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Orchid Care Tips

Flower experts share their knowledge about how to care best for the tropical orchid.

Originally orchids come from a tropical environment with high humidity and light (although not direct). In order to take care for them in the best way, it is important to know to which family the orchid belongs to. A distinction is made between:

 

  • Epiphytic Orchids

They grow on trees or branches of other plants. In contrast to parasites, they do not divert nutrition from their hosts. Their air roots are the most significant sign that the orchid is epiphytic. These orchids need a pot where they can get sufficient air and can discharge leftover water. Cattleye, Vanda, Phalaenopsis and Dendrobium are epiphytic orchids.

 

  • Terrestrial Orchids

These orchids, on the contrary, grow on the ground, in a moist soil or grove with leafage. A moist subsoil is therefore the perfect condition for terrestrial orchids like Cymbidium, Miltonia or Paphiopedilum.

 

Advisable Amount of Water

Too much water can harm some orchids and the wrong amount of water is the most common care mistake people make. According to the type of orchid, the season, if the orchid is in her growing/blooming periode or not, the frequency of watering should vary (every 5 to 12 days on average). Do not forget that orchids, as a tropical plant, need some humidity (approx. 50-70%), that is also why a Phalaenopsis is such a good plant for the bathroom.

These orchids need constant humidity (not wetness):

  •     Paphiopedilum
  •     Miltonia
  •     Cymbidium
  •     Dontoglossum

These orchids needs a consistant humidity during her growing period, but should dry in between them:

  •     Cattleya
  •     Oncidium
  •     Brassia
  •     Dendrobium

Orchids that nearly dry out between the watering periods:

  •     Phalaenopsis
  •     Vanda
  •     Ascocenda

 

General advice for all orchids

Try to keep the leafs dry when you water your orchid. If they get wet, please dry them with a soft fabric. Never leave water pile up in the pot, otherwise the roots can digest. Avoid placing the orchid in direct sunlight. Never cut the air flowers, these are essential for the plant! If you want, you can give her every month special orchid nutrition, but do not go overboard with it - less is sometimes more! When the orchid lost all its blossom, cut the stamp above the lowest knot straigt. This is going to boost the growth of potential branches, which could bring extra blossoms, if you continue to care thoroughly for your orchid.

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