Caring For Orchids at Home
Whether you have a tropical orchid that is native to the rainforests or you have an exotic orchid that was purchased at a department store, there are a few things you can do to care for your orchid at home. The most common cause of death to houseplants is overwatering.
Orchids need a steady supply of air, moisture, and light to thrive. Some orchids will do well in a small humidifier, but others are better left to their own devices.
Orchids thrive in a south or east-facing window. However, you may need to change the location of your orchid if you live in a hot, dry climate. In this case, you can use sheer curtains to filter light.
A good rule of thumb is to water orchids once a week, if not daily. This will depend on the orchid’s species and climate. In the tropics, orchids are most likely to thrive in humid conditions. In colder climates, they will need more water.
If you live in a cooler climate, you may need to provide artificial light for your orchid during the winter. However, most orchids do not require constant light.
Some orchids, such as lady’s slipper orchids, will thrive under damp conditions. Moss will also help keep your orchid’s soil moist.
Another good tip is to avoid placing your orchid in direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can burn the orchid. Instead, try placing it in a terrarium or other room with indirect light.
Read the step-by-step guide: What you need for keeping indoor orchids.
How To Keep Your Orchids Blooming
Keeping orchids blooming can be a challenge. They require specific conditions, and not all orchids are easy to keep blooming.
Orchids prefer a humid environment with a balance of light, water, and air. These conditions will allow the plant to bloom more often. Keeping the orchid in an area with dappled shade and a west or east-facing window will help.
Orchids require weekly watering to maintain humidity. Watering early in the day with tepid water helps to flush naturally occurring salts from the leaves. During peak growth, fertilize the orchid with a balanced houseplant fertilizer. This fertilizer should be diluted to half strength.
Orchids also like to be placed in a humid microclimate, and misting the plant will help to keep it humid. Pebble trays filled with moist pebbles are also good for increasing humidity. You can also double pot your orchids to increase humidity around them.
Orchids can be purchased at a grocery store or a large department store. There are hundreds of orchid hybrids that are happy growing under lights. Some orchids require no fertilizer in the Winter, but the rest require a weekly feeding.
Some orchids are light sensitive and will suffer if they are placed in a room with a lot of direct sunlight. If the room is bright, a sheer curtain can be used to reduce strong light.
Orchids require weekly watering in warmer weather. Watering the plant early in the morning, when the air is dry, helps to maintain humidity.