Orchids are wonderful, elegant, colorful plants and you don’t need to be a perfect green lover to obtain wonderful and spectacular blooming effects. As a matter of fact, although it may seem difficult to care for orchids at home, actually if you are careful or you simply read this article and follow our tips, you may be surprised 😉
Let’s start by learning that orchids are herbaceous plants belonging to the Asparagales species and they grow all over the world with the exception of Antarctica and deserts. The tropical species are epiphytes, thus they grow climbing on trees and they often show large and generally very fragrant flowers, while those that grow in our latitudes need earth and they are always rather small.
There are about 20.000 species of orchids and more than 100.000 hybrids, in Italy there are 85 spontaneous species in earth, you can find them near the sea or in the mountains.
Among the many varieties of orchids there are some species that may grow indoors. Think in example about the Phalaenopsis (with long stems full of flowers that are blooming for several months if the plant is placed in the right environment of your house), Dendrobium (with long stems and elegant white or lavender flowers), Oncidium, Cambria or Miltonia and Cattleya (with large fragrant flowers in species but not in hybrids).
How to care for orchids: their ideal position
The ideal position of the orchid in the house is near the window, even if it is better to reduce the light through a curtain. The plant itself will “tell” you if the light is correct. It will be enough to observe the color of the leaves which must show with an intense green.
As for the temperature, even if each species has its specific needs, we can say that it usually must not be below 18 ° or more than 28 °. Make sure that there is good air circulation, even by using specific pots, which allow air circulation and no water stagnation. Orchids love humid environments as they are tropical flowers. To create their most suitable environment, our tip is to create a corner where you place them only! Don’t leave a single orchid plant alone but surround it with other orchids pots or tropical flowers!
#PLASTECNICTIPS 🌱 To keep the environment slightly humid, you can sometimes spray some water at the base of the orchid, by avoiding to water the flowers and leaves too much. Flowers could become stained or wither. Instead, leaves should be dabbed with a cloth to dry excess water, thus avoiding to create stagnation near the vegetative core of the plant.
How to care for orchids: watering
The main cause of death of an orchid is because of too much water! Remember that orchids should only be wet when they are completely dry, thus it is impossible to give a precise indication of the monthly watering. In general, in winter 2 waterings per month may be enough, in summer, if it is very hot, even once a week.
The best method for watering orchids is to immerse the pot in a basin for a few minutes (the rim of the pot must leave at the same level of the water), or to water them from above, between the leaves, by avoiding to reach the stem. It is a good idea to water them in the morning in order to give time to the plant to evaporate the water between the leaves before the night, when lower temperatures can cause damages and rots to the plant. A sign that helps us to understand when it is the right time to give water to the plants are the roots. If they appear in a dull green color and with silver gray nuances, then it means that you need to give them water.
Another aspect that indicates the lack of water is the weight of the pot. If we hold it and if it seems too light, it means that we need to water the plant. Well wet roots appear swollen and bright green. If you are undecided about what to do, it is better to have an extra day of dryness rather than giving water when not needed!
How to take care of orchids: the most suitable pot
We recommend transparent pots to allow photosynthesis of the roots although photosynthesis is carried out almost exclusively by the leaves of the orchid and only in part by the roots.
However, the advantage of a transparent pot is that you can easily check the health of the roots and their need of water. Orchids have aerial roots, so they should never be placed in classic plant soil. The ideal substrate for orchids is chopped tree bark, simply called bark. In many cases, we suggest you to add some sphagnum for plants, which is a kind of moss capable of retaining water; it helps to increase the humidity of the pot. The size of the pot must be in proportion with the size of the plant.
For this amazing and precious plant we have realized a specific pot with matt finish alabaster color and with an ebb flow drainage system. The pot is available in three sizes: cm 13, 15 and 18 diameters with the relative saucers in the alabaster version to maintain the aesthetic style. In many cases, the orchid pot is then placed into a design elegant cover-pot, Plastecnic is offering you many solutions suitable for containing this wonderful flower 😉
How to care for orchids: the blooming
When you buy an orchid in a shop, it shows a flowering which can last for months at home, if the plant finds its right conditions. For sure blooming is for you the most “satisfying” moment. If you take care of your plant in a proper way, it will give you flowering that will last a couple of months twice a year (in autumn and spring). Once the last flower has fallen, you can decide whether to leave the stems or to cut them. If you decide to leave them, the flowers will always grow from those stems, but a little smaller. If, on the other hand, you decide to cut them immediately, when the time comes the plant will make a new stem and from there the new flowers will grow.
#PLASTECNICTIPS 🌱 Often orchids do not bloom again and this can happen because of different reasons: we do not pay attention to the temperature difference (for the Phalaenopsis, for example, 5 / 7C ° of overhang are enough, with the foresight never to drop below 16C ° for this species) or in case when light is not enough. So check these two conditions and you will see that flowers will bloom again!!
How to care for orchids: fertilizers
It is a very important practice if you want to keep our orchids healthy and get many flowers throughout the year. Fertilizers can be different according to the vegetative moment of the plant, if it has to grow they must contain nitrogen, while to favor flowering the potassium and phosphorus titers must be higher. The special fertilizers are, usually in liquid form, easier to feed your plant, and the most common system for their feeding is through irrigation, when the fertilizer element is supplied together with the water. Generally, it is suggested to give to the orchid no more than one gram (or one cc) of fertilizer per liter of water.
And what about you? How many orchids do you have at home? 😍