Orchids are some of the most beautiful flowering plants on earth. Their flowers come in a variety of vibrant color and sizes. The elegant plants are indigenous to tropical humid environments, but these days they are a staple of decor in most homes. So if you do find yourself with a brand new orchid the question is: how do you take care of it?
Orchids are not that difficult to take care of, as long as you know how to care for them. There are some important elements to consider when taking care of orchids: water, humidity, soil, fertilizing, and light. Below are some tips to keep in mind when caring for your orchid!
Water and humidity
One of the most frequently asked questions is how often do we water orchids? The best answer to that is, it all depends on how much water the plant needs, and how much it has used up. Humidity and air also play a role on when to water your orchid. The best way to check if it is time to water your orchid is to stick your finger in the soil. If the soil is not moist, then it’s time to give your orchid some water. It is very important not to over water orchids since over watering will kill them. It is, in fact, one of the main reason why indoor orchids die. So when it is time to give your orchids some water we suggest 2 ice cubes for every stem in the arrangement. The reason for this is because orchids are indigenous to areas that do not get heavy rainfall, instead they receive light rainfall that penetrates the soil slowly. So a slow melting ice cube is an easy way to replicate this!
There are two main types of soil: moss-based, and bark-based mediums. Moss-based soil holds water. Therefore, when using moss-based soils, it is very important to make sure not to over water your orchid. Bark-based soils on the other hand do not retain as much water as moss-based ones, so it takes away some of the dangers of over watering. However, these soils disintegrate quicker and necessitate re-potting at least once a year. If you find that the current soil you are using isn't working for your orchid, the best thing to do is to re-pot your orchid. Check out this round sandstone pot from Bloomr that would be perfect for orchid arrangements.
Orchids will grow and flower better when they are "fed". Choose fertilizers with little to no urea. This is because the nitrogen in urea must be converted into a usable form by the organisms in the soil. However, orchids do not grow on soil. So using fertilizers with urea might prove to be a waste of money. Whatever your chosen fertilizer mix says, only use a quarter of that strength when fertilizing. It is a good idea to water the orchid first before fertilizing. Some growers recommend fertilizing orchids every time you water, others once a week in the summer and once every two weeks in the fall and winter.
Orchids need a lot of light. How much light? As much light as you can provide without burning them. Direct light might cause leaf scorch. Store your orchid in a room where natural light can penetrate for most of the day, usually in rooms with east- or south-facing windows. Dark blotches on leaves could mean sunburn. Move your orchid plants further away from the windows during the hottest part of the day.
As we mentioned, orchids are indigenous to humid climates, so it is important that you do your best to recreate this climate for the longevity of your orchid. The best way to replicate the humidity is to spray your orchid leaves and flowers with water. Simply put water in a spray bottle and give your orchids a mist of spray every day! Since orchids thrive in moist climates it is important to keep your orchid away from direct air vents which will dry them out.
Taking care of orchids is not as daunting a task as some people believe. All you really need is to know what to keep in mind and what to avoid when taking care of them. Like any other living organism, a little love goes a long way!