3 Orchid Care Tips
If you’re like us and LOVE plants and flowers, orchids are the best of both worlds! Their long lasting, exotic blooms have made them a popular choice for those wanting to add some life and colour to their space. One of the most common types of orchids is Phalaenopsis, or Moth Orchid, which is prized for its huge, colourful blooms. And these elegant flowering plants aren’t nearly as difficult to care for as their reputation may suggest! Orchids are actually a pretty low maintenance, hardy house plant, and are extremely rewarding when given the correct conditions. Here are three tips that will set you up for success with your orchid plant:
Tip 1: Be Mindful When Watering
The number one killer of orchid plants is too much water. Most orchid species are epiphytes, meaning that in nature, they grow on the bark of trees rather than in soil. Wild epiphytic orchids get all of their water and nutrients from the air and can handle periods of dryness. Their roots have adapted to expect moist air and dry air, but NOT to be waterlogged. Too much water, or the incorrect potting material, can cause root rot, and kill your orchid. Orchid plants should be allowed to dry out between watering, so the best way to water is the check the potting medium – if it’s completely dry, water away! If it’s still wet, or even if you’re unsure, it’s best to wait.
Tip 2: Give a Little TLC
Though adequate watering is enough to keep an orchid plant alive, if you want your plant to THRIVE and continue to produce beautiful blooms, there’s just a little more work to be done. Like most tropical plants, orchids do best in a humid environment, so they’re sure to thank you for boosting the humidity in their home. Fertilizing your orchid plant, either with a diluted indoor plant fertilizer or a specialized orchid food, will encourage fuller, more frequent blooms. This can be done weekly from spring into fall, but you can take a break during the winter and while the plant is blooming. Every couple of years, you can treat your orchid by repotting it in fresh potting material. We plant our orchids in sphagnum moss, but there are plenty of different materials that you can mix and experiment with.
Tip 3: Be Patient
Just because your orchid's flowers have died back doesn’t mean your plant is dead! With time and patience, your plant can continue to produce beautiful flowers. When the flowers on your orchid have dropped off, just cut back the flower stem, continue to care for your plant, and after a few months you should see a new stem growing. While you can keep your flowering orchid in lower light areas and display them where you can best appreciate them, it’s a good idea to move them to a brighter spot while they’re dormant or growing their new stem. While trying to get an orchid to rebloom it’s best to keep it in a nice, bright window with plenty of non-direct or filtered sunlight.