Orchid Care - The Basics

Orchids are tougher than most people think. Although some orchids are fussy, many adapt comfortably to the light and temperatures found in most homes. Before buying a new plant, take some time and look around to observe your environment.  See what conditions you can give your plants. Then, choose plants that will grow in your conditions.

With over 100,00 types of orchids to choose from, this can be overwhelming. Don't worry, we'll help you find what will work for you. First we need to learn the basics of orchid care.
Orchids are different from houseplants. Unlike palms, ferns, or philodendrons, orchids grow on rocks and trees, not in the ground. In fact, planting an orchid in potting soil is probably a sure way to kill it. In Nature, the orchid's root system absorbs water and nutrients from the the air and occassional rain shower. Their thick roots, leaves and stems are designed to store water when rain is scarce. 
pottingmaterial01 Orchid growers use a combination of bark chips, spaghnum moss, tree fern, styrofoam, etc. as potting material to simulate nature. Depending on where your orchid was grown (Hawaii, Florida, Taiwan) these planting materials will vary. That's why you can buy two identical orchids and they will likely be planted completely different potting mixes. For a beginner this makes correct watering a mystery. Even experienced growers have trouble getting it right! The clay pebbles in our Hydroponic System replaces all these materials. And a water gauge tells you when and how much to water. What could be easier!
Because they grow high in the trees, orchids require more light than houseplants. Leaf color is a good indicator whether your plant is getting enough light to bloom. The dark green leaves found on most houseplants is a sign that your plant is not getting enough light. Inadequate light is the most common reason orchids don't bloom. Light green, even yellow tones means the plant is getting the light it needs to create flowers. Remember, light is the only source of energy your plant has to develop flowers.  
Dark green leaves on the orchid on the left is a sign this plant is not getting enough light to bloom. Healthy orchids should have light green leaves as shown on the right.