Lifestyle

Caring for Orchids

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!


Orchids are no more difficult to care for than ordinary houseplants. They require slightly different watering and fertilising techniques, but with this easy guide you'll be growing beautiful orchids in your home in no time.

How to Water Orchids

Overwatering is a common cause for dead orchids. People typically ask about a plant's water needs by inquiring how often they should water, and it's this “how often” mindset that is a big part of the problem. How often you should water a plant depends on how much water it uses, which is a function of humidity, light, air movement, and what its roots are growing in. Watering by the calendar rather than a plant's needs is a recipe for failure.

So the short answer to the question of when to water most orchids, including Phalaenopsis and Cattleya, is: Just before it goes dry. How often is that? In practice, it can vary from every few days to every couple of weeks. It depends on the orchid and on the conditions in your home. One of those conditions — an important one — is the medium the orchid is growing in.

 

Fertilising

A common recommendation is fertilising with quarter-strength, water-soluble fertiliser each time you water. That means whatever the fertiliser label says to mix into the water, use only one-fourth that amount, and add it every time you water. This constant “spoon-feeding” is good for plants and ensures you never have to worry about when you fertilised last.

Orchids and Light

Homes generally have dim light (from a plant's perspective), so orchids that tolerate low light levels stand a better chance than those that require strong light. An east-facing windowsill is a great spot to grow your orchid. The sunshine from an unscreened south-facing window can be a bit too bright (and hot), but a sheer curtain offers just the right amount of filtering. Or set the orchid back away from the window so that it's not constantly in strong indirect light.

West-facing windows make it simply too hot for orchids. However, with some filtering (as you would with a south-facing window) you might make a go of it. The light at a north window is usually just too dim for orchids.

 

Orchids and Humidity

Orchids don't require rainforest humidity, and may do okay in your home without extra measures. But the dry atmosphere of an air-conditioned home can be challenging. That's why a daily mist, or setting orchids on a moist bed of gravel, helps success.

 

One precaution: Orchid pots should sit atop the gravel, not nestled within it. Otherwise, you risk wicking moisture up through the bottom of the pot and saturating the roots.

 

Information from: https://www.bhg.com


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT