradually over time. The best time to re-pot an orchid
is during the active growing period (usually during summer).
When caring for orchids, the
time to propagate an orchid plant will depend on the species and growth
habit. Do not assume your orchid will need to be divided every time you
re-pot the plant.
For repotting instructions, refer to the specific orchid species.
you pay close attention when caring for orchids, the plants will let
you know when they are ready to be propagated. How it should be done
will depend on the species.
produce aerial roots that can be cut off the top of the plant, with
roots still attached, and potted up.
other orchids that produce pseudobulbs can be cut into clusters of
three and repotted.
form clumps, and should be divided every four to six years.
and moth orchids
develop small plantlets (keikis) on the flower stem close to the parent
plant. When the plantlets have three leaves, and a root that is 3 in /
7.5 cm long, cut them off and plant them in a new pot.
For detailed propagation instructions, refer to the specific orchid
for plump roots and no bruises or soft spots on the crowns. Buy mature
plants that are on the verge of producing a flower spike.
that are in full bloom, or are on the verge of blooming are usually
priced higher than those that are not ready to flower.
Information Related to Caring for Orchids and Growing Orchids
Caring for Orchids – Get
to Know the Different Types of Orchids