The optimal time to repot an orchid is after it has finished blooming. Orchids are common houseplants that can normally be started at any time for indoor development. How to care for orchids indoors? Beginners may take care of orchids quite easily as long as they are aware of the optimum environments and upkeep requirements for the plant.
Despite the wide variety of orchid species available, they all share a few morphological traits. Because of their tall, gently curved stems (also known as flower spikes), which are covered in blossoms in either solid colors or speckles, orchids are simple to identify. Usually, its sepals (innermost petals) and petals come in sets of three.
An orchid’s petals may have ruffled or notched edges, depending on the varietal. To stop water loss, waxy coatings are used on orchid leaves. Although certain orchid species develop more quickly than others, on the whole, their growth rate is somewhat modest.
Rapid Guide to Orchid Growing
Even novices should be able to meet the following needs for caring for an orchid indoors:
Use a pot with good air movement and light, porous growing media, such as unglazed clay or a specialized orchid pot with built-in gaps.
Provide an abundance of direct, bright light.
In between waterings, allow the growing media to dry out.
Use fertilizer made specifically for orchids or a balanced formula, like 20-20-20, at the recommended concentration of half strength. When the plant is actively growing, administer.
Cut the flower spike off once it stops flowering, and if the plant is root-bound, only repot it once blooming is finished.
How to care for orchids indoors
To the greatest extent feasible, recreate the plant’s natural environment when caring for orchids inside. The majority of orchids in nature are epiphytes, which means they adhere to other items like stone or rough bark to grow. Their roots are also water-collecting organs that require fresh air to stay healthy.
Your orchid will probably be healthy and in bloom when you first get it. However, a lot of orchids purchased from stores are potted in unfavorable circumstances for long-term growth. They are typically packed firmly with moss around the roots and sitting in plastic containers, which can lead to too much moisture being trapped and eventually root rot. 1 Never repot an orchid while it is in bloom, even if the container is less than perfect. Repotting is preferable to cutting back on watering.
After flowering, orchid care includes changing your perspective to one of long-term upkeep. The majority of growers remove the old flower spike close to the base. (Some people save the spike in case there is a rebloom, which can happen infrequently.) You can repot your plant into a more suitable container with the appropriate growing medium also after the orchid blooms have fallen off.
For orchids to blossom, strong light is necessary. However, they can get burned in the sun. Choose direct, bright lighting from a south or east-facing window, for example.
In normal potting soil or potting mix, orchids cannot grow. As an alternative, you might buy or construct your own light, quickly draining orchid growing media. Bark, sphagnum moss, perlite, and peat are common ingredients in mixes. The optimal pH is somewhat acidic.
In order to prevent rot, orchids need to dry out between waterings. If the growing material seems dry to the touch and the pot feels light, it may be time to water. Or you can examine the roots directly. They have had plenty of water if they are chubby, white, or green. They require water if they appear withered and gray. Additionally, if they are spongey, black, or brown, yet shriveled, they may be decomposing.
During the summer, when the plant is actively developing, you’ll normally need to water twice weekly; during the winter, you’ll only need to water once per week. Water should be used at room temperature, and it should be poured out of the saucepan slowly.
Thermodynamics and Humidity
Depending on their classification, orchids thrive in temperatures between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, they favor humidity levels between 40 and 70 percent.
If you create a warm, relatively damp environment for your orchid, you can prolong its blooming period. Don’t put your orchid in an area where it will be exposed to heating vents, direct sunshine, or cold drafts. These delicate blossoms are susceptible to the effects of dry air, direct heat, and cold.
Use an orchid-specific fertilizer as directed on the label during the growing season. Winter is not the time to fertilize.
varieties of orchids
There are around 100,000 recorded hybrid orchid species and about 30,000 types of wild orchids. For proper care, you must be aware of the type of orchid you have. The two types of orchids that are most frequently offered for purchase are:
Phalaenopsis (moth orchids): These orchids feature oval, fleshy leaves and spherical, pronounced-lipped flowers that grow on a single, tall stalk. Typically, flowers are white, purple, pink, or a combination of these colors.
Cane orchids, also known as Dendrobium, have tiny blooms that bloom in clusters and grow in rows on stalks that emerge from thick canes. Typically, flowers are white or purple. Dendrobium leaves are small and protrude from the cane’s sides.
Old wood should be pruned properly to provide room for fresh blossoms. But different orchids demand various trimming techniques. Make sure your equipment is sharp and clean before pruning an orchid. An orchid’s health will be preserved by a clean cut.
In order to prevent the plant from focusing its energy on aging development, remove faded orchid flowers in general. Usually, the flower spike can be trimmed off once the flowering is finished. However, it is known for some orchid kinds to rebloom on the same spike. The faded blossoms may then be removed, but not the spike.
Orchid seed propagation is famously challenging because the tiny seeds require incredibly precise conditions that are challenging to reproduce. The division is the most typical method of orchid propagation. If you have an orchid that is somewhat mature or huge and would like to split it into two separate plants, follow these steps:
To make it simpler to take the plant out of the container, moisten the growing media.
Look over the orchid’s roots and cut away any damaged or dead areas that seem dark, mushy, or paper thin. Firm and full roots indicate good health.
Try to separate some of the stems and roots. If they are unable to separate by hand, use a clean, sharp cutting instrument.
Each plant should be repotted in fresh soil, staked as needed, and watered.
Orchid Repotting and Potting
It’s time to repot your orchid if the roots are poking through the pot and/or the growing medium is fully decomposed. Before repotting your orchid, wait until you are certain that the plant has finished flowering. This is how:
The orchid should be carefully taken out of its previous container. If required, wet the growing material to make it easier to slip the plant out.
Use a sterile cutting instrument to remove any damaged or dead roots.
In a little larger container, place the orchid, and then surround it with a new growing medium.
You can stake the plant if necessary to support its upright position because the roots won’t yet be anchored to the medium. New roots will eventually emerge from the medium and join with the pot, anchoring your plant.
Typical Pests & Plant Illnesses
Major pest issues are rare with orchids. However, common plant pests including aphids, fungus gnats, mealybugs, spider mites, scale, cigar-shaped thrips, and whiteflies may find them tasty. 2 The majority of pests can be eradicated using a light hand brush, a water jet, or washing in soapy water to lower the bug numbers. Alternatively, you can gently spray the insects with rubbing alcohol or alcohol mixed with a few drops of liquid dish soap in order to harm their bodies. Neem oil, which can smother pests, is another option for eliminating insects.
In addition to root rot, orchids can also contract a number of fungal diseases, including petal blight, phytophthora (black spots on leaves), anthracnose, and botrytis.
3 Ways to Make Orchids Bloom
Though the blooming cycles of different species vary, your orchid should bloom at least once a year, if not more. And the blossoms often last between two and four months.
Observing an orchid that formerly had gorgeous flowers but is now without them might be depressing. Some orchids, like the phalaenopsis orchid, which is, fortunately, one of the most well-liked species offered as houseplants, can be encouraged to bloom if the temperature drops for a few nights. But aside from that, getting your orchid to blossom typically just requires giving the right amount of light, moisture, temperature, humidity, food, and growing media.
Common problems with orchids
Once an orchid settles into a pattern and finds a good location, the plant should develop healthily and finally reward you with a lovely bloom. However, unfavorable circumstances can lead to some typical issues.
leaves that have wrinkled and shrunk
The orchid’s leaves are shriveled and wrinkled when they are dehydrated. Frequently, unhealthy roots are to blame. Roots ought to be rounded and white or green. If the roots look healthy, the plant is probably being submerged. However, if the roots are mushy and black, cut them out using a sterile tool before repotting the orchid in fresh soil. Next, make sure you give the plant enough time to dry out in between waterings.
Yellowing leaves are frequently caused by overwatering, which then leads to root rot.
4 Ensure that your orchid has enough time to dry out in between waterings. Repot the plant and cut off any unhealthy roots if that doesn’t work.
The plant is stressed for a variety of reasons if you notice buds falling off before they bloom. At this point, you should look at the orchid’s surroundings and possibly move it to a better location. Consider the following potential problems: 5
Either the plant is getting either little or too much water.
- The orchid is seeing temperature changes as a result of being close to a heating vent, an air conditioner, or another draft.
- The plant is susceptible to chemical vapors in the area (paint or gas, for example).
- The ethylene gas that is produced by neighboring plants or fruits affects the orchid negatively.
- The orchid is located in a dry area.
- There might be an infestation of pests.