Orchid Information – Orchid Basics
Orchids have quickly become one of the most popular house plants. But growing orchids is different from growing most other houseplants. You will most likely need some orchid information to grow them successfully.
There are many different types of orchids that grow naturally worldwide and even more have been created by hybridizing these. Caring for orchids is not really difficult. With the proper information and the right amount of water, light, fertilizer and air your orchids will thrive.
While many species of orchids enjoy cooler conditions, there are several orchid species that do very well in temperatures that are around 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Depending on the species of your orchid, flowers will last for different amounts of time. From the time that the first Phalaenopsis bud opens, the sprays will remain in bloom for the next two to three months.
The flowers on a Cattleyas orchid plant, for example, may last up to a month in bloom from the time that the bud opens.
One of the things that makes orchids so popular is their fragrance. Some orchids are wonderfully fragrant. The scents from fragrant orchid flowers are quite variable.
Some orchid plants have a very subtle fragrance and other species are extremely strong. The scents can range from fruity to flowery.
One of the best things about orchid scents is the fact that many orchids have familiar aromas such as chocolate, raspberry, coconut, lilac or citrus.
Basic Orchid Information On Soil And Watering
Orchids should be planted in bark rather than potting soil. They can also be grown in New Zealand sphagnum moss. Orchids need to be grown in pots that will supply them with good drainage.
Using potting soil is bad for orchid plants because it cuts off air circulation at the roots and blocks the drainage of the water. This can cause rot and fungus diseases.
Orchids should also only be watered about once a week. During the summer your orchid plant may need to be watered more frequently, about every four to five days.
A good rule of thumb to follow is the more heat, the more water you should give your orchid. Less heat, then lessen the amount of water.
Orchid plants that are potted in New Zealand sphagnum moss should be watered less often than those planted in bark. These plants can be watered once every seven to ten days.
Many people mistakenly over water orchids, believing that because they come from tropical moist climates they need a lot of water. This really is not true and over watering can do far more harm than under watering.
Basic Orchid Information On Lighting
Lighting requirements depend a lot on the species of orchid. Most orchids prefer a lot of light that is not too strong. They do very well sitting in an east facing window.
Since many orchid species are found naturally in tropical conditions, often growing amongst and upon trees, they are used to receiving both shade and sun.
Sun exposure that is too strong can harm most orchids. They prefer strong but diffuse light. Orchids that are suffering from either too much light or too little light will display yellowing leaves.
If this occurs you should increase or decrease the shade that your orchid receives, accordingly. Yellowing of orchid leaves may also indicate insufficient feeding.
Orchid Information On Fertilizing
Orchid plants should be fertilized on a regular basis about every other week. You should also water your orchid plant before applying the diluted nutrient solution if the potting media is dry. Otherwise you might burn your plants.
It’s a good idea, for safety’s sake to start at half the strength recommended by the manufacturer. That way you will have a chance to see how your orchid reacts.
I hope this orchid information has helped. It is a brief overview but should be enough to get you started growing your own amazing orchids but there is plenty of more detailed orchid information available for those that want to dig deeper