Orchid, a flower that usually does not have any fragrance, is loved for its bright and elegant colors. The flower is considered to be a sign of love and is commonly worn by young women as a corsage on the dress or as a wrist band, at the proms. You can also cut their stems and keep them in a vase, placed in your drawing room, adding liveliness to the overall surroundings. Do you want to grow orchids at your home? Are you worried about your ignorance in caring for them? Don't worry! Help is at hand! Go through the following lines and find a lot of useful tips on caring for orchids.
How To Care For Orchids
- When you water the orchids, make sure to allow the media to dry between watering. At the same time, remember to mist the foliage between watering. You should never ever put water directly on the flowers, as it makes them susceptible to fungus and might lead to rotting. You should never ever allow an orchid plant to sit in water and also avoid excessive water in the center of the plant.
- You will have to maintain your orchid plants at the right temperature, which ranges between 65 and 85ºF (18 to 30ºC). Lower temperature can make the leaves turn yellow and eventually drop off, while higher temperature will interfere with growth.
- You need to know when to feed the orchids and when to let them be on their own. For instance, you do not have to feed the plant in winters. However, in the late spring, start applying a balanced fertilizer with every other watering, while using 1/3rd of the normal concentration.
- Maintaining the blooms forms an important part of the overall caring for the orchids. Usually, the flowers start blooming from late winter onwards, primarily February and March, and last from 4 to 12 weeks. When the blooms fade off, remember to cut off the spike ½ inch above from where it projects from the foliage.
- Throughout the life of orchids, you will have to re-pot them, a number of times. This is because the plants produce more new canes or spikes with the passage of time and eventually, end up outgrowing their pot. You will have to replant them in such a case, into a larger pot with porous media and good drainage.
- You will have to be very particular about the media in which you grow the orchid plants. Never ever plant them in soil, just like ordinary houseplants. They are epiphytes, with thick fleshy roots that they use to attach themselves to trees or bark and to absorb water and nutrients. You will grow them best in soil-less mixtures or attached to pieces of bark or cork.
- While growing orchid plants, get either a plastic or clay container (usually, clay is preferred for its excellent porosity). You will have to adjust the watering and fertilizing practices depending upon the type of container and media that you have selected for the plant.