A healthy bloom.
It is safe to say that orchid is one of the most popular indoor plants with a huge fan base. The blossoming of different species and varieties fills every hobby gardener with joy and pride – social media sites are also full of uploaded photos of their favorites. Orchid is somewhat more demanding than most houseplants. Most of them grow on trees in tropical rainforests, living an epiphytic lifestyle. If you want to enjoy your orchids for a long time, follow the most important rules.
1. Use a special orchid pot and planting medium
When planting or repotting, do not use universal potting soil, but a medium specifically made for orchids. Coarse-grained, airy soil is particularly recommended, because this way you can avoid stagnant water. The best time for repotting is the spring months after flowering.
Make sure to shake off the old soil completely from the root ball before placing the plant in the new medium. The new pot should be at most only slightly larger than the previous one. Also examine the roots: remove the dead, rotten parts with a sharp knife!
When caring for an orchid, choosing the right pot is crucial. It is advisable to buy a special pot specially designed for these plants. Thanks to their porous surface, clay pots can help these sensitive beauties regulate their water balance. You can often get transparent planters made of plastic, in which the roots of the plant are clearly visible.
Some orchids, such as Cattleya, do not tolerate moisture at the roots, for them a plastic pot is recommended for better ventilation of the root ball. For hanging growth forms (e.g. Stanhopea, Coryanthes and many others), it is best to plant them in a hanging basket.
Classic orchid planters are made of ceramic and are strikingly tall. The planter narrows downward on the inside, so the pot itself does not stand in water.
Note: not all orchid species need to be watered after planting or repotting! Phalaenopsis in particular does not tolerate this. Instead, use a water spray bottle to spray the planting medium daily to keep it moist. After two or three weeks, the plant can be watered or submerged in water again as usual.
2. Orchids do not tolerate standing in water
In the case of orchids, stagnant moisture always leads to root rot or rapid death. Be extra careful so that the water does not collect at the bottom of the pot and does not stand for a long time. If you moisten your plant with a water spray bottle, do not spray the water directly on the plant, but rather on the planting medium or the roots. Water remaining on and between the leaves for a long time can cause rot.
3. Choose the right watering method
Orchids prefer to absorb their daily dose of water in the morning. Water them only with soft water at room temperature. Reducing water hardness can be hard work, but it’s worth it.
You can also water your orchids with rainwater in the summer. You can satisfy the plants’ water needs by giving them a thorough shower or submerging them in water. You can also water your plants with a water spray bottle or a plastic jug with a narrow neck.
Only the roots or growing medium should be watered, not the above-ground parts of the plant. Choose the method according to how much time you have to care for your plants.
4. Fertilize sparingly for vigorous orchids
Proper orchid care should include a nutrient solution. Special orchid fertilizer is recommended for this, but only in small doses! Wild plants are supplied with only a few nutrients – and this is also recommended in indoor conditions. A high concentration of nutrient salt can accumulate in the growing medium and can quickly lead to the death of the plant.
5. Cut back the stems after flowering
When caring for orchids, it is very important to regularly remove the stems after flowers have fallen off. However, be sure to leave the stem on the plant until it is completely dry. Only then should it be cut back to the green part. However, leave at least two new buds on the stem.