It’s the Friday before your summer vacation, and you couldn’t be more excited. Your suitcases are packed. You’ve bought your tickets and booked your resort. But there’s one thing you forgot to prepare for: designating an orchid sitter.
Whether you’re gone for two days, two weeks or two months, it’s important to figure out how to care for your orchid in your absence. Today’s post is a how-to guide to make sure your orchid receives proper care even when you’re not present.
Short-term Trips (up to one week): Do-it-yourself orchid care
If you’re looking to head out of town for a few days, water your plant once before you leave.
2. Moisture levels:
If you run a humidifier during the day, set it on a timer to maintain ideal moisture levels (55-75%) but set it to automatically turn off at night.
3. Optimum temperature:
If you’re running an air conditioner or central air, program your temperature to a comfortable 65-75 degrees during the day and set the temperature to 55-65 degrees at night.
4. Ideal lighting:
In order to prevent your plant from getting sunburned, be sure it is behind a sheer curtain. The curtain will diffuse the sunlight to give your plant the ideal amount of indirect light.
Long Vacations (two weeks to several months): Find a trusted orchid sitter
If you’re going on a vacation for longer than a week, it’s time to appoint someone to care for your orchid while you’re away. Point your sitter to this guide to make the experience an easy and enjoyable one:
Water the orchid with three ice cubes on the same day each week. See how to water an orchid using ice cubes in this instructional watering video. If you think you’ll have trouble remembering what day to water the orchid, sign up for weekly watering reminders via text and email.
2. Indirect light:
Place the orchid in a north or east-facing window for indirect light. If you live in a particularly humid climate, you should place your plant in the middle of a brightly lit, well-ventilated room with curtains to give the orchid a chance to dry out.
If the orchid owner has not done so, preset the temperature in the home during between 65 and 80 degrees during the day and 60 to 70 degrees at night. Periodically check the room temperature to ensure it’s in the optimum range. Keep the orchid away from airflow of vents.
If you live in a humid climate, use a dehumidifier to reduce humidity in the air so the plant doesn’t become saturated with moisture. Keep your dehumidifier running day and night to keep moisture levels optimum. If you live in a low-humidity climate, set the humidifier to run during the day, but set it to turn off at night. Occasionally check the settings to make sure everything is running smoothly.
Bugs will sometimes make an appearance on orchids, but not all bugs are harmful to the health of the plant. To better understand which bugs are OK to stay and which have to go, turn to “Insects That Can Be Attacking Your Orchids” Part 1 and Part 2. Should you need to, you can prepare your own natural bug repellent. Look to this guide for instructions.
Orchid owners, if you need to repot or fertilize your plant, please do so before you leave for vacation. You don’t want to overburden your caregiver with these tasks on top of his or her other duties.
Whether you’re going away for a day or a month, you can ensure your orchid is properly cared for while you’re away so that you return home to a healthy and thriving plant. For more helpful information like this, subscribe to our blog!