Growing Orchids for Beginners

Orchid growing for beginners always starts out the same way. Those beautiful, exotic flowers where irresistable. So we purchased our first orchid, brought it home, followed all the instructions, gave it tender loving care, and it died anyway.  

Welcome to the world of orchids! Don't be embarrassed for a minute by what you don't know.

Growing orchids is not difficult - it's just different. They aren't the tempormental creatures you think they are. They can actually be easy to grow - if you know what to do.

Before we start talking about orchid care for beginners, are you ready to grow orchids? Let's find out:

1. Do you have success with houseplants?stickman03.gif

Orchids don't need a lot of attention but they do require some of the same basic care that houseplants need. If you can grow houseplants - you can grow orchids.

2. Are you ready for your first plants to die?

stickman04.jpgWe were all "orchid killers" before we became "orchid growers". Until you get the hang of it, don't expect great things from your first plants.

3. Do you have the patience to wait for flowers?stickman05.jpg

It's unrealistic to think you can "decorate" your home every day of the year with exotic orchid blooms. Orchids do not flower continuously and those dazzeling displays don't last forever. Orchids need time to build up energy between flower cycles (sometimes up to a year!). And most orchids are not all that interesting to look at when they're not in bloom. You're going to need some patience here.

4. Can you give the plant what it needs to grow (and bloom)?

stickman02.jpgAfter flowering is finished (usually 1-3 months), orchids need the right conditions to build up the energy to flower again. So, when that big, beautiful display of flowers on the dining room table fades away, you'll need to move that orchid back to its growing area so it can build up the energy to flower again (don't worry, we'll show you how).

Still with me? Great! If you can make it through our 4 Steps to Growing Orchids for Beginners you're on your way! You've got what it takes to grow orchids!

Now for some good news! Orchids don't need a lot of attention and are tougher than you think. Although some plants can be fussy, many will adapt comfortably to the conditions found in most homes. 

Orchid Care for Beginners - the Basics

Growing orchids isn't complicated.

I'm amazed at all the books and websites that promote their secret tips and tricks on how to grow better orchids. If you spend all your time trying remembering tips and tricks, you'll miss the real joy of growing orchids - understanding the principles of nature and how you can apply them in your home.

Don't be fooled. There are no secrets to growing orchids. Simply follow the principles of nature.

Orchids are different from houseplants. In nature, ordinary houseplants (palms, ferns, philodendrons) grow on the forest floor. Orchids, on the other hand, grow on rocks and trees, not in the ground. Planting an orchid in potting soil and treating it like a houseplant is a sure way to kill it.

What are the basics of orchid care? Just like any other plant, they need Light, Water, and Temperature. To accomplish these requirements many successful growers use two different locations for their plants. I describe this as:

 "a place to grow your plants and a place to show your plants".

The Place to Show:  Orchids in bloom can be displayed wherever they showoff their flowers best (dining room table, kitchen counter, etc,). This is your place for show. There's no need for sun because your plant has stored up all the energy it needs to complete the bloom cycle. In fact, keeping the plant away from direct sun and temperatures on the cool side will prolong the flowers.

The Place to Grow: 
When that big, beautiful display of exotic blooms deteriorates into a lonely stick, the flowering cycle is over. After a brief rest, your plant will start a new growing cycle. This is where you need to give your plant what it needs to grow. That means proper light, water, and temperatures. Although the basics are the same, growing conditions will vary somewhat with different types of orchids. Your plant will use this growing time to build up the energy to flower again. Have patience and you'll be rewarded with beautiful blooms again!  This isn't difficult - we'll show you how.

Basic requirements for all orchids are:

Light: Orchids require more light than houseplants. more ......
Water and Nutrients: Water sparingly - Orchids don't like wet feet. (Think cactus!) more ....
Temperature and Humidity: Orchids do not require hot, steamy tropical temps more ...

What type of orchid is it?

What orchids can I grow?

Why Hydroponics?

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