It has been believed for some time that caring for orchids was very difficult or reserved only for dedicated enthusiasts. However if you follow a few simple guidelines you can learn how to care for orchids … the easy way. It’s not some big secret, all you need is some good old common sense. Your first step is to carefully choose the type of orchid for your home or garden. If you live in a cooler part of the world, don’t plant a tropical orchid type in your garden! Think about the conditions that you can create for your orchid to give it the best start and choose a variety accordingly.
With more than 25,000 species and many more hybrids, it is possible for anyone to choose orchid types that will fit into their lifestyle, and level of skill as a plant lover. One of the most popular orchids that you may have received as gifts or bought from the store are phaleanopsis orchids, sometimes called a Moth Orchid. These are the popular white or purple orchids that are widely available as they are easier to care for than some of the less common varieties of orchid plants. A phaleanopsis is probably the best choice to begin with.
Caring for orchids should not require anymore work than any other house or garden plants, however some orchids do need just a little attention to detail. Your first step in orchid care should always be to do some research to find out the particular requirements specific to the orchid types you have chosen. You will quickly learn that the different types vary slightly in their basic needs such as water, heat, humidity and sunlight requirements. This is true of many different plants, caring for orchids is no different.
Very few plants can match orchids for their stunning beauty. They produce a delicate and detailed bloom and many are accompanied by wonderful scents. It is one of the things that make them such a popular house plant.
Much of the care you give your orchid will be aimed at producing perfect flowers in abundance that go on and on. Some orchids may be in flower for about three months if they are taken care of correctly.
The most difficult aspect of caring for orchids will be just checking the basic requirements for the type of orchid you have. A good orchid book and a little research online should be all it takes. After that its pretty straightforward.
People often run into problems when learning how to care for orchids, by ignoring the needs of their particular type of orchid. Even the most inexperienced gardener knows not to give a cactus much water. This is the key to caring for orchids. They are very varied, some like hot and wet, others cool and dry, your job is to find out their needs and go. A one size fits all approach will not give the best results.
Orchids are spread through many diverse regions in the world from the Philippines to the arctic circle but the most commonly cultivated ones will have a few common needs.
Almost all orchids need good drainage at their roots. They are prone to various rots and fungal diseases and poor drainage around their roots will cause problems.
Most will tolerate some shade but only a few types will thrive in full, direct sunlight. If you keep your orchids indoors it can be good to place them near an east facing window, where they will get some protection from the mid day sun.
Most orchids like temperatures above 55 degrees Fahrenheit but no higher than 8o degrees. Above 90 degrees Fahrenheit and they will start to loose their buds and may stop blooming at all. Most will not tolerate very high levels of fertilizer. Its good to use slow release fertilizer or even better, a specialist orchid fertilizer.
To help keep your plant blooming you should prune out any dying flower stems and leave room for the new blooms coming through. Pruning orchids is an often overlooked topic all of its own and it is not difficult to learn the basics.
To some up, learning how to care for orchids is by no means difficult but it does require a little attention to detail. If you do a little research you will have healthy, happy, beautiful orchids without too much effort. Keep things simple from the start and make caring for your orchid easy!