Passion for orchids is rightfully called an absolutely special field of floriculture. These amazing plants are so unique in their growth form and rhizome type that it would be a crime to classify them as ordinary flowering plants.
Among the orchids, there is a huge number of both the hardiest and most unpretentious, specially adapted to room conditions, and very capricious ones, able to grow only in greenhouses or special showcases.
It is quite difficult for those who are just getting acquainted with these exotic plants to find their way around what exactly a specific orchid needs and decide to replenish their collection with tropical stars. And there can be only one recommendation here – start small.
Choose wisely, or start small
If you are just starting to admire orchids and, despite being fascinated by the beauty of the flowers, you are afraid to have such a beauty because of the difficult care, start with the most unpretentious members of the family. Acquaintance with orchids is better to start with varieties and species that are resistant to diseases and standard according to their requirements.
Phalaenopsis are best suited for beginners in orchid cultivation. Malayan flowers or butterfly orchids stand out not only for their strange long flowering. These orchids are really easy to care for and they are the best way to learn how to handle all representatives of these amazing plants.
Soft light is the key to the beauty of an orchid
Choose the right lighting for the orchid. These tropical flowers in room conditions belong to light-loving cultures, but at the same time they do not tolerate direct sunlight. The sun’s rays should not fall on the flowers and leaves of orchids, and even more so on transparent pots, if the orchids are grown in special containers and belong to species capable of photosynthesis. Orchids should be placed near those windows facing west or east. The most shade-tolerant of all orchids are just phalaenopsis, which can accept the conditions of north-facing windows.
Smart watering of orchids
The moisture-loving nature of orchids and their tropical origin should not mislead you. In most cases, it is enough to water orchids about once a week. It is better to water an orchid by immersion in water or by the shower method, while the first method is much simpler and more reliable. A pot with an orchid is immersed in a container with rainwater or other soft water so that the substrate is well soaked with moisture (no more than 20-30 minutes).
If you are lucky and your tap water is not hard and is suitable for the care of indoor plants, then you can place the plants under the tap or soak the substrate with a shower, but remember that the water should not be cold in any case. As soon as the water completely soaks the substrate, carefully remove the container on a stand or tray and let all excess water drain (it should not stagnate around the orchid roots and remain in the tray).
Nutrition = height
All orchids without exception need a fairly high concentration of fertilizer in the soil. For these cultures, only special fertilizers intended for orchids can be used and they should be applied only together with water for irrigation. For phalaenopsis and other disease-resistant and undemanding orchids, it is enough to feed once a month or every 3 weeks in a standard dose, or twice a month with a reduced amount of fertilizers by half. Fertilization is not applied throughout the year, but in the months of active development.
Careful, but thorough transplantation
Orchids need to be transplanted on average every 2 years. You need to handle these plants very carefully, because the roots are easily injured and broken off. The substrate is completely replaced. Orchids require special soil mixtures for these types of plants, consisting of coarse particles of bark, moss and other useful components. Before planting, you need to carefully examine the plant and remove all soft, damaged, dry areas by treating the sections with charcoal. The orchids are not buried, they are carefully placed on the mound at the bottom of the pot, and then the free space is filled with substrate.
If you are afraid of damaging the rhizome of an orchid when transplanting, ask a fellow florist who already knows how to handle orchids to help you with the first procedure. After the procedure, do not water the plant for at least 3 days, and resume feeding only after a month.
Orchids cannot bloom without temperature control
In order for orchids to bloom, they need cool conditions, in particular, the temperature at night during the period of preparation for flowering should drop at least to 15-18, and ideally to 12-15 degrees. It is necessary to clarify the information about the specific time of transfer to the resting stage and the indicators required by your orchid when buying, because each variety has its own specific features and “habits”. But simply providing cool conditions for orchids will not be enough.
There should be a contrast between the day and night temperatures: at night, the air temperature in the room where the orchid is standing should drop by an average of 4-5 degrees in relation to the day.