Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Growing orchids

Phalaenopsis Orchid
Oncidium orchid
Oncidium orchid

Orchids have become very popular!  Their blooms are amongst the most lovely living things that can grace your home. I have several and they are like a gift that keeps on giving.  With the right attention, orchids will grow beautifully for you and live for many years in your home. Both you and the orchids deserve the best care instructions you can get so here they are:

  •  I've found the Phalaenopsis, Dendrobiums, and Oncidiums to be quite easy to maintain, with regular devotion to them. They do like bright light, or a little direct sun, although full afternoon sun is too much. An unobstructed north or east facing window is perfect.   Paphiopedilums or the Lady Slipper orchids prefer bright indirect light, no direct sun. 
  • Because of the bark media that they grow in, I've found the best way to water them is in the sink. A good thorough soak will make sure they are evenly watered. You can also spray their leaves when you do this, keeping them clean and giving them some instant humidity. It's best to let them dry out about 1/2" from the top of their media before watering. I do prefer using touch rather than time to let you know when they are ready to be watered. 
  • If you keep the temperature in your house below 70 degrees in the winter, you shouldn't have to be concerned about the humidity levels, although a daily mist would always be appreciated. If your house temperature is over 70 degrees in the winter and if you keep your air conditioning below 75 degrees you may want to place your orchid on a tray with pebbles and keep water in it below the pot level. That and a daily mist will definitely help increase the humidity level. 
  • Fertilize them regularly, except when they are blooming. You can use a specific orchid fertilizer or a general houseplant food, which works well, too.
  • Please click on comments, if you need any more information or have any questions about orchid care.  

**To see other plants on this blog click here:   The Indoor Garden blog
***For a variety of  video clips on houseplant care from my 90's TV series, click here:The Indoor Garden TV show