Just like with anything that's new, there's going to be questions. Don't be embarrassed for a minute by what you don't know.
Orchid care isn't difficult - it's just different. If you can grow houseplants you can grow orchids. Test yourself at: Is Growing Orchids for You?
In nature, houseplants grow in the ground and orchids grow on rocks and trees. Trying to grow an orchid like a houseplant is a sure way to kill it.
Orchids need more light than houseplants and they don't like wet feet. Growing orchids is more like growing cactus (with a little extra humidity) than growing houseplants.
Houseplants are usually happy in the same spot throughout the year. Orchids, on the other hand, have a definte rhythm to their growing patterns. They require changing conditions with each season. The key to successful orchid growing is knowing what they're looking for with each season. This isn't difficult - it's just different.
Because orchids grow on rocks and trees, their root system is completely different from houseplants. In nature, orchid roots cling to rocks and trees, with their roots exposed to the weather. Commercial growers use a wide range of materials to simulate this. These materials include bark, moss, coco husks and styrofoam. No single potting material works for every orchid so you'll find orchids growing in various combinations of these materials.
One of the biggest advantages of growing with hydroponics is our system eliminates all those strange materials.
Unlike houseplants, orchid roots often wander outside the pot, looking for ways to attach themselves to something sturdy. Roots growing in the air also collect moisture for the plant.
It's perfectly normal to have roots reaching out of the grow pot. Don't try to force these roots back inside - they'll probably break.
Orchids do not die after they finish blooming. When a plant looses its flowers it simply means the plant has completed its blooming cycle and is entering a new growing season that will bring more blooms later.
This is a normal part of the rhythms of growing orchids.
Healthy, (mature) orchids should bloom at least once a year, with some plants blooming 2 or 3 times a year.
Orchids need two things to bloom; 1) adequate light and 2) at least a 15 degree difference between day and night temperatures. Successful growers have special "growing areas" where their plants get what they need to build up the energy to flower again.
Waiting for the "blooming season" is one of the hardest things for beginner growers. Orchids have their own internal calendars that tells them when to bloom. Some plants bloom in winter, others bloom in summer. Don't try forcing your plants to bloom - it won't work.
Trying to force your plants to bloom by applying "bloom fertilizers" is completely missing the point about growing orchids.
This is a marketing trick. It's hard to sell plants without flowers so commercial growers go to great lengths to trick their plants into blooming. This is nearly impossible to do at home - leave it to the pros.
The best time to transfer your plant into hydroponics is after it has finished blooming. This signals the start of a resting season. A new growing season is just around the corner and then hydroponics will really help.
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