Video:How to Care for Orchidswith Jonathon E. Stewart
Orchids are beautiful and exotic, and a complement to any home. Learn the basics of keeping them happy and healthy.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Care for OrchidsHey guys - Jonathon Stewart here for About.com. Love potions, perfumes for kings, and the source of my favorite flavor - vanilla - all stem from that amazing plant, your friend and mine, the orchid. At one point on the brink of extinction, these brilliant flowery plants are now plentiful, and can add notes of beauty and tranquility to any home. Check it out:
Selecting an OrchidWhen selecting an orchid, look for plants that already have flowers, as seedlings can sometimes take up to several years to blossom. Choose one that's appealing to you based on its appearance, and check with your florist to make sure that the climate of your home will be suitable for the orchid.
There are over 35,000 orchid species inhabiting the planet today, and the things they need to thrive can vary pretty widely. Once you've discovered any specific things to look out for from your florist, use these guidelines to keep your orchid healthy and happy.
Watering Your OrchidOne of the most common mistakes people make in the care of orchids is over-watering them. As a general rule, water your orchid thoroughly once a week and no more. Be sure the bottom of your pot has drains so that your plant does not end up sitting in excess water. Water early in the day so that by nighttime, your orchid is dry once again.
Orchids don't grow in normal soil or dirt, but rather in porous material like bark or moss. Before watering, make sure that the medium your orchid is planted in has dried completely - if it's even a little moist, wait another day or so.
Orchid FertilizerOrchids in nature draw nutrients from the earth, but your potted plant may require a small amount of fertilizer for optimal growth. Be sure to adhere to instructions on the fertilizer you choose, but look specifically for blends that are rich in Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium.
The Orchid ClimateOrchids, like my wife, tend to like climates that are warm and mildly humid. Between 65 and 85 degree F is ideal, with about 50 to 70% humidity. These guys are primarily tropical types of plants, so make sure they have access to plenty of warm, circulating fresh air, too.
How Much Sunlight?Different orchids species also vary in the amount of light they require, though generally, a continual source of indirect sunlight is best. To know how your specific orchid is faring, check the leaves, which should be bright green. If they turn too dark, your orchid most likely needs more light, and if they are yellow or reddish, then your plant is being exposed to too much light.
Trimming OrchidsOrchids typically bloom annually in the late winter or early spring, and the flowers should last a long time, up to about three months. When the flowers die, trim them and continue caring for your plant as usual. When the next blooming season arrives, your orchid will be colorful and beautiful once again.
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