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Orchid Care for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know

May 31, 2022

Ok, bloomers! So, you just brought home your first orchid and, like any new parent, you’re both excited and scared about caring for this new little life.

The Phalaenopsis orchid or “moth orchid” is considered a beginner’s orchid because it is low maintenance. Here are four easy steps to ensure your new plant baby grows up strong and happy:

Avoid Overwatering

We’re talking three ice cubes per week. Yep, that’s it. This foolproof ice-cube watering method ensures you don’t over (or under) water your orchid. Overwatering houseplants is one of the most common – and biggest – plant care mistakes. Avoid drafty areas, such as near fans or vents as drafts can dehydrate your plant.

Easy on the Light

Phals are sun-loving plants, but they need sunscreen. Indirect sunlight gives it the solar power it needs while protecting it from sunburn. To accomplish the perfect setting for your orchid, find a spot near a window that has a curtain and watch your orchid pal bloom and thrive. 

Tropical Temperatures Only, Please!

Orchids originated in areas we love to vacation: the tropics! That’s why this exotic plant adds a year-round tropical vibe to your indoor spaces. Phals do best in 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit at night. And they thrive when the humidity is between 55 and 75%. If you live in a colder climate, use a humidifier to protect your plant from the dry heat coming through the vents. Your family will breathe better as well!

For the Nervous New Plant Parent

One scary sight for new plant moms and dads is seeing your new orchid start to drop its blooms. Don’t worry. Your orchid is just resting. While it’s getting its beauty sleep, you can fertilize it once a month with a half-strength solution of 20-20-20 plant fertilizer ratio. 

On the weeks you fertilize, don’t water your plant. Inspect your orchid for pests or disease by removing spent blooms and any dried stems with sterilized, sharpened scissors. 

If you’re still worried, check the roots. Are they bright green? Your plant is healthy. If they’re gray, your plant needs more water. Brown, mushy roots, on the other hand, are a sign of that classic plant care mistake: overwatering. In that case, ease off the watering until the roots have dried out.

Let It Grow

Like children outgrowing their clothes, orchids outgrow their pots. Repotting orchids allows them to grow and increases the chances of reblooming. They also gain nutrients from the new potting medium.

The repotting process can be the most daunting part of orchid care for beginners, which is why we created the Just Add Ice repotting kit. The good news is that you only need to repot every one to two years to keep your orchid healthy and happy!

Watching your orchid grow is a magical experience akin to watching a friend or family member evolve into their authentic selves. If you want an orchid but still haven’t taken that step, adopt your first orchid today and subscribe to our blog for weekly tips on plant care. 

You’ve got this!