Orchids are a great way to decorate an office or home, adding color and drama to any room. They’re one of the most exotic plants on earthâ€”yet orchids are amazingly easy to care for.
Soil: Most orchids require moist, well-draining conditions. There are several types of growing media that can be used with orchid plantsâ€”redwood or fir bark, sphagnum peat moss, rocks, cork, charcoal, sand, potting soil, etc. A basic mix for growing orchids consists of coarse perlite, fir bark, and sphagnum moss.
Conditions for growth: Potted orchids require bright indirect light every day, but do not expose these plants to direct sunlight. Thoroughly soak the potting medium during each watering, but be sure to allow it to dry out in between watering. For best results, water orchid plants in the morning and less frequently during winter months. These plants must have pots with good drainage. Many people water by allowing a few ice cubes to melt over the top of the orchid soil.
Most orchids prefer daytime temperatures during the summer to be around 70 – 85 F and nighttime temps between 60 F and 70 F. In the Winter, the plant prefers temperatures as low as 60 F in the daytime and as low as 55 F in the nighttime. Orchids require humid air, and will not tolerate hot, stuffy conditions, so make sure to provide good air circulation.
Fertilization & re-blooming: In the Northeast, orchids set new blooms in the fall if fertilized with Orchid food, starting round September first for about 6 weeks. Make sure soil is moist before fertilizing. It is not necessary to fertilize while the plant is in bloom.
Remove blossoms as they fade and occasionally wipe the tops and undersides of plant leaves with warm soapy water to remove any dust or insects. Do not use leaf shine on orchid foliage.
When all the blooms have faded, cut the stems down to about 2 inches. This will enable some plants to re-bloom from both the base and from the existing stem, producing multiple spikes during future blooming.
Colors vary among orchid types, but collectively, these exotic blooms are available in every color except blue-green, and blue. Many come in variegated or striped color patterns. With proper care and environmental conditions, individual orchid blooms can last for weeks, and stems can bloom for months.
Our greenhouse usually stocks several varieties with different colors available. Call or visit often for information.