Gathering some general orchid information will give you an insight to what it takes to grow and care for your orchid. Written below are some general facts and information about orchids that will get you on your way.
Orchids can be found naturally in their environments but there are even more hybrids available today. Many species of orchids grow best in cold conditions however there are several species that grow very well in room temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, with the proper amounts of air, fertilizer, light, and water. Because of this orchids have become one of today’s most favorite house plants.
Different species of orchid flowers bloom differently. One type of orchid may bloom only once a year and another may bloom several times a year. A few even bloom continuously year round. The blooms also last for a different length time depending on the specie. The Phalenopsis orchid plant is one of the easiest orchids to grow. It adapts very well to the home or office environment. The Phalaenopsis bud opens, and the sprays will stay open for two to three months. While a Cattleyas orchid plant will last only up to a month after the bud opens.
The orchid’s fragrance is another aspect that makes them very popular. Some orchids are amazingly fragrant. However, the scents vary widely from fragrant orchid flowers. Some species have extremely strong fragrance while others orchid plants have a very subtle fragrance. The scents range from flowery to fruity. Some of the more amazing orchids have the familiar aromas of chocolate, citrus, coconut, lilac, raspberry, and many more.
Orchid plants need air to circulate at the root of the plant so drainage of water is very important. Regular potting soil will not allow enough air to penetrate or for proper water drainage. Orchids should be planted in New Zealand sphagnum moss. Pots that allow good drainage must be used to grow orchids. A rule of thumb is to water orchid plants once or twice a week. Summer heat may require you to water every four or five days and with less heat your orchid will need a lesser amount of water. Orchids planted in bark will require more watering than those in New Zealand sphagnum moss. Plants in New Zealand sphagnum moss can typically be watered every seven to ten days.
The amount of light that is required depends on the species of the orchid. Regardless of the species they do not like too much or too strong sun light. Many orchids do best sitting in an east facing window. Naturally found orchids typically are found in tropical conditions where they receive both shade and sun. Orchids that suffer from either sun exposure that is too strong or being in the sun too much will start to show yellowing in the leaves. If yellowing occurs you should decrease the amount of light your orchid is getting and increase the amount of shade. If yellowing continues it may indicate that the plant is not getting sufficient feeding. Orchid plants require fertilizer regularly about every other week. Always water your orchid plant before applying fertilizer. A diluted nutrient solution works best when the potting media is wet.