Orchid care for beginners is sometimes not easy as these plants can die in unexpected ways. However, their beauty and colors will embellish every corner of your house.
But calm down, most of these flowers are not hard to look after, but different.
To keep it healthy and happy, you need to pay attention to some basic concepts about how to care for orchids which we will discuss below.
How to Water Orchids
There are no definite rules in watering orchids. Of course, it must be under the climate, weather conditions, and humidity.
To find out, you can hold the planting medium. Ideally, moist soil works well for this variety.
Otherwise, the dry soil shows that the orchids need liquid, so you have to water them before it is too late.
Meanwhile, the wet soil means that the plant is too humid that you do not need to water it for some time.
Therefore, leave it for 1-2 days and check again whether the planting medium is moist enough.
The amount of water should also not be excessive to avoid root rot and make the plant slowly die. Usually, it starts with the yellowing leaves.
If this happens, try providing more light so the water can absorb or evaporate quickly.
Another thing, please do watering in the growing media, not directly on the flowers, leaves, or stems. It can lead to crown root, a condition in which the leaves fall off and slowly die.
Put Orchid on the Right Medium
In the wild, orchids live above ground with no pots. They allow the roots to develop freely, thus supporting good development as well.
Meanwhile, planting them in pots is easy, but please consider the conditions to suit the habitat.
The selection of planting media also affects the growth of orchids. Here are some things you need to know:
As we discussed above, using a pot will essentially limit the movement of the orchid roots. It will make the plant dry, sick, and even dead.
But the good news, orchids can still live well in pots, as long as the conditions are right. One of the main requirements is the existence of the best drainage system.
Choose a pot with a hole in the bottom so that excess liquid can drain and prevent spoilage. If not, you must replace it immediately.
For pot-based orchids, it is normal for the roots to stick out of the drainage holes to the outside. This sign means that they are growing well.
Additionally, the material is also a determinant of plant health. Clay soil can help keep the roots moist and prevent the temperature from getting too hot inside.
Some people also use ceramics to maximize growth while providing aesthetic value. However, placing it in a plastic pot is also not a problem.
You can also use transparent (usually plastic). In addition to helping light enter and facilitating photosynthesis, you can also observe root development.
- Orchid Kokedama
Some species of orchids, such as terrestrial-type, are indeed able to live with soil. However, the tropical will not develop well with this media.
In the concept of orchid care for beginners, you must use fast-draining planting media to avoid root rot.
Soil is sometimes not good enough, so you need to mix this medium with others that make it easier to absorb. Here are some recommendations to choose from:
- Peat moss
- Dried fern roots
- Sphagnum moss
- Rock wool
- Lava rock
- Fir bark
- Coconut fiber
- Cork nuggets
Some people can even grow orchids with tissue clumps of media. But for better results, you can combine all the ingredients above.
Do not worry! You can buy orchid potting mixes at plant supply stores.
Give Them Enough Sun
The next concept of orchid care for beginners is about light. It needs enough sunlight to help the photosynthesis process and grow well.
Placing it in direct sunlight will be a perfect option. However, you may experience problems if the rainfall is high, which makes them sick and die.
Therefore, you can place them indoors, but on the condition that they still have access to the light. The orchids should get enough sunlight for 6 hours per day.
Another way is to place it in the shade or indoors, but close to a glass window.
Likewise, the best way is by putting them north-facing glass which allows photosynthesis to occur well.
However, most gardeners prefer to place them in a greenhouse with a transparent cover on top. While the orchids would not be under direct rain, they still get enough light.
Choosing the Best Fertilizer
Choosing fertilizer is something you must understand in orchid care for beginners.
It is necessary to help them grow properly and return to flowering, even after experiencing a period of dormancy.
There are various fertilizers to choose from at a plant supply store. People sometimes use factory-made fertilizers for simplicity.
However, you can still make it affordable by using these organic ones:
- Mashed eggshell
- Fine dry chicken bones
- Rice water
- Onion skin soaking water
Factory-made and organic fertilizers certainly have their advantages and disadvantages.
For orchid care for beginners, the latter will be better because it does not cause too many side effects.
But the factory-made will make it easier and make the orchid care more practical. However, you must first know the dose of 1:1 ratio for all the fertilizers you use.
Another one to consider is how to apply those fertilizers. You can spray them weekly or monthly as necessary.
But remember that you must apply fertilizer to the roots instead of flowers and leaves. The wrong way of application will cause a patch like a wound on the part.
Managing the Environment
In addition to the above treatments, providing the right environment following the habitat is also necessary for orchid care for beginners.
Therefore, pay attention to several things, including:
Understanding the climate is an urgent factor for the fertility of your orchid. It will be closely related to humidity and how often you need to water.
Orchids require daily watering in a dry area. But if you live in a place with a climate of 40-80 percent of humidity, reduce it as needed.
Humidity is another thing to understand in orchid care for beginners. Indeed, the root rots easily if too much water. However, this plant likes humidity, around 60-80 percent.
Importantly, check the parts around the roots frequently. The ideal conditions are when you feel the humidity around the substrate, neither it is wet nor dry.
Here are some humidity-related tips for orchid care for beginners.
- Pay attention to good air circulation.
- Placing several orchids close together can also help them maintain the humidity of each other.
- Frequently spray small amounts of water on the leaves, but do not touch the flowers to avoid mold.
- Place trays filled with water or wet gravel under the pot to maintain humidity.
- When using humidity trays, be careful not to let the roots touch the water or gravels to avoid rot.
Temperature is also essential knowledge when you learn about orchid care for beginners. Too hot or cold conditions will affect the humidity, which determines plant development.
Each species of orchid has different temperature requirements. However, the best environment to grow is between 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit (16-24 degrees Celsius).
Adjust the temperature to the orchid habitat by applying these ways, including:
- Place the orchids in the direction of the sun
- Do watering according to the needs of climate and humidity.
- Use an air conditioner if you put it indoors.
In the wild, this plant only flowers once a year, usually from August to September. But during that time, it would continue to earn interest for one month.
However, in the concept of orchid care for beginners, pruning is one way to make it bloom all year round.
It is by pruning certain plant parts so that the orchid can continue to flower. Here are the steps and points to consider while doing it.
- When a plant is near the end of its blooming period, try to prune the flower below the first one. It increases the chances that the flowers will appear again.
- Orchids bloom because the environment is supportive. If you want them to produce flowers all the time, try to duplicate the environment.
- In one period, flowers rarely appear on the same stem. Therefore, when one is dry, you should trim it right at the base.
In addition to increasing the flowers appear continuously and longer, do pruning to remove dead leaves and flowers. Thus, your plant still looks beautiful.
How to Care for Orchids in Bloom
The next concept of orchid care for beginners is how to treat it during the blooming period. All we need to do is the same as the regular one. However, there are some additions to do.
- Some flowers, such as Phalaenopsis, are easily dry out. Therefore, do not place those in bloom under scorching light or heat sources.
- Be careful when watering, never touch the flowers that they do not cause mold.
- Do watering in the morning that they have a full day to adjust the humidity.
- You can still apply fertilizer, but remember not to spray it on the flowers.
- We recommend choosing a urea-free fertilizer.
- To make the flowers last longer, do pruning as we discussed above.
- Avoid moving the flowering orchids too often because it will cause stress that they fall out and become unhealthy.
In addition to the tips and methods above, you can apply the ordinary orchid care for beginners that we discussed earlier. Also, consider the environment to keep it under the habitat.
Orchid Care after Flowering
After those beautiful moments, now you have arrived at the end of the bloom season. Now, let us discuss orchid care dealing with these moments. Here are you need to do:
- Prune it well, both for removing dead plant debris or stimulating the emergence of new flowers.
- Another way to stimulate the emergence of new flowers is to lower the temperature to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If bloom spike appears, return to normal condition.
- Keep doing the orchid care for beginners as we discussed above.
Caring the Sick Orchids
Treating sick plants is a challenge in orchid care for beginners. They are usually characterized by leaves that turn yellow, dry, wither, and begin to fall.
Therefore, they will not bloom after years.
Problems with orchids usually arise due to bacteria, pests, or an unsupported environment. If the nature issue is the problem, adjust the planting to follow the habitat.
If the problem is in the pot or planting medium, you can replace it with the appropriate one. Meanwhile, to deal with pests and bacteria, you need proper handling.
While dealing with pests and bacteria, wash the affected area and soak it in an anti-bacterial solution.
After a few, you can transfer them into a vitamin solution or fertilizer to provide new nutrients.
After some time, you can replant it in a new pot and planting medium. Remember to set the environment in the best condition.
Orchid Care Indoor
As it means to be outdoor, indoor orchid care for beginners will not be easy. However, you can follow these tips:
- The first thing to remember in indoor orchid care for beginners is to place the plants near a window with enough sunlight.
- If sunlight is lacking, do not hesitate to use artificial UV light.
- Use a humidity tray that you can get at a plant supply store.
- Instead of a humidity tray, you can also place a container with water or wet gravel (as mentioned before).
- Once in a while, you can move it into direct sunlight, but not too often so that the orchids are not stressed.
That is the basic concept of orchid care for beginners you have to master. It needs a different action. To get the best results, do not forget to adjust to the habitat. Happy planting!