Orchid Care for
orchids is going to be easy .... once you
get the hang of it. Don't be
embarrassed for a minute by what you don't
Can I grow Orchids?
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?
What's the difference
between growing houseplants and growing orchids?
In nature, houseplants grow in the ground whereas 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 enjoy the same growing conditions throughout the year.
Orchids, on the other hand, have a definte rhythm to their growing
patterns. They require changing conditions with each
The key to successful orchid
growing is understanding the changes they're looking for with each
season. (This isn't difficult - just different.)
is my orchid growing in?
grow on rocks and trees, their root system is
different from houseplants. In nature, orchid roots actually grow in
exposed to the weather. Commercial growers use a
wide range of materials to simulate
nature's growing conditions. 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
elimimating all those strange materials.
growing outside the pot?
roots often wander outside the pot, looking for ways to
attach themselves to something sturdy.
Roots growing in the air also collect
So it's perfectly normal to have roots that
out of the grow pot. Don't try to force these roots back
inside the pot.
flowers are falling off! Is my plant dying?
die after they finish blooming. When a plant looses its
the plant has completed its blooming cycle and is entering a growing
season that will bring more blooms later.
This is a normal part of the rhythms of growing orchids.
can I make my
orchid bloom again?
(mature) orchids should bloom
at least once a year, with some plants blooming 2 or 3 times a
have their own internal calendars
that tells them when to bloom - and you can't change
plants bloom in
others bloom in summer. Waiting
for the "blooming season" is one of the hardest things for beginner
growers to do. Don't try forcing
your plants to bloom - it won't work.
two things to bloom; 1)
light and 2) at least a 15
degree difference between day and
night temperatures. Successful
growers have "growing areas" where their plants get
exactly what they need to build up the energy to flower again. Then,
flowers appear, they move the plant to wherever it looks best.
Light: Orchids need
light (more than houseplants)
flowers. This means organizing a "growing area" in a window that gets
light (with some sun) or putting your plants under grow lights.
A temperature difference of 15-20 degrees (or more)
between night and day is necessary
to trigger a
Most orchids bloom during the winter months. If your orchid won't bloom
it's either not getting enough light or evening temperatures are not
cool enough to trigger a bloom cycle.
Booster" fertilizers will
make your plants
Fertilizer formulas for blooming are designed to make bigger
that last longer. They won't make your plants bloom! Only light and
temperature will do that. Trying to force your plants
to bloom by applying "bloom fertilizers" is completely missing
the point about growing orchids.
If orchids bloom only once
a year, why do I see orchids blooming
every time I go to the store?
This is a
trick. It's impossible to sell plants that don't have
flowers so commercial growers
go to great lengths to trick plants into blooming year round. Don't try
is the best
time to transplant my plant into Hydroponics?
The best time to
transfer your plant into hydroponics is after it has finished blooming.
This signals the start of the growing
season, when hydroponics will really help.