Orchids are a beautiful indoor plant that adds an exotic look to any room. Unfortunately, many people assume these flowering plants are difficult to care for and may avoid adding them to their collection.
With just a basic understanding of orchid plant care, anyone can learn to grow beautiful flowering plants that will last for years. The key is in providing the correct nutrition for the plant as well as the right environmental conditions.
Not every type of orchid requires the same amount of water. While most orchid varieties do originate as rainforest vegetation, they are not plants that need to be kept in very wet conditions.
Knowing the variety of orchid will be critical for orchid plant care with the correct watering requirements. Different varieties may need to be kept uniformly damp at all times, allowed to dry out when not in an active growth cycle as well as those that need to reach nearly dry conditions between waterings.
Just as with watering needs, different varieties of orchids will need different light conditions. Most orchids will require moderate indirect light for up to 12 hours per day to allow blooming.
Generally, if the leaves are a dark green, the plant is in insufficient light. Leaves that have a reddish look are a sign of too much light. Additionally, black spots or blotches on the leaves are a sign of too much intense direct light. Fading of the green of the leaves exposed to the sun is a clear indication of too much direct light.
One of the most common mistakes with orchid plant care is the use of a general flower or plant fertilizer rather than one specially formulated for orchid varieties. It is typically recommended that orchids be fertilized once a month using the specialized food.
In general, too much fertilizer or not enough will both lead to a lack of blooms and poor overall plant growth. Buy a quality orchid food and use it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Never over fertilize orchid plants, too much of a good thing is bad for the plant.
With orchids in the home, pests are not typically a problem but they can be brought in with other plants or flowers. The most common problems with orchids include aphids and thrips, both which will eat the leaves and new growth. Slugs and snail can also be damaging to the roots and in some areas mealybugs can be an issue.
If you notice any damage to the leaves or the roots, or if there are black or brown areas or a white, fluffy looking mass on the stems or leaves, talk to your local garden center staff for ideas on treatment options.
At BGI our goal is to provide quality products for all aspects of orchid plant care for the commercial and home gardener and plant enthusiast. To learn more see us online at bgi-usa.com. You can also follow them on Twitter for more updates.
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