Growing Healthy Orchids Indoors

Growing Healthy Orchids Indoors

Sunday, March 29, 2020

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Many orchids are rewarding indoor plants. Once a homeowner has succumbed and bought his or her first orchid, or received one as a gift, a few cultural requirements will coax the plant to flower again.


In the house, orchids are grown in pots filled with chips of bark, stones, tree fern or some other loosely packed material which keeps roots well-aerated and permits water to drain quickly. Nothing kills an orchid faster than letting it sit in a waterlogged pot, since a lack of oxygen will cause the roots to suffocate and rot. Water orchids thoroughly, usually about once a week, then allow them to dry slightly before watering again. Orchids are better equipped to withstand periods of forgetfulness than they are to being overwatered.


Another difference between orchids and many houseplants is that in nature most orchids experience a big difference between day and night temperatures.

Orchids are usually classified as warm-growing, intermediate and cool-growing, with regard to their temperature needs. Many tolerate exposure to warmer or cooler temperatures without suffering damage.


Orchids are also classified into three other groups depending on the intensity of light they require — high (3,000-foot candles), medium (2,000-foot candles) and low (1,000- to 1,500-foot candles). Most orchids require plenty of light, preferably at least six hours a day. Many orchids can withstand more or less than the amount of recommended light, but providing more light enhances flowering potential. Conversely, inadequate light prevents orchids from flowering, although they will grow.


Orchids do not require abundant doses of fertiliser. However, to maintain healthy plants and see blooms on a regular basis, apply a weak solution of 20-10-20 fertiliser once a week. Each month, water with plain water to flush out any accumulated fertiliser salts. Peak of orchid bloom usually occurs between December and April.

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