Beginners Guide: How To Grow and Take care of Orchids At Home
Nurturing plants takes a lot of efforts, love and care. You must need to care for them as they were your own little baby. One needs to provide plants with the proper care and condition to let them live, but also to help them grow beautifully in their own older, more graceful version. Among all the other kinds of plants that are grown, flowering plants seem to hit everyone’s list. Growing flowering plants is indeed therapeutic; getting our hands dirtied while planting them makes us feel happy. It is because of a bacteria which is found in the soil proven to increase the flow of serotonin as we inhale its smell.
The physical activity or the labour that goes behind nurturing plants helps us to stay fit, healthy and hearty. Talking about nurturing different ornamental plants, we have to speak of orchid flower plants. The beauty and beautiful symbolism of this exotic floral beauty are not unknown to anybody. But while planting and taking care of orchids, one must know that it requires special attention as to its watering, sunlight, soil, temperatures and other such similar needs. Most of the orchids we see at our nearest supermarkets are hybrids which are created specifically by blending different flowers. But orchids can be grown if you imitate its natural habitat. If you are wondering how to take care of orchids or how to look into growing orchids, then you may go through this beginner’s guide.
Which orchids are good for Beginners?
There are a plethora of different kinds of orchid species which are found throughout the world. Some of which are known to us, while some others aren’t. Naming some of the widely grown orchid species would include Phalaenopsis, Moth Orchid and Cattleya. Each of these species grows well at home and easy to nurture. Particularly the Phalaenopsis hybrids are referred to as the “beginner’s orchids” for the reason that they rebloom quite like any other plant which reblooms easily on a windowsill of a house. These orchids usually require low light, and among other orchid species, the African violets are the ones which adapt to different humidity levels. These African violets often die due to overwatering as well as underwatering situations. As per the soil requirement is concerned, a porous mix does very well as the orchids' roots require more air than regular potting soil would have to offer them. Let’s discuss orchid plant care in detail.
Direct sunlight is a big no-no for growing orchids. There are different types of orchid species which do well in bright light, whereas some others do well in low light. For instance, if you are nurturing Cattleya and Vanda orchids, opt for bright light. In contrast, if you are nurturing orchid species like Phalaenopsis and Paphiopedilum opt for low light, they will thrive better. Orchids are one such species of flowering plants which needs to be offered as much light as they can tolerate. How to know which species would prefer more light than the others? All those orchid species with thicker and erect leaves are said to tolerate more light than the ones with thinner or more horizontal leaves. There have been many beginners who made the common mistake of offering too little light which eventually spoiled their orchid plant in the end.
Many orchid species like Phalaenopsis orchids, among others, prefer warm temperatures like between 21oC and 29oC. Nurseries offer only those orchids which do well in temperatures that are comfortable for humans.
Like talked about earlier, overwatering tends to kill an orchid plant, much more than any other factor. Orchids will somehow thrive in acute underwatering scenarios but not in overwatering scenarios, so when in doubt whether to water or not, instead of water excess just don’t. The nature of the potting mix is also responsible for whether or not and how much watering orchids need. Most of the orchids which are sold allow weekly watering. Just don’t water the orchid plant-soil unless the topsoil appears to have dried out. The best way to water orchids is to submerge it in a pot/bucket full of water for a few seconds and then lift it out to drain out the excess water.
Orchids love a humid environment for their growing purpose. 70 per cent of humidity in the atmosphere provides an orchid plant - an ideal temperature. So you need to make our home more humid in order to grow orchids. Orchids love misting with a spray bottle. If the plant has developed some aerial roots, it would love some moisture. In your home, you can keep the planter on a tray and fill it with gravel and water. As the water evaporates, it will be creating a humid environment of the orchid to keep growing.
For its growth purpose, orchids love magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus like nutrients.
There are many of us beginners who wish to grow orchids at home but aren’t quite equipped with the idea of pruning. Start by trimming down all the brown leaves, rotten roots, or flower stems, that have already died or have turned brown. Make sure to sterilise your equipment before pruning, also dispose that equipment which may end up making your plant prone to various diseases. As per the best time to repot the plant is concerned, do it when new roots start to grow.