Orchids have long been a symbol of love and beauty. Grown by enthusiasts for their sheer elegance and fascination, they're also favored as either a corsage worn on the dress, or as a wristband at many proms and special events.
Find the right orchid for your home. The proper care of orchids starts with choosing plants that are suited to your particular environment. Consider the orchid's adaptability, ease of growing, ready availability, and their beautiful flowers.
|Find the right orchid for your home.||The proper care of orchids starts with choosing plants that are suited to your particular environment. Consider the orchid's adaptability, ease of growing, ready availability, and their beautiful flowers.|
|Buy flowering plants.||The plants that already have flowers are a great buy, because it can take up to five years for a seedling to produce a flower. Unless you're exceedingly patient, or already have a greenhouse full of orchids, you probably don't want to wait that long.|
|Consider your growing conditions.||Select an orchid based on the growing conditions in your home. This matters because each type of orchid has different requirements, dependent on the orchid's origins.|
|Learn how to water your orchids.||Orchidaceae are one of the largest families of flowering plants, and as such there are many sub-families, or variations, and they have different watering requirements.|
|Maintain the media.||Remove the inner pot from the decorative one, place in the sink or in the bathtub. Add orchid food to a watering can or container, and completely water the base. Allow the water to completely drain before replacing it into the decorative pottery planter. Never allow it to sit in water, as it will kill the plant.|
|Feed the orchid.||In general, once a month is recommended for most fertilizers. Look for fertilizers that contain nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K), plus trace elements like iron (Fe). orchid2|
Orchids are usually grouped into two broad categories that characterize their growth habits. Monopodial orchids have a single, upright stem, with leaves arranged opposite each other along the stem. The flower stem appears from the base of the uppermost leaves. Orchids with this growth habit include the phalaenopsis and vandas.
With 30,000 different species of orchids, it is impossible to give general care and cultivation instructions. However, how an orchid looks can provide clues to its preferences for light, water, and growing medium.
If the plant has few leaves, or leathery leaves (like most cattleyas and oncidiums), it's likely the plant needs a high-light environment. If the leaves are soft and limp (like some phalaenopsis and most paphiopedilum), the plants are probably very light-sensitive, and should not be placed in a sunny south-facing window.
South- and east-facing windows are usually the best spot for orchids. West windows can be too hot, and northern ones are usually too dark. If you don’t have a good window location for your orchids, they will be perfectly happy growing under artificial lights. Orchids should be positioned no more than 6 to 8 inches away from a set of 4-foot fluorescent bulbs. Opinions vary as to the benefits of cool white, warm white, and grow light bulbs. The new full-spectrum bulbs are probably the best all-around choice. Some orchids with very high light requirements, such as vandas and cymbidiums, may need high-intensity discharge lighting in order to flower.