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10 Tips on How to Care for Orchids (Orchidaceae)

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10 Interesting Reasons to Make Orchids a Part of Your Home!

Houseplants offer a wide range of benefits that are often not fully appreciated. For example, studies have shown that having houseplants in the home can improve air quality, reduce stress levels, provide aesthetic benefits, and increase concentration.

A recent study by NCBI. found that indoor plants positively affect self-reported perceptions of satisfaction with living spaces and mental health. The study, which assessed the effects of plants on psychological indicators, concluded that houseplants have a beneficial effect on well-being.

According to Research Gate, Orchids are one type of houseplant that can be particularly beneficial; they are associated with increased life satisfaction, relaxation, and cognitive performance. Moreover, as reported in another study by Science Direct, plants (such as orchids) were associated with increased productivity among participants who had them in their work environment.

The benefits of keeping houseplants have also been studied from an environmental perspective in several HortScience and Belmont University studies. These studies showed how keeping certain houseplants, such as orchids, can reduce indoor air pollutants including formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene—helping improve the overall air quality within homes or office buildings while providing other psychological benefits at the same time!

1.- About Orchids

Orchids are tropical plants known to be a beautiful and popular type of flower, often given as gifts or kept as houseplants. Although there are many different species of orchids, they all share some basic morphological qualities. One of the most popular types of orchids is the moth orchid or phalaenopsis. This variety of Orchid blooms one to two times a year, and the flowers last from two to three months. 

Other popular types of orchid plants are dendrobium and oncidium, which bloom one to two times a year and have flowers that last a little over a month. One of the most distinctive features of an orchid is its spikes, which are arcs of branches covered in gently colored flowers.

Typically, the petals and sepals of an orchid occur in groups of three. If cultivated outdoors, the bottom petal – also known as the lip or labellum – is curved in this way to attract pollinators such as bees. Depending on the species, the petals of an orchid may have ruffled, curved, or notched edges.

No matter what variety of orchid plants you encounter, these shared characteristics make them easy to identify. Additionally, research has shown that having plants in your house will have amazing benefits for you! Visit our article Amazing Psychological Effects of Nature in Pet-Friendly Interiors to find out more!

How to Care for Orchids (Orchidaceae)

Athena’s Garden PA-OPP4Y-OPP3P Phalaenopsis, Yellow Blooms, Purple Blooms

2.- Selecting the Best soil for Orchids

Most orchids are a bit particular when it comes to their growing medium. Normal potting soil and potting mix are not suitable for the growth of orchids. Instead, you can purchase or manufacture your own orchid medium, which may include a mixture of strange substances that will allow the roots to breathe, such as moss, bark, cork, or even chunks of brick.

You can either purchase this medium or make it yourself. Your Orchid will thrive in a slightly acidic atmosphere thanks to the combination of the growing media, water, and balanced houseplant fertilizer. By providing your Orchid with the right type of growing medium, you will create the perfect environment for the roots to flourish and the plant to bloom.

3.- Selecting the right Orchid pot

Orchids are one of the most popular gifts given during the holiday season. Still, often they are not potted properly and do not last long. Most orchids grow on trees, and their roots are designed to gather water, so they need adequate airflow to survive. If your Orchid is packed with moss and in a plastic pot, it will not be able to get the airflow it needs and will likely die quickly.

While it may be tempting to repot a blossoming orchid in hopes of giving it a better chance of survival, this will actually stress the plant and cause it to lose its blossoms. The best course of action is to cut off the dead flower spike with sterile snippers and repot the plant in an orchid mixture.

Orchid pots have broad drainage openings so water can drain through. The orchid potting mixture contains ingredients like pine bark, charcoal, and polystyrene foam that are beneficial for plant growth. You can help your orchid gift thrive long after the holidays are over by taking these steps.

How to Care for Orchids (Orchidaceae)

Athena’s Garden PA-OPP4Y-OPP3P Phalaenopsis, Yellow Blooms, Purple Blooms

4.- The Best Light for Orchids

Most people are familiar with the beautiful and unique flowers of orchids, but far fewer know the care that goes into keeping these delicate plants healthy. One of the most important factors in maintaining an orchid is ensuring that it receives enough light. An orchid will not bloom without sufficient light, no matter how well it is otherwise cared for.

When choosing a location for an orchid, it is important to avoid direct sunlight, as this can scorch the leaves. Instead, eastern or southern windows provide the perfect balance of indirect light. Another way to gauge whether an orchid is getting enough light is to look at the color of its leaves.

Healthy plants will have green leaves, while dark green leaves indicate insufficient light. On the other hand, too much light will cause yellowish-green or crimson foliage. Feel the leaves to check whether your Orchid has too much light. If they are warmer than the surrounding air, then it is time to move the plant to a less sunny spot.

How to Care for Orchids (Orchidaceae)

Athena’s Garden PA-OPP4Y-OPP3P Phalaenopsis, Yellow Blooms, Purple Blooms

5.- How to Water Orchids

Orchids are one of the most beautiful and unique flowers in the world. Though they are often associated with tropical climates, they can actually be found growing in a wide range of environments. One of the most notable features of orchids is their ability to thrive with very little water.

Orchid roots are adapted to rapidly absorb and exhale moisture, allowing them to survive in conditions where other plants would quickly perish. During the summer months, most orchids require more water than usual. Once a week, soak the roots and fill the pebble tray.

You can also place the plant in the kitchen sink and thoroughly soak it, but make sure to allow it to dry afterward to prevent root rot. In general, you should keep your Orchid warm and only water it once or twice a month. With proper care, your Orchid will continue to thrive and bring beauty into your home for many years to come.

How to Care for Orchids (Orchidaceae)

Plants & Blooms Shop Orchid Plants

6.- How to Fertilize Orchids

One important thing to keep in mind when caring for orchids is fertilization. Most orchids should be fertilized once every two weeks during their active growing seasons (spring and summer) and once every month when they are in their dormant phase (fall and winter).

The best type of fertilizer to use is one with a ratio of 30-10-10 or orchid food, and it should be diluted so that it is only half as strong. When you’re getting close to bloom, it’s best to play it safe and use a balanced fertilizer, such as 20-20-20.

7.- Best Temperature and Humidity for Orchids

If you’re thinking of adding an orchid to your home, there are a few things you need to know in order to give it the best possible chance of thriving. In addition to requiring high levels of humidity and good air circulation, Orchids thrive in temperatures that are higher than 50 degrees and lower than 85 degrees.

If you can create a mild, warm, and somewhat humid climate, the blooms on your orchids will remain more intact for a longer period of time. It is important not to position your Orchid in a spot where it will be subjected to drafts of cold air, direct sunshine, or heating vents.

These delicate orchid blooms are susceptible to wilting when exposed to dry air, direct heat, or chilly temperatures. However, with a little care and attention, you can enjoy the beauty of these exquisite flowers in your home for many months to come.

How to Care for Orchids (Orchidaceae)

Plants & Blooms Shop PB102 Orchid, 2.5″, Pink

8.- How to Propagate Orchids

A mature or large orchid can be divided into two plants by division. First, moisten the Orchid to make removal easier. Second, remove dark, mushy, or papery roots from the Orchid. Only strong roots should remain.

Third, use a sharp, sterilized cutting tool to separate roots and stems (also called pseudobulbs, which are the pod-like structures below the leaves) if they won’t separate by hand. Finally, repot, stake, and water each plant. Orchid seed propagation is notoriously difficult because the tiny seeds require precise conditions.

However, by division, orchids are usually propagated. Consequently, anyone who wants to divide a mature or large orchid into two plants can follow the simple steps outlined above.

How to Care for Orchids (Orchidaceae)

Plants & Blooms Shop PB108 Orchid, 5″, Blue Watercolor

9.- Orchids Common Pests and Diseases

Unfortunately, many common plant pests, including aphids, fungus gnats, mealybugs, mites, scale, thrips, and whiteflies, find these delicate blossoms delicious. To minimize bug populations, a light hand brush can kill the majority of pests. Alternatively, you can spray the insects with rubbing alcohol or alcohol mixed with a few drops of liquid dish detergent to harm their bodies.

Neem oil is another method for bug control that is capable of suffocating insects. In addition to root rot, orchids are susceptible to several fungal diseases, including anthracnose, black spot, botrytis, and powdery mildew. The best way to prevent these diseases is to water early in the day, so the leaves have time to dry before nightfall.

If possible, avoid overhead watering, and water only the roots using a drip irrigation system or a watering can with a long spout. If you notice any signs of disease, such as leaf spots or fuzzy growths, remove affected leaves and dispose of them in the trash. Sterilize your pruning tools after each use to prevent the spread of disease. Fungicides may also be necessary in some cases.

How to Care for Orchids (Orchidaceae)

Plants & Blooms Shop PB102 Orchid, 2.5″, Pink

10.- Repotting Orchids

Orchid repotting is generally recommended to repot an orchid every 12 to 18 months. The best time to repot an orchid is when it has finished blooming. This allows the plant to focus its energy on adjusting to its new environment and developing a strong root system rather than expending its energy on blooming.

Before repotting, water the Orchid well so that the orchid roots are hydrated and less likely to be damaged. Then, after a thorough examination of your plant, it is time to remove the moss from the plastic pot. Using a sharp and sterilized tool, cut away any shriveled, blackened, or rotting roots.

Once the excess moss is removed, you can repot the plant in a fresh potting mix. Be sure to secure the plant in the pot, but do not anchor it down with new roots. These will grow through the potting mix and eventually anchor the plant in the pot. After repotting your Orchid, it is important to find a decent site for it.

A gentle east-facing window is perfect. You will also need to fill a broad, deep tray with gravel to provide humidity and catch runoff water. With these simple steps, you can ensure that your Orchid will thrive.

11.- How to prune Orchids

As any gardener knows, pruning is essential for maintaining healthy plants. It removes old and dying growth, but it also helps to encourage new growth. However, different plants require different pruning techniques. When pruning an orchid, it is important to use a sharp and sterile instrument.

A precise cut will prolong the health of the plant. In general, fading flowers should be removed to prevent the plant from expending energy on old growth. The spent flower should be severed from the main branch. Once the plant has finished flowering, all spent flowering stems should be clipped an inch off the main branch.

How to Care for Orchids (Orchidaceae)

Surprise Moth Orchid Plant – Phalaenopsis – 2″ Pot – Easy House Plant

Final Thoughts and Facts

Make orchids a part of your home and enjoy the beauty of floral extravagance all year round. With just a few plant care tips, you can make sure you buy healthy and beautiful plants at affordable prices; arrange them in your house to ensure they receive the proper humidity, natural lighting, and watering levels that their specific needs require.

You can also talk to your plants for an even more special connection with nature; learn about different plant trends, such as Hanging Gardens and Pet-Friendly Indoor Trees; use evidence-based design principles from psychology to play up the psychological benefits of color, texture, patterns, light, and nature.

To wrap up this amazing journey with your outdoor living room additions – also remember to keep an eye out for any pests that try and hitch a ride in on your bouquets and consider these facts when bringing an orchid home:

  1. Orchids are an ancient, global-reaching flowering plant family, making them truly special for any houseplant collection.
  2. With more species than mammals and birds combined, orchids provide a wide array of options when it comes to choosing the perfect addition to your home.
  3. From minuscule dime-sized plants to giants that weigh in at several hundred pounds, orchid sizes are diverse and eye-catching.
  4. The perfectly symmetrical flowers of orchids bring a unique flair to any room they’re placed in.
  5. Orchids are the only commercially grown flower that results in the vanilla bean – a delicious treat you can grow at home!
  6. Easily grown and re-blooming several times a year, even those purchased from stores may be decades old but remain easy to maintain and care for.
  7. Unfortunately, they’re so heavy they seem to grow upside down – adding an unexpected surprise to their appearance!
  8. Each seedpod contains up to 3 million incredibly tiny seeds – so small you need a microscope to see them! Investing in one orchid now brings the potential for future harvests down the line!
  9. Long-lived with lifespans of up to 100 years, these houseplants make excellent long-term investments that look great all year round! 
  10. Depending on the variety, some flowers will bloom for mere hours while others last months – exciting opportunities with every purchase!

How to Care for Orchids – FAQ

Which Orchid flower is the most popular one?

Moth Orchids are the most popular type.

Are Moth Orchids difficult to care for?

Moth Orchids are actually quite easy to care for. With proper watering and light, they will bloom for several months.

How do I make my Moth Orchids bloom?

Moth Orchids bloom once a year, in the late winter or early spring. To encourage blooming, keep the plant in a cool location with bright, indirect light.

What is the best potting mix for my Moth Orchid plant?

There are a variety of potting mixes available, but bark chips or sphagnum moss are good choices for Moth Orchids.

Is care for Orchid plant difficult?

Moth orchid care can be a bit tricky; however, if you want your indoor orchids to thrive, you need to give them the proper care. With the right potting mix, watering schedule, and light conditions, you can keep your Orchids healthy and blooming for months.

How long do Orchids take to get a new flower stem to grow?

If you notice a new flower stem forming, it helps to be patient, as this fixture on your Orchid can take around three months to grow.

Do I need to be an expert to care for Orchids?

You don’t need to be an expert to care for Orchids, but you should have a general knowledge of plant care. 

What is the best species of Orchid to start with?

Phalaenopsis orchids are ideal for new plant parents because they don’t require too much attention. 

Is Phalaenopsis orchid care easy?

Phalaenopsis orchids are one of the easiest types of orchid species to care for. With proper watering and light, they will bloom for several months.

Do Orchids prefer bright light?

Keep your Orchid in a spot that receives bright indirect light. 

How to Care for Orchids (Orchidaceae)

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M.Arch. Julio Arco
M.Arch. Julio Arco

Bachelor of Architecture - ITESM University
Master of Architecture - McGill University
Architecture in Urban Context Certificate - LDM University
Interior Designer - Havenly
Architecture Professor - ITESM University

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