Orchids have special care needs and can sense if you are giving them enough attention.
Species belonging to the Orchidaceae family can be found in almost every climate zone on Earth. Orchids native to the temperate zone are mainly terrestrial, soil-dwelling, perennial species, while tropical and subtropical (mainly epiphytic) orchids maintain themselves by clinging to the branches of trees.
Potted orchids, like all indoor plants, need regular care, the necessary nutrients, water, light and planting medium, as well as, if necessary, protection against pests and diseases. If you succeed in all these, the plant will return your care with gorgeous flowers.
Phalaenopsis orchids (also known as moth orchids) have a monopodial growth type, that is, the apical bud grows continuously and the flowers develop from the leaf axils. The stem is short, thick, the leaves are broad oval, 20-30 cm long, leathery, dark green. The aerial roots are silvery gray, thick, and those that penetrate the soil are sparsely branched. The flowers are arranged in clusters, each 5-12 cm in diameter, round or star-shaped like a butterfly. Their color and pattern can be very diverse, ranging from white to burgundy, from plain to variegated.
Potted orchids need to be repotted when the planting medium is already black, compacted or the roots start to rot. However, wait until the flowering is completely over; after the flower stalks have bent and dried, you can safely repot the plant.
First, carefully separate the roots of the orchid from the wall of the pot, then shake off the planting medium from the roots, and finally remove any spent flowers and dry flower spikes with sterile scissors or a knife.
Sometimes a young plant sprouts on the flower spike and begins to develop. You can separate this small offspring from the mother plant when it has at least 2-3 leaves and 4-5 well-developed roots.
Due to the structure of their roots, orchids prefer a lumpy, very airy and loosely structured planting medium with good drainage. A special, acidic orchid planting mix is most suitable for this. The largest part of this consists of sieved beech or pine bark or bark compost, to which acidic peat is added as a water retainer. Distribute this planting mix evenly among the orchid’s root system so that the plant stands firmly in the pot.
After planting, water your plants with a moderate amount of water; the planting mix should be moist, but not soggy. Feed your plants with nutrient solution every 2-3 weeks so that they decorate your home with their eye-catching flowers for a long time.