Many people are afraid of buying and owning orchids, since they’re not like traditional potted plants. While most Orchid varieties are easy to grow, it takes some time and there’s a bit of a learning curve to understand how to properly take care of them.
The most important thing to remember about orchids is that they are epiphytes. This means they are a type of plant that naturally grows on the bark of trees, as opposed to growing in the dirt.
There are some types of orchids that grow on the ground, such as lady slippers, but most of the orchid varieties you’ll find in Canada and the United States are meant to grow vertically.
Whether you’re interested in buying orchids or you’ve been gifted one, people often ask “how do I care for orchids properly?”. Thankfully, taking care of your orchids isn’t difficult,It’s just different than what you would expect with a standard house plant.
As long as they are properly cared for, orchids are able to live indefinitely and can be in bloom for many months throughout the year. When it comes to blooming plants, orchids are an excellent choice and offer great value as long as they are well cared for.
Today we’ll be looking at how you can take care of your orchids to ensure you’re able to enjoy their beauty for years to come.
Key Tips for Taking Care of Orchids
- Avoid over-watering by watering just once or twice per week
- Ensure the orchid gets ample light (at least 6 hours of sunlight)
- Use a fertilizer that’s designed for orchids
- Repot the orchid with a fresh orchid mix when it stops blooming
Avoid Over-watering Your Orchid
The biggest mistake people run into when it comes to taking care of orchids is giving them too much water. It’s definitely one of the most difficult aspects of caring for your orchid.
Using the right amount of water depends on the Orchid variety, the orchid mix you’re using, and the ambient temperature and humidity. The safest strategy here is the amount of water that you use when you’re Watering your orchid.
You will want to be using a pot that has drainage holes at the bottom. This helps to prevent water from pooling at the bottom of the pot and over saturating the orchid.
Roughly once per week, pour water into the orchid pot and let it drain through the bottom. This is easy to do by bringing it to the sink, or using a water bottle and a method for catching the water.
Once you notice that the soil, or orchid mix, is completely saturated, stop adding water immediately. The tell-tale sign is that the water starts quickly draining through the bottom of the pot – that’s how you know you’re done.
At this point you can put the Orchid back in its growing space and wait again until next week. It’s a good idea to establish a watering routine so that you’re watering your orchids on a regular basis and can avoid any issues with over-watering.
Ensure the Orchid Gets Ample Light
The amount of light your orchid needs depends on its variety. Different types will have different light needs so it’s important to learn more about your specific type of orchid so that you can provide it with a suitable amount of light.
Generally, orchids are very light hungry plants. If you want the plant to start blooming, it needs approximately five to six hours of light per day.
It’s a good idea to set up the Orchid in a bright area that receives indirect light. Rooms and windows facing east and west are ideal.
Avoid leaving the plant in direct sunlight for more than two hours per day. You’ll be able to see if there is too much light As the leaves will start to go pale and develop brown patches.
During the warmer summer months you can leave the orchids outdoors as long as you remember to keep them out of direct sunlight for more than a few hours. Keep in mind that if they are kept outdoors, especially in dry conditions, you will need to monitor the water levels more consistently to avoid the orchid drying out.
Use a Fertilizer That’s Designed for Orchids
Using a fertilizer that’s designed for orchids is a good idea if you want them to grow really well. There are a number of balanced fertilizers that will help your orchids grow and keep them happy.
It’s better to use less fertilizer than you would use for other container plants, but it’s important to keep them fertilized. At the same time you’re watering your plants, on a weekly basis, apply a small amount of fertilizer.
This is going to keep the soil and Orchid hydrated while ensuring it’s getting all of the nutrients and other important elements that keep it healthy and happy. While it’s not entirely necessary to use an orchid fertilizer, it will make things easier to maintain the plant and will keep it growing in a healthier environment.
Repot the Orchid with a Fresh Orchid Mix When it Stops Blooming
When you first get an orchid, it may or may not come planted in an orchid mix. Natural soil isn’t a problem, but orchids will grow better and maintain better overall health if they are planted in a proper Orchid mix.
This is a special mixture of soil and other organic components that helps to promote good airflow and healthy drainage. The problem with leaving orchids in dirt is that it will eventually smother the roots, which can kill the plant.
There are a wide variety of different Orchid mixes, depending on the type of plant you have. These mixes come with desirable characteristics that offer the best combination of airflow, drainage, moisture absorption, and nutrients for the orchid.
To keep your orchid healthy, it’s recommended to repot the plant after a successful bloom. As the plant gets bigger, the roots will start to push against the side of the pot and then onto themselves. This can lead to issues with the roots that can cause the Orchid to die, so it’s a good idea to repot regularly, especially as the Orchid outgrows its current planter.
Whenever you’re repotting, make sure you’re doing so when the orchid has stopped blooming. At the same time, use a fresh Orchid mix and a pot with drainage holes to introduce the Orchid into a healthy new environment.
These Orchid Care Tips Will Let You Enjoy Your Orchids
As long as you follow these orchid care tips you’ll be able to enjoy your beautiful orchids for a long time to come.
It’s definitely not difficult to maintain these beautiful plants, it just requires a different approach than your standard house plants.
Don’t forget to check out some of our own orchid’s if you’re interested in gifting or introducing one into your own home.