Orchid Care

A Beginners Guide to Caring for Orchids

Is orchid care a mystery to you? 

It always starts out the same way. Those beautiful, exotic flowers where irresistable. So you 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 about orchid care.

Orchid care 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 caring for orchids, are you ready to grow orchids? Let's find out:

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

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're 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?

It's unrealistic to think you can "decorate" your home every day of the year with exotic orchid blooms even with the best orchid care. 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. Having patience is a main ingredient with orchid care.

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 Orchid Care 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 - the Basics

Orchid care isn't complicated.

I'm amazed at all the books and websites that promote their "secret tips and tricks" on orchid care. If you spend your time trying to remember tips and tricks, you'll miss the real joy of growing orchids which is understanding the principles of nature applying them at home. The satisfaction when you get it right is immeasurable.

Don't be fooled. There are no secrets on how to grow orchids. Simply follow the rules of nature and try to apply them at home.

In nature orchids grow in different conditions than houseplants. Ordinary houseplants (such as palms, ferns, philodendrons, etc.) 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.

Light: Orchids require more light than houseplants.            more ......
Water: Orchids don't like wet feet. They want need less water than most houseplants             more ......
Temperature:  Orchids do not require hot, steamy air found in the tropics    more ......

To accomplish these requirements for orchid care, many successful hobbyists 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.

Orchid care at this point is simple. To prolong the life of the flowers, just keep your plant away from direct, hot sun and try to keep temperatures on the cool side.

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. Now your plant is relying on you for proper orchid care so it can flower again.

Orchid care during this growing period means proper light, water, and temperatures.
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!  Giving your plant what it needs to flower again isn't difficult - we'll show you how.

What type of orchid is it?

What orchids can I grow?

Why Hydroponics?

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