How to Care for Orchids to Keep Them Alive and Thriving

Recognizable among thousands, the orchid is a plant of tropical origin, characterized by its spectacular flowers that oscillate between a variety of colors ranging from white to pink to purple, blue, yellow and orange. Its elegant touch and exotic appeal make it one of the most sought-after and popular houseplants. Some even say it brings magic into the home. Personified as the “plant of seduction”, the orchid alone represents love, joy, boldness, fertility, beauty, purity and hope according to the principles of Feng Shui philosophy.

Its origin is diverse, it is a flower that grows mainly in tropical areas but is widespread throughout the world. It is available in 25,000 species: it is still better to prefer the most classic species that are easier to cultivate, like the butterfly orchid. Although this attractive plant is generally considered a delicate and short-lived flower. If its roots are not healthy, its leaves tend to wilt, turn yellow and rot. But if you follow our good advice and tips carefully, you can expect it to last longer. Find out how to properly care for this unique plant to have beautiful orchids and let them live as long as possible!

The light

The location is crucial! To thrive properly, this exotic plant needs plenty of light. The orchid likes strong light, but not direct sunlight. Therefore, the ideal location would be preferably near a window. If the exposure is completely south, a curtain is suitable for filtering UV rays. It also finds a preferred place in the bathroom, where heat and humidity merge.

The heat

As tropical flowers, orchids love heat. In spring and summer, you can keep them outside on your balcony or terrace as long as the temperature does not drop to 5°F at night. The rest of the year, it’s always best to keep orchids indoors, near a window and never near a direct heat source like a fireplace or radiator. It is also important to keep orchids in a well-ventilated area with air circulation. If you live in an apartment, make it a habit to open the windows or turn on a fan in the summer when it is very hot.

Water and humidity

An orchid’s water needs generally depend on the variety, time of year and temperature. Typically, orchids are watered two to three times a week, but in some cases the plant may be watered every two weeks. The secret is to always check the condition of the soil, if it is too dry, the plant should be watered. It is also effective to use a transparent pot, which allows you to better control the moisture status of the plant. Note that the best method for watering is immersion: the pot must be immersed in water up to 3/4 of its height. Leave it that way for a few minutes so that the plant absorbs all the water it needs. Little tip: if you feel that the pot is lighter than usual, do not wait and water your orchids!

In the summer, you can water your orchids with a spray bottle, but be careful not to get too much water between the leaves and the flowers. If the humidity in your home is usually below 40%, use the spray bottle method to water your orchids daily. If your home is very humid (above 60%), your flowers may mold. It is still best to use a dehumidifier! You need to learn how to properly dose the amount of water so that your orchids don’t wilt.

Fertilizer

Orchid is not very demanding, it is content with liquid fertilizer once a month. Except in full bloom or in the growth phase: here it is necessary to give every 15 days to promote the development of healthy and durable flowers. After fertilizing the plant, do not water it for at least 24 hours, otherwise the fertilizer may be diluted and become less effective. The best orchid fertilizers are nitrogen-based, which strengthen the roots and leaves.

Protect orchids from diseases

Like most plants, orchids are flowers that are susceptible to bacterial infections or molds. In the case of mealybug, the best remedy is to remove the infested leaves by cutting them off with scissors. You can also opt for the natural repellent solution, such as bar soap mixed with a little water. Simply spray the plant with a sprayer to control this pesky pest. In addition to ensuring optimal humidity, you can also use a remedy based on baking soda and water: By spraying this agent on the plant, you control mold and drive away unwanted pests.

NB: Always check that the soil is not too wet and that the leaves are clean and dry. If they are spotty, you still need to trim them.

Soil

The best soil for orchids is one that promotes rapid drainage. It is therefore preferable to choose products based on bark or peat moss, which will provide this plant with a solid and nutritious base for its development. Always pay attention to how you water the soil! Remember, the orchid needs foliage sprays in dry weather and repotting every two years. It does not support excessive watering, sunburn and cold drafts. Watch out for aphids, mealybugs and mites, which greatly weaken him.

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