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A Proven Checklist for Mastering Orchid Care

Posted January 2nd, 2012 by Garden & Greenhouse in ,

Orchids have been known for ages as one of the more difficult plants to tend. The truth is, this isn’t the case as long as you have the proper tools and knowledge at hand when growing them.

The perfect combination of water, light, humidity, and type of soil usually becomes the issue for most people who choose to become involved with orchids. These things may seem a lot for a newbie orchid grower to think about, but actually orchids aren’t as finicky and fragile as you may think.

Orchids stood the test of time for many reasons. One reason in particular is that they are tough and extremely good at withstanding many beginners’ mistakes. In the end, even with those mistakes, they can still grow beautifully like they have been cared for by expert hands.

Of course, it is still best if they are grown following some proven tips and advice. That’s  why eliminating as many of your blunders as possible can produce even more beautiful plants. So if you’re thinking about growing orchids, be sure to follow this checklist carefully to ensure that you can have picture perfect plants in both appearance and health:

Know Your Orchid

Know its type and how to properly care for it. According to the most recent count, there are currently over 35,000 species of orchids in the world. This means that no particular set of instructions would fit every single one of them. Remember that each type may have different needs from each other. A good tip is to find out where they grow in the wild and provide the same environment for them at your home. It’s also easier to start with one type. That way you won’t get their needs mixed up with each other. Once you have that type mastered, then you can move on to others.

Repotting is Essential

Orchids are all about the roots. They have one of the most fast-growing root systems in the plant kingdom. When you think that their current pot cannot sustain the roots anymore, then it is time to repot them. Failure to do this will result in stagnant growth and can even cause rotting and death. Remember that orchids need a lot of air circulation in their roots to breathe so periodically transfer them to larger pots when you can.

Practice Division

If you do not know what division is, then here’s a crash course. You call dividing a large plant into two smaller-sized plants “division”. This will provide the plant with a greater chance of being healthy and producing an impressive array of blooms. You can usually divide your orchids every two or three years. Some orchids grow very large and produce more blossoms as a result. Remember that flowering takes a lot of energy from the plant, and division will also divide the energy it takes for the plant to bloom, so it’s important to make sure the orchid is mature before dividing. Check to see if the new growths have reached the edge of their container. If they haven’t, wait until they have.

Location, Location, Location

Another important thing to remember is the location or your orchid. Because orchids have drastically different requirements from each other, moving them from one location to another, even temporarily, can be detrimental to their health. Be considerate enough that when you see it thrives in a place of humidity, do not move it somewhere else where it can dry out. Another thing to remember is that most orchids actually prefer shaded light and grow best outside (under a shaded tree for example).  That means you should definitely find a place where that requirement is met.

Rotate Your Orchids

This tip is essential for growers who love seeing orchids bloom. You should have orchids that are in both “NBS” and “BS” cycles at the same time. This will ensure that you as a grower will always be engaged in all parts of the orchid life cycle. This will also ensure that you have blooming flowers all year long.

Remember that these orchid care instructions are time-tested and proven effective. So if you wish to become an expert orchid grower, you must master these few tips. When you do, you’ll soon be on your way to producing orchids of the highest quality and beauty.

One more thing to remember in orchid care is that there are no shortcuts. Do everything in a timely manner when your orchid is ready, and enjoy your adventure in orchid growing!

Mary Ann Berdak is the publisher of OrchidCareZone.com an online destination for orchid growing tips and advice. For more information including a free report on The 5 Biggest Orchid Mistakes and How to Avoid Them visit OrchidCareZone.com.