You don’t need a green house to successfully grow Orchids, and they aren’t delicate. Like other houseplants orchids only have a few basic needs, after all orchids have adapted to survive in most areas as “wild” plants.
Light is the important factor to successfully raise and bloom orchids. If the leaves become very yellow, move the plant to more shade. If the leaves become dark emerald green, move the plant to more light.
In order to bloom the plant needs light, but not too much. Natural light in a sunny East or South facing windows is best, they like bright indirect light. Harsh South or West windows may be too bright and hot.
Watering is the important thing to get right, and you shouldn’t water them more than once a week. Most orchids in the wild grow on trees or other plants, and they get moisture from the air. An orchid should never be allowed to stand alone in water, you need to let water run or be sprayed over the roots. If the roots are white, firm, and fleshy with green tips the orchid is healthy.
Every Orchid has several ‘bloom spikes’, which takes 90-120 days to bloom from the time you see it emerge from the plant. The spike can be cut to the base when blooming tapers off and you find the stem unsightly. Many people cut the stem to the 1st or 2nd bract on the stem. This can allow the plant to rebloom from an existing spike.
Over-watered orchids have few good roots, and many soggy, mushy, brown, dead ones. Most tolerate being dryer better than staying soggy, so don’t over water, but don’t let them completely dry out either. Room temperate in most homes will be acceptable for growing orchids, anywhere between 13°c (55°F) at night and 27°c (80°F) during the day is best.
Another thing to remember is that in their native environment nearly all plants are exposed to constant breezes. Orchids are no exception. Moving air will help them and cut down on disease problems. You need to raise the humidity levels around your orchid in order to get the best out of your blooms. Find a tray with gravel, and then put water in the tray and then place the orchid above it. The evaporating water will help the plants thrive in a dry environment, but again, never place orchids in standing water. Most orchids are epiphytes, they are air plants and won’t grow in soil. The roots need to dry slightly between watering. Your normal garden soil won’t allow the roots to dry, so the best material to enable the roots to dry is specialised Orchid compost which we sell in small bags – ideal for re-potting.
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