Image courtesy of Costa Farms
Orchids are known for their unmatched beauty, but they are often thought to be too difficult to grow. Orchids are delicate, with specific moisture, light and food requirements. But follow these tips and you'll find success in growing these unique flowers, ensuring they'll thrive and bloom every year.
The first step in growing orchids successfully is to start with a strong healthy plant. The key is to make sure that the leaves are firm and green, the blossoms are not damaged and there are a few unopened buds.
Orchids do not like direct sunlight, which can cause sunburn and black splotches on the leaves. That said, without enough light, orchids will not flower, concentrating all their energy on foliage growth. A good rule of thumb for orchids is that the larger the leaf, the less light the flower needs. Place your orchid in an east- or shaded west-facing window, keeping it about three feet away from the glass.
Orchids are tropical plants that need a warm environment in order to thrive. To provide an ideal environment for your orchid, place it in a room where the temperature stays between 65° and 80°F. If you keep your orchid in a warm spot, you may need to water it more often. Never place an orchid near a heat or air-conditioning vent, as it will dry out too quickly.
Unlike common houseplants, most orchid varieties don?t grow in soil. In their native habitats, they grow on the sides of trees and collect moisture and nutrients from the air and rain. So, it?s important to plant your orchids in a potting mix that is specially formulated to drain quickly and provide good air movement around orchid roots, such as Miracle-Gro® Orchid Potting Mix ? Coarse Blend, which is ideal for growing orchid varieties that don?t naturally grow in soil.
It?s important to water your orchid regularly, just as it shows signs of drying out. If your tap water contains chemicals such as chlorine, use filtered or purified water. Do not use salt-softened or distilled water. Place your orchid in the sink and let water run through the pot out the drainage hole for one to two minutes. Water your orchid early in the day to allow time for it to dry properly.
Orchids flower best and are at their healthiest when fed on a regular basis with a plant food specially formulated for feeding orchids, such as Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble Orchid Food. Always follow the directions on the product label.