Great orchid growing tips for everyone. Includes the potting medium, watering cycles, correct light source and fertilizing techniques.
Orchids have a solid reputation for being such a beautiful flower and there are literally thousands of natural species and hybrids to choose from if you are thinking of buying one – over 125,000! This magnificent flower is known for being a little temperamental from time to time which is why many people believe that growing orchids is a difficult task. But a few fundamental orchid growing tips such as watering, potting medium, sunlight exposure and fertilizer will help you on your way to having stunning orchids quite easily.
Start With an Easy Orchid to Grow
The Phalaenopsis orchid is very common and very easy to grow. This is because it can be grown in different environments, such as the home or the office. For this reason, it may be a good idea to begin with the Phalaenopsis if just starting out with orchids. Another good reason is because the Phalaenopsis typically blooms for 2 to 3 months which is much longer than some other species. For example, the Cattleya orchid will bloom for only about a month or so.
The Potting Medium and the Watering Cycle
Don’t use standard potting soil for orchids because it blocks the circulation of air to the root system and also the draining of the water. Potting bark is the best choice and another good choice is sphagnum moss which comes from New Zealand. A good watering cycle is once every 1 or 2 weeks, or when you notice that the potting bark is totally dry. During summer, increase this to every 4 to 5 days to account for the rise in temperature. An effective guideline to adhere to is this: the more heat an orchid gets, the more water it should get and the less heat it gets, the less water it should get. If you are using sphagnum moss then you can quite safely water your orchid every 7 to 10 days.
The Light Source and Fertilizing
Generally, orchids do need a good source of light that isn’t too strong. Of course, that does depend on the species. The natural habitat of the orchid is a tropical climate and it’s used to being exposed to both sun and shade. For this reason, the best placement in your home for an orchid is in a window that faces east – this will ensure that it receives the amount of sun and shade that it’s accustomed to and also emulate its natural conditions. If your orchid is getting too much light, its’ leaves will wilt and turn yellow. This means you’ll need to incorporate more shade into its’ routine each day. The yellowing of leaves, though, may also mean it’s not getting enough nutritional content. This is where fertilizing is important – all orchid plants should be fertilized regularly during the weeks that it’s not being watered. Another good tip is that if the potting bark is dry; water your orchid first before fertilizing it.