With their beautiful long stems with vibrant blooms, the Phalenopsis orchid is the centerpiece when it comes to home decor, which is why so many orchid lovers fret over keeping their orchid healthy. Having brown leaves and bare stems is like having an opera singer with laryngitis!
Although orchids look delicate, these tropical plants are easy to care for when you follow a few basic steps.
3 Elements for a Healthy Orchid
Don't worry, you don't have to have a greenhouse or move to a warmer climate to keep your orchid plant healthy throughout the year. These tips will work in any climate!
Water your plant too much and you can cause root rot, but too little will cause dehydration. Most people tend to over water, so we've made it easy: Water with three ice cubes once a week. Place them on the growing medium and the ice will slowly melt, allowing your plant to get just the right amount of water at the right time.
We all need some extra moisturizer during those winter months, including our orchids. You may want to mist the orchid with a spray bottle daily or run a humidifier, as heaters can dry out your plant. Misting gives the orchid humidity that is reminiscent of its tropical home without creating soggy roots.
Your orchid plant also needs sun, but not too much. Place your orchid where it will receive medium indirect sunlight, preferably in a window that is facing east or north. If your only option is a bright, sunny window, a sheer curtain can act as a 'beach umbrella' by allowing your orchid to have some sun exposure while protecting it from harsh rays.
Fun facts: Orchids need a period of dark each night and they can also get sunburned, just like humans!
Ensure bright blooms and a healthy plant by using potting mixture and fertilizer specifically designed for orchids. Avoid garden soil as the fine particles and moisture retention can hurt your orchid! There are many options on the market, which can be overwhelming. That's why our growers put together a repotting starter kit. As your experience grows, you can always experiment with new growing mediums.
Using the right potting mixture is also a way to keep your orchid's roots healthy. For humans, most disease begins in the gut. For orchids and other plants, the roots are often the source of disease. Be sure to repot your orchid when it starts to outgrow its current home.
The fourth element, air, can be detrimental to your orchid if you place it near a vent. This can quickly dehydrate your plant. If your space is limited, you can always close the vent near your orchid. If you follow these tips, you're well on your way to having an orchid that blooms and re-blooms for years to come. For 10 more tips for keeping your orchid healthy, get our free download here.
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