You can find orchids for sale in almost any grocery store, garden center, florist, or nursery. The elegant, beautiful orchid blooms attract even the most hesitant flower lovers and make a great gift for any occasion. However, some things make having an orchid plant different from traditional houseplants. Here are some tips and more to keep this plant healthy and strong for a long time!
What are the Different Types of Orchids?
One of the most popular types in America is the moth orchid, which is also known as a Phalaenopsis orchid. Other popular varieties of this flowering plant include Encyclia, Paphiopedilum, Dendrobium, Cymbidium (boat orchids), and Cattleya. They all come in many colors, including shades of white, pink, and purple.
What Soil Works Best for Orchids?
Fir Bark is one of the best materials for orchids since it is natural, has good water retention, and more. Regular potting soil won’t work for orchids. Using potting soil might suffocate the plant, so it is best to avoid this if you use potting soil for the rest of your plants at your home.
How Much Sun Does an Orchid Plant Need?
Fourteen hours or so of bright and or indirect sunlight works best for orchid plants. The best place for an orchid in your home to get enough light is a north-facing window or an east-facing window with several hours of the morning sun.
However, avoid giving your orchid too much direct sunlight, as it can cause your plant to stress and dry out quickly. If you place the plant in a room with direct sunlight, you should consider getting a curtain to reduce the sun on the plant.
What Temperature Works Best?
Orchids are epiphytes, meaning that they grow on trees in tropical climates. Being from the tropics, they do best in warmer temperature environments between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Does this Plant Like Humidity?
Orchid plants do best in a humid environment. Consider placing the plant in a bathroom with a shower since that air is nice and muggy for the plant. Also, consider getting a humidifier to help mimic that tropical environment feel that the plant enjoys.
How Much Water Does an Orchid Plant Need?
Orchid plants can benefit from topwater or even ice cubes to receive water. Also, if you want to go down the misting route, you can do that as well. Consider using a pebble tray for this plant since the water evaporating on the rocks will create additional humidity.
It is best to water the plant when the topsoil becomes dry. When the plant grows during the spring and summer, the plant should receive watering twice a week. During the winter, you can scale down the watering to once a week.
The main thing to be cautious about is overwatering the plant. Overwatering the plant can lead to root rot, which can become a significant issue. If you are looking to fix a root rot issue, you should check out Orchidbliss.com.
What Size Does this Grow to Typically?
Orchid plant size will vary depending on the type you have. For example, a Phalaenopsis will grow about a foot in height, whereas the Espresso will be under six inches.
How Long Does it Take for an Orchid to Rebloom?
Orchids bloom one or two times every year. If you are trying to get your orchid to rebloom, you can also give it orchid fertilizer when watering your plant. Orchid fertilizer is specially formulated to meet your orchid’s needs and encourage healthy roots and reblooming year after year.
Most Common Bugs
Mealybugs, spider mites, and thrips plague this plant. If you notice these bugs on the plant, you can use insecticidal soap to remove them. If you are looking to make your own insecticidal soap, you can visit Todays Home Owner.
Most Common Disease
Bud blast is another issue when it comes to this plant. Poor light conditions, not enough humidity, and inadequate watering can result in the buds drying up. If you suspect that this is happening with the plant, you can slowly change one element so you don’t create a shock for the plant and see how it responds.
When Should You Repot an Orchid Plant?
The best time to repot an orchid plant is when it is outgrowing its current container. Remember, potting soil does not work for an orchid plant, so you need to invest in a bark mixture. Here is a link from Oak Hill Gardens on how to make an orchid potting mix.
Also, be sure to visit how to correctly repot a plant for more general tips that can apply to this plant.
How Do you Propagate an Orchid Plant?
You can propagate an orchid plant by cutting the plant’s stem and leaving 2-3 nodes on it. From there, you want to wrap the stem in sphagnum moss and then place it in water. Once a root forms in the water, you can grow it in a new pot with new orchid soil.
Conclusion – How to Take Care of an Orchid Plant
In summary, taking care of an orchid plant is a little different from traditional plants that may be in your home. For example, you can’t use potting soil for this plant, which might be the most significant difference between it and other plants. However, outside the soil mixture, the plant needs the same thing as other plants: bright light, water when the soil becomes dry, and a warm environment that mimics the tropics.