Orchid Care Guide: Care Instructions for 23 Popular Orchids
Orchids with wet roots are susceptible to root rot and other problems. However, while your orchid's current container might not be ideal, never repot an orchid while it is in bloom. Doing so is too stressful on the plant, and it will likely drop its blooms. Instead of repotting, it's better to hold off on water. Mar 15, · Potting mix plays a huge role in how often you need to water orchids. Usually, orchids are potted in either sphagnum moss or bark chips, which both work well but need slightly different care. Moss acts like a sponge, soaking up water and taking a long time to dry out.
Last Updated: April 8, References Approved. This article was co-authored by Harmony Corelitz. Harmony grew up helping her parents run their family business in plant maintenance and interior plantscaping.
Harmony specializes in indoor plant care and interior plant design. She started her pop-up plant and vintage home goods shop called Younger Child and has helped Plants how to unkink a chainsaw chain Friends grow and expand to two locations. There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
This article has been viewedtimes. Phalaenopsis orchids, also known as moth orchids or phals, are a popular house plant native to Australia and southeastern Asia. Moth orchids are easy to raise and, if you take good care of one, you'll be rewarded with beautiful flowef. For the healthiest phals orchid possible, make sure your orchid is in a plastic or clay pot filled with bark mix.
Related Articles. Article Summary. Identify that you have a Phalaenopsis orchid Phals for short. Different types of orchids have very different care.
The flower spike comes tale between these leaves. The flowers on phals can be any color, including white, pink, yellow, striped or splotched.
How to take care of an orchid flower are usually 2—4 inches 5. There may be more than one spike on a large plant and it may have anywhere from flowers. If you aren't sure you have a phal, check the internet for images.
Do not over water your phal! This is the number one cause of death and you may not even know you are doing it until one day the plant is dead. This means that their roots aren't sitting in wet soil under natural conditions. Frequently, orchids from big box stores are either over watered or under watered. Over watered plants get root rot and eventually die because they can't absorb water.
Under watered plants have hard, brittle roots. Healthy roots should be thick, a silvery green with bright green tips. It's a good idea to check the roots on a new phal when you bring it home.
If all the roots are brown and squishy, trim them off and repot the plant. Keep it on the dry side until you see new roots forming. When you do water typically once a week works well in most homes,  X Research source but you should put your finger into the substrate to feel it before watering, if wet, hold offallow water to run until it comes out of the holes in the pot.
Do not get water on or in between the leaves, as this can cause flowef, which can kill the plant. Since orchids are plants that drink water floder of other plants to survive, it is better to water your plant every other day. Generally, under watering is a lot less likely to kill a phal than over watering. Pot your orchid correctly. Phals can be potted in a variety of substances, but how do i buy a laptop most important is that the potting substrate allows the roots to get some air and drys relatively quickly.
This means never, ever use potting soil for houseplants on phals. One of the easiest thing to use is a bark mix for orchids. To re-pot your plant, get a plastic or clay pot. Plastic holds water better than clay; if you have tendency to over water, go with clay. Go with a pot size that fits the roots the best, not the leaves. Smaller is always better, as it dries faster.
Position your flower in the middle of the pot and fill in the pot with the bark mix. As you fill, what is a pst test should bang the pot against the floor to help settle the bark. It helps to soak the bark beforehand in water. Pots should always have holes in the bottom to allow good drainage. You can put a plastic pot cae holes into a more decorative container if you want to and then just take it out when you water it.
Orchids don't like to have wet feet! Not all roots may fit in the pot and that is what to do in bruges Phals have aerial roots, you can mist them with a spray bottle when you water the plant. Do not put them in direct sunlight. Phals are a lower light orchid. They do not like to be in direct sun and ho can burn their leaves easily. Not enough light will keep the plant from re-flowering. If it's been 6 months since you've seen signs of a flower spike, try putting the plant in a orchie more light.
Keep your plant warm. Phals do not like to get too cold. Temps at night shouldn't get below about 62 degrees. Daytime temps in the mid 70's to 80's are good. Don't forget to feed them. Phals need plant food at some point.
Once a month diluted in water works well. You should use about half the recommended amount on the label and avoid food that use urea for the nitrogen, as it can burn the root tips. Try again, if your first flower doesn't make it! Starting with a healthy plant is easier than trying to revive one that wasn't cared for properly in the store.
Look for a orchdi with big thick roots and nice shiny leaves that don't droop too much. Harmony Corelitz Plant Specialist. Harmony Corelitz. In general, you should repot your orchid once a year. You might need to repot it sooner if the roots have completely overgrown the pot it is in or if it starts to lose some lower leaves. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 0. For an orchid, you're going to need to take care to see what type of soil substrate it needs. Orchids aren't typically grown in actual flowed.
They're going to be grown in Spagna moss, or a mix of bark. They can be potted in krchid bark as well. You're going to want a pot that has lots of aeration. Orchids are epiphytic, so their roots need a lot of aeration and drainage. You're never going to want to pot an orchid into a pot that is much bigger than its existing grow pot. They like to stay very compact in the soil since their structure is really held together by the roots. I would suggest choosing a pot that's only inches wider in diameter.
Transparent pots are best for phals so you can see if there's a need for acre by actually seeing the roots. Not Helpful 11 Helpful At a certain time, it's normal for phalenopsis orchids to lose their leaves as they produce new leaves.
It is sometimes caused due to overwatering as well. Card Helpful 9 Helpful If the roots are healthy, it could recover, but it may take a while. Not Helpful 4 Helpful If you mean the roots are turning silver, it means they are healthy but can use a watering.
Mar 20, · Indoor Orchid Care Tips Orchids need ample water but should be allowed to dry out some between waterings. One way to check for watering is by poking your finger about an inch ( cm.) into the growing media. If it’s dry, give it some water; otherwise, let it be.
These blooming plants may seem challenging to grow because they often need different care than many other houseplants. But once you know the basics, you can keep these gorgeous plants thriving with confidence. Orchids have a reputation for being tough-to-grow houseplants. Sure, they may require specialized potting mix and a certain amount of water to thrive, but this large, diverse group of plants includes many species that are easy to grow indoors.
And in return for your efforts to provide what they need, they will reward you with their exotic-looking flowers for years to come. To help you gain confidence caring for these beautiful flowering plants, we rounded up some of our best tips for keeping them happy and healthy, including how to water orchids , how to fertilize them, and what potting mix to use. The most common cause of death for orchids and most houseplants is usually overwatering.
Instead of watering your plants on a strict schedule every other day, or once a week, for example , pay attention to your orchid's needs and how much water it uses. This can vary based on the humidity, light, air movement, and potting mix its roots are growing in. The easy answer for when to water most orchids including Phalaenopsis and Cattleya is just before they go dry.
It could be every few days or even every couple of weeks depending on the orchid species and the environment in your home. The potting medium you use plays an important role in how much water your orchid needs—bark dries out quickly, while moss soaks up water and holds onto it for a long time.
To tell if it's time for a watering, stick your finger in the potting mix, then pull it out and rub your fingers together. You should easily be able to feel if there's any moisture. If you don't feel any, it's time to water your orchid, and if your fingers feel moist, check again another day. Over time, you'll start to develop a sense of how often your orchid usually needs water, and how conditions like seasonal changes can affect the frequency.
You'll also start to develop a "feel" for how light the pot gets when the bark or moss is dry, which is another handy way to tell if your orchid needs a drink. Watering is as simple as pouring water into the potting mix, and letting any excess drain through the bottom. Just make sure you pot your orchid in a container that has a drainage hole. It's a lot more difficult to water plants in containers without drainage because the water can collect at the bottom, so if your pot doesn't have a hole or a few , consider repotting or drilling one yourself.
When moss and bark are moist, you'll see the condensation on the inside of the pot. When it's dry, you won't, and you'll know it's time to water. Potting mix plays a huge role in how often you need to water orchids. Usually, orchids are potted in either sphagnum moss or bark chips, which both work well but need slightly different care. Moss acts like a sponge, soaking up water and taking a long time to dry out.
Because it'll hang on to moisture for a while, you can wait longer between waterings, but moss is also less forgiving if you overwater your orchid. Bark doesn't hold much water and drains quickly, which makes it a good choice for orchids like Phalaenopsis and Cattleya that need to dry out between waterings.
Other orchids such as lady's slipper and nun's orchid like more dampness, and will do better if you don't let them dry out. Moss is a good choice for these species because it'll supply them with moisture for a longer period of time between waterings. You can also grow these water-loving orchids in fine-textured bark, but it still won't hang on to moisture as long as moss, so you'll have to water them more frequently.
Your potting material will eventually start to decompose, especially bark. You should repot your orchids in new bark every year or two, because it won't drain as quickly as it decomposes.
Remove the orchid from the old bark which you can toss on your compost pile! You should be able to spot any dead roots right away—they'll be dark and shriveled, compared to the firm, light-colored healthy roots. Place the orchid back in the pot or repot it and refill with new bark.
Another recommendation is to fertilize with quarter-strength, water-soluble fertilizer each time you water your plant. You can give this mixture to your orchid on a weekly basis though it's better to under-fertilize than over-fertilize. Also, make sure the potting mix is a little damp before fertilizing because it can burn the roots if they're completely dry.
From a plant's perspective, houses usually have dim light, so you'll usually have better luck with orchid varieties that tolerate low light levels. East-facing windowsills are great spots for orchids; an unscreened south-facing window can be a little too bright and hot, but a sheer curtain can add just the right amount of filtering. You can also set the orchid back from the window by a few feet so it's not constantly in strong indirect light.
West-facing windows are usually too hot for orchids, but with some filtering a sheer curtain again , you can sometimes make them work. We wouldn't recommend try a north-facing window, because they're usually just too dim for orchids to succeed. Your orchid doesn't have to be glued to the same spot though! If you want to use a blooming orchid as a table centerpiece or display somewhere other than a windowsill, there's no harm in moving it.
Just take it back to its spot by the window once it's done blooming. Most orchids are tropical plants , but that doesn't mean they need rain forest humidity to grow in your home. The dry atmosphere of an air-conditioned home can be challenging though, which is why a daily mist, or setting your orchids on a moist bed of gravel can help create the humidity they crave.
If you decide to use gravel, just make sure the pot is sitting on top of the rocks, not nestled in them. Otherwise, moisture can seep into the pot and drown the roots over time. Orchids might have different needs compared to most of your plants, but if you can master the basics of their care, they can be easy-care houseplants too. Since they're unique, you can display them in fun ways too, like creating hanging planters to show off their eye-catching blooms.
If you haven't tried growing an orchid before, stick to something simple, like a moth orchid , before working your way up to fancier varieties. By Viveka Neveln Updated January 12, Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission. Save Pin FB ellipsis More.
Person watering pink orchid above table. Credit: Peter Krumhardt. Left: Step 1: Remove dead roots when repotting an orchid. Right: Credit: Peter Krumhardt.
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