Orchids are one of the best flowers for gardening beginners – it’s sold everywhere, affordable, relatively low-maintenance, and pretty to boot. Here are a few tips on treating your orchid to make sure the plant stays alive and the flower blooms well.
Get the Right Light
Orchids love bright, indirect light – for optimum growth, you can place them indoors by an east-facing window, or near a south- or west-facing window with some sheer curtains on. Check the leaves to see if your orchid is getting an appropriate amount of light – healthy foliage will be bright olive green. A darker shade means it is not getting enough light, and a lighter, red-tinged colour means it is exposed to the light too much.
Orchids thrive in environments that are kept from 18-29 degree Celsius with sufficient humidity. Make sure to keep the space ventilated to allow for air circulation and prevent the roots from getting too damp.
One of the most common mistakes in taking care of orchids is overwatering. Orchids USA recommends watering your orchid once a week with lukewarm or room temperature water early in the day or when it’s sunny outside to allow for full evaporation before nightfall.
Cut the Dead Out
When the flowers have wilted out and the stem has dried, it is time to cut them off. It is recommended to cut above the first node or bump below the wilted bloom, ideally leaving two to three nodes from the base. The new flowers will grow back within eight to twelve weeks.
When you buy an orchid, it usually comes in a pot with its own potting mix. It is wise to repot every one to two years to make sure the potting medium stays fresh and prevent root rotting. You can buy orchid potting mix made out of bark, moss and/or charcoal. Be careful when you’re removing the orchid from the pot, as the roots are easily tearable.