Orchid Care for Beginners
Orchids have a bit of a reputation for being hard to grow and maintain but they actually make amazing house plants. They thrive in humid areas, but prefer watering only once a week.
They are most successfully grown in bright, but indirect light, placing it near a window would be best. There are specific soil mixes for orchids that are highly recommended for the longevity of your plant. This is a tougher houseplant to manage, but will look amazing in your home and if you learn the proper care, you can enjoy your orchid for many years.
Orchid care is different than looking after your other plants but even beginners can successfully grow these stunning plants. Most orchids are epiphytes, which means they don’t grow in soil—they have aerial roots and cling to trees or other plants in the nature. As houseplants, we keep them in pots of loose, chunky potting mix instead of soil. At Garry’s, we carry an orchid potting mix made specifically for orchids, it’s fortified with beneficial nutrients to help your plants grow and bloom.
People often buy orchids and think of them as disposable plants, throwing them away when their flowers drop but you don’t have to throw them away. With the proper care, you can expect your plant to bloom again and again for years to come.
You may have heard the common technique of watering orchids by putting an ice cube on top of their growing medium and allowing it to melt. We don’t recommend this approach—the cold ice will shock their roots, as they are a tropical plant.
A much better watering method is to water your plant directly, and let the access drain out the bottom or bottom water your plant like we do. You should also wait for the growing medium to dry out completely before you water again.
Orchids cling to trees in their native habitat, so they are used to sitting underneath a nice, shady canopy. The direct sunlight will be too harsh for them and the leaves will get bleached and dry. So you should put your orchid where it won’t get the direct sun, an east or north-facing window or a window that gets some tree or curtain shade.
When the blooms on your orchid start to fade and drop, you need to prune the stem right above its top node, the bumpy parts on the flower stem, where the new growth emerges. Then the stem should continue to grow, and eventually bloom again. As your flower continues to grow, you will need to give it some support using a slender stake and tiny plant clips.
The temperature that your orchid enjoys is usually the same as you have in your home anyway - a little warmer in the day and cooler at night.
To encourage your orchid to bloom you will need to fertilize once a month - we also carry an orchid fertilizer that will be perfectly balanced for your plant.
In summary orchids, take a little more care, but they are so worth it!