So you have purchased your first orchid from the garden center of the supermarket and now looking for a beginners guide for growing orchids. Right? To grow orchids, you don’t need to be a green thumb. Why don’t you read about some useful instructions and tips on how to grow and care orchids for the proper growth? I promise, that you will re-bloom your orchids.
Growing orchids are addictive and very easy to grow. If you emulate a plant’s natural environment, it will grow vigorously. There are various types of orchids coming from an extended variety of diverse habitat, but the commonly available orchid is Moth orchid (Phalaenopsis). The good thing about this orchid plant is that you can take care of it very easily.
Once you start taking care of Moth and other orchid flowers in a right manner, then they will start growing bigger and bloom extra flowers every year.
In spite of which variety of orchid you’re growing, a few tips and instructions can help you in keeping them sparkling. Beginners guide to growing orchids includes learning a few basic things which are:
Provide Proper Lighting
Different variety of Orchids needs different lighting and normally divided into three categories which are:
- High – 30,000-50,000 Lux or 3,000-5000 foot candles. Some common highlighting orchid flowers are Vanda and Cattleya orchids. If possible, keep them away from the direct sunlight, especially at the hottest time of the day.
- Medium – 20,000 Lux or 2000 foot candles. There are some orchid flowers that can grow in the extra or the limited amount of favored light
- Low – 10,000 Lux or 1000 foot candles. Some common low lighting orchids are Phalaenopsis (Moth) and Paphiopedilum orchids.
Find out with the color of the Orchid leaves, if they are receiving the Proper light or not.
If possible, only provide the light to the orchids which they can happily bear. To find out whether Orchid flower receiving proper light or not, you can check the color of the leaves.
- If the color of the leaves is very dark green, then it means that Orchids receiving less light
- If the color of the flower is medium or light green with yellowish tones, then it means that Orchids receiving sufficient light for blooming
- In case, you notice brown or black patches on the leaves of the orchid flower, then it is a good idea to reduce the incoming light because it’s a sign of sunburn
Note: Very less light and extra light provided to the orchids are one of the prime reasons for the destruction of the orchid flower and normally it is performed by every beginner.
Maintain Sufficient Temperature
Another major difference between orchids and other plants or flowers is nature of encountering the day and night temperature. So for the proper growth of the orchids, it is very important to maintain the temperature, which is perfect for the proper growth.
Different types of Orchids have different temperature needs which are normally divided into three different categories:
- Warm Growing – Warm-growing orchids like Phalaenopsis orchid species like the day temperature between 21C (70F) to 29C (85F)
- Intermediate – Intermediate orchids like Cattleya orchid species like the day temperature between 18C (65F) to 23C (75F)
- Cool Growing – Cool-growing orchids like Masdevallia orchid species like the day temperature between 21C (70F) or in between 15C (60F) to 21C (70F) during the day.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult for the people to provide this temperature to the flower and due to this reason, the cool growing orchid species are not heavily marketed.
Note: Most of the orchids species generally prefer 6C (10F) to 8C (15F) temperature drop at the night.
Orchids loves Humidity
One of the important things which most species of the orchids appreciate is a humidity of around 50% to 70%. Unfortunately, this is preferably more humid than most of the homes. So for the better flowering and blooming of the Orchids, you need to make some extra efforts and provide additional humidity.
Most of the Orchid species loves misting with a spray bottle. If the orchid plant has aerial roots that coming out of the pot, then they will love to get some moisture.
Even there are some tricks or workarounds which you can follow to provide extra humidity to the orchid flower for the proper blooming. Here is what you can do:
- Operate a humidifier close to the orchid plant
- You can put the orchid plant pot on the flat or black pebbles set in a dish or platter and pour some water until it nearly covers all the stones. Egg crate is the best and alternative to the pebbles
- Group the orchid plants unitedly.
- Cordon off the growing area of the Orchids with transparent plastic (Make sure to provide ventilation to protect the plant from the bacteria).
As a beginner, these are some of the best tricks to provide some required humidity to the orchid flowers for the proper growth.
Most of the people are not aware of the fact that overwatering hits far more orchid plants in comparison of underwatering because it will decrease the amount of oxygen and let roots of the plant choke and rot. It is one of the most common reasons of orchid diseases. So whenever you’re not sure how much water you need to pour in the orchid plant pot, do not water!
It is very important to understand how much watering an orchid plant needs, but the question is how?
Most of the orchid plant species only need a weekly watering. After that let them dry slightly before watering again. Alternatively, you can use this method to find out whether the plant needs a watering:
Simply stick a finger few inches inside the orchid plant potting mix, and examine the state of the mix. If it is dry, then it is a right time for watering. Do not water the plant, till the potting mix is approaching dryness.
Best way to water an orchid plant or flower
Simply take the orchid plant pot to the sink and clear all the water through the pot till it passes out the bottom. Make sure to get as much as potting mix wet from the pot.
Alternatively, you can deluge the orchid plant pot into a bucket for several seconds and then take it out and now let it drain off all the extra water
The Symptoms are of the Overwatering
Symptoms of the overwatering are very similar to the underwatering. The Orchid plant appears to dry out or shrivels, it happens because most of the roots have decayed and rotten.
In case, if you’re not sure whether you’re doing under watering or over watering? You can check this thing by taking out the plant from the pot and examine the roots. If the roots are white and firm, then they are healthy. If the roots are mushy and soft, then they are dead. In this situation, the plant needs the re-potting again.
Tip: If the aerial roots of the orchid plant come out of the pot, make sure to keep them wet while watering the plant.
One of the best ways to keep the orchid plant healthy by repotting the orchids plant after several years because the mix (normally bark) in which the plant is potted at first will start to break down. Most of the orchids are epiphytes (“grows harmlessly upon another plant (like a tree) and derives its moisture and nutrients from the air and rain”) and if the potting mix starts compressing, decomposing, and become denser, then orchid plants get troubled because the roots want greater access to air.
Pruning is one of the worst practice which is followed by most of the people. If you are trimming the old orchid flower stem that has turned brown, then it is a good idea because in this condition, there are chances that flower will rebloom, but if you’re pruning orchids to keep them small, then it is a really bad idea because it is very stressful to the orchid plant. Even the worst part is if you cut the leave, the whole leaf of the plant will die.
Keep these things in mind while trimming orchids
- Remove roots, leaves, or orchid flower stems that have turned brown or died already.
- Sterilize your cutting tools or use the disposable razors so that you do not spread the orchid disease between your other plants.
Orchid plants are not dependent on the fertilizers or require heavy doses for the proper growth. In case you’re very concerned about your plant, then you can apply a weak solution of 20-10-20 fertilizer once in a week. If you’re using fertilizers, then it is highly recommended to water the orchid plant with a plain water and remove the salt of the fertilizer accumulated over it.
So these are some of the best tips and instructions which you can follow for the proper growth of the orchid plants.
Best Easy to grow Orchids
There are different varieties of the orchids which are easy to grow. You can check out the list of orchids which are easy to grow.
- Moth Orchids
- Dendrobium Orchids
- Oncidium Orchids
- Cymbidium Orchids
- Lady’s Slippers Orchids
- Cattleya Orchids
- Jewel Orchid
- Cockleshell Orchid
- Nun Orchid
- Odontoglossum Orchids
You can follow all the above-discussed tips and instruction for the proper growth of these orchids species. You can also check the detailed guide on best easy to grow orchids.
Most of the beginners normally have lots of queries on how to grow and care orchids. In case, you also have queries, drop in the comments. I will love to assist you for sure.