Caring For Orchids: Are You Unknowingly Harming Your Orchid?
December 4, 2014
Sometimes, even if you do your best to ensure your orchid has the right watering schedule and environment to thrive, there are some care mishaps that can lead to unnecessary harm. Discovering that your orchid is sick or dying despite your best efforts is disheartening and discouraging. In order to give your plant a long, healthy life, avoid these three small but harmful behaviors.
3 Small Orchid Care Mistakes You Might Be Making
Not Washing Your Hands Before Touching the Buds
Throughout the day, your hands come in contact with numerous unsanitary materials that could affect the health of your orchid. Unopened buds are the most sensitive parts of an orchid, and unsanitary handling can be one of the main causes of orchid viruses.
First know there is no real reason or need to touch unopened orchid buds. However, if you must touch, make sure to thoroughly wash with soap and warm water before handling your plant. For extra caution, you may even want to consider wearing disposable gloves—just don’t forget to throw the gloves away after use if they come in contact with a sick plant.
Not Sanitizing Your Tools Before Trimming Your Spikes
Trimming your orchid spikes is important for stimulating reblooming, but your best intentions can easily go awry if your tools aren’t clean. Tools that aren’t sanitized can cause your orchid to develop a virus that could lead to the death of your plant.
The best method for cleaning your tools is to use a solution of 90 percent water and 10 percent household bleach. Let your tools soak for 10 minutes, and then dry them thoroughly with a clean towel before beginning the trimming process.
Failing to Repot Your Orchid With Fresh Potting Medium
Since your potting media houses your orchid’s roots, it plays a crucial role in the distribution of nutrients. Over time, your orchid will use up the nutrients in the potting media and your plant will need to be repotted. In addition to transitioning your orchid to a new grower pot, it’s also important to replace your potting medium.
After potting medium loses its nutrients, it will begin to decompose and start to grow bacteria. Even though repotting might be intimidating to new orchid owners, providing your plant with fresh medium can prolong the life and blooming cycle of your orchid.
Taking the time to wash your hands, clean your tools and repot with fresh medium might seem like small steps in the grand scheme of caring for your plant, but they can make a big difference in the health of your orchid.
For more tips on caring for orchids, check out our helpful guide “10 Simple Steps to Keeping Your Orchid Healthy” today!