Style Observer

SO Gardening — October 29

Orchid DOC

With Betty Ashley

Sunday, October 29, 2017

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Dear Orchid Doc:

I am new in the orchid world and would appreciate a few tips. Can you assist me, please?


Dear Vev:

Orchid care varies depending on the types that you have planted. Therefore, if you know what types you have, taking care of orchids is not that difficult. The main thing you have to worry about is favourable conditions for the orchid plants. In addition, good orchid care should be observed, especially from September onward to spring.

Light (indoors)

For good orchid care, light is one of the most important factors. Make sure to place orchids near windows where the plants will receive indirect sunlight. For good growth, Phalaenopsis orchids grow well in artificial light, whereas Dendrobiums need many hours of natural sunlight.


Orchids cannot tolerate too much cold or too much heat. Nighttime temperatures can be as low as 60F to 65 F, while in the daytime, the temperature should be between 75 and 85 F.


Watering orchid plants at the right time is important to avoid waterlogged conditions. As orchid plants require minimum to moderate watering, keeping the upper soil layer moist is sufficient for better growth and development. You can water the orchid plants according to the medium: sphagnum moss should be watered only when it is 3/4 dried; stones on a daily basis.


Taking care of orchids also means that you have to give them the right nutrients, as the lack of proper food can cause diseases. Feeding of the plant can be done once a week.


Try to keep all plants away from walls, which prevent air from flowing naturally. Some people use fans to help with good air circulation.

Identifying Pests and Diseases

It is always good to inspect the orchid plants from time to time for any pest or disease. In case of any, have a farm store prescribe some insecticides and fungicides. However, do not forget to read the label in order to check the safety of the chemicals before applying. Good luck!

Dear Orchid Doc:

Is it true that rainwater is better for orchids than regular tap water? If so, why?


Dear Lola:

Rainwater does not have the chlorine and other chemicals, so it is better to use it than regular tap water. The chlorine makes the water much too heavy for the plants.

Betty Stephenson-Ashley

161 Constant Spring Road

Kingston 8

Cell# 876-322-4585




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