Growing Orchids Part 2: Growing Conditions

Once you have made your choice and have brought your orchid home you need to consider the following factors to keep it thriving.

Soil Requirements

Orchids grow in a totally different environment that that of any other plant. Instead of soil they require a base the retains moisture and allows the roots to breath.
Most orchid potting mixes consist of organic fibres and inorganic material and can be any combination of bark chips, moss, coconut husks, charcoal, lava rock, vermiculite and perlite. Some orchids prefers one material over the other and in different grades or sizes so it’s best to know what species you have. You can find orchid potting mixes at your local garden center or flower shop.

Watering Requirements

Orchids can be picky when it comes to watering. They are sensitive to any sort of pollutant or hard minerals found in most tap waters and even in some filtered water. Preferably you want to use distilled water which can be purchased cheaply at any grocery store in large jugs. Orchids do not like cold feet so only use room temperature water.
Thoroughly water your plant and in most species allow it to dry out before you add anymore. Temperature and humidity will effect the frequency that you water so your best guide is the weight of your pot and by getting your fingers dirty and checking how dry the soil feels.

Fertilizing Requirements

I advise that you purchase a orchid specific fertilizer for your plants. Make sure it is water soluble and in general apply it every 2 to 3 weeks while your plant appears to be growing. If you really are not sure how much or how often you are always safer having too little fertilizer than too much. If the leaves of your plant start to get dark and limp then there is a good chance your are fertilizing too much.

Temperature and Humidity

Ideally day time temperatures should be between 20 to 27°C and between 10 to 15°C at night. In most cases a change in temperature from day to night of 6-12°C is needed to promote flowering.
Humidity should be high around 50 to 70% and the air around the plant should be constantly circulating. This can easily be achieved with an oscillating fan.

Light Requirements

You will notice that light requirements will vary greatly between species so find out what yours prefers. Too little light will prevent growth while too much can damage your plant. Pay attention to the colour of the leaves on your orchid. A healthy happy plant will have bright green leaves. Red or yellow leaves indicate too much light and darker leaves means they are not getting enough.

Growing Orchids Part 1: Getting Started
Growing Orchids Part 3: Pests and Disease
Growing Orchids Part 4: Maintenance
Orchid Care Sheets

Share this with your friends:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Comments

  1. A great thing about growing houseplants is that they help you to enjoy plants and gardening all year long. Additionally, there are houseplants for all skill levels and interests.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Growing Orchids Part 2: Growing Conditions Growing Orchids Part 3: Pests and Disease Growing Orchids Part 4: Maintenance Orchid Care Sheets Filed Under: Gardening 101, In The Garden · Tagged: Orchids [...]
  2. [...] Orchids Part 1: Getting Started Growing Orchids Part 2: Growing Conditions Growing Orchids Part 3: Pests and Disease Growing Orchids Part 4: Maintenance and Orchid Care [...]
  3. [...] Orchids Part 1: Getting Started Growing Orchids Part 2: Growing Conditions Growing Orchids Part 3: Pests and Disease Growing Orchids Part 4: Maintenance and Orchid Care [...]

Speak Your Mind

*