Over the last years, orchids increasingly became one of the most popular plants for home. There are over 25000 species and more than 880 varieties, so we have plenty of possibilities to choose what we like. Although growing orchids was once associated with being rich and wealthy, now they are more reasonable, due to all the propagation efforts.
Many of us consider that growing orchids is quite a difficult task, but following some simple guidelines will make you change your mind. Therefore, regardless of how many types of orchids are available, there are certain tips that apply for all of them. Read the article and find out more.
Because there are so many species of orchids, they have different lighting needs, and generally, they can be divided into three main categories. Those which need a high lighting (3,000-4,500 fc) such as Cattleyas or Vanda, medium lighting (1,500-3,000 fc), or low lighting (1,000-1,500 fc), the latter being proffered by Phalaenopsis and Paphiopedilum.
In general, there are simple guidelines that will come attached to the plants when you buy them, but you should know that if they receive too little lighting, the leaves will become greener, and if they are exposed where is too much light, the leaves will become yellower. Also, you have to know that you should never place the orchid in direct sunlight, otherwise it can become sunburned.
Orchids are often classified into three categories: warm temperatures between 70°F (21C) and 85°F (29C) and this category includes Vanda and Phalaenopsis orchids; intermediate temperature between 65°F (18 C) and 75° (24), which is typical for Cattleya orchids; and cool temperatures from 60°F (15C) to70°F (21C) during the day, and here we can find most Masdevallia orchid species.
For things to be simple, you should keep in mind that the nighttime temperatures are around 15 F (8C) lower than daytime temperatures. As a rule, if you buy orchids from a place with a similar temperature of your house, then you should not encounter any difficulties in growing them.
Orchids need more humidity than most homes have, namely about 70%. Therefore, you have to provide the plants the humidity level they need. In order to do that, you can spray them with distillate water if you can. This routine may be necessary several times a day, but is efficient and it also cleans the dust from the leaves.
Another method of keeping the proper level of humidity for orchids is to place under them a tray with water that will evaporate and give extra humidity. Make sure that the plants don’t sit in the water.
Overwatering is one of the most common causes that kill the orchids. In case you’ve forgotten if you watered the plant, you can stick a finger into the pot and if it’s dry, then it’s time to water it. In order to water an orchid, you have to run water through the pot in the sink for 15 seconds and to be sure that it is thoroughly wet it.
Then let the plant drain for 15 minutes. Another method to water the plant is to submerge the pot for a few seconds, and then let it drain off excess water. Generally, orchids have to be watered every 5 to 12 days, depending on the type of orchid, the temperature and the time of year. During the summer, it needs more water than in winter.