How to Care for Orchids

DSC_0914Orchids are amazing houseplants. They care is very simple, which is the exact opposite of their reputation as tricky houseplant.

When you buy your orchid from the store its in gorgeous, full bloom. You will want to place your orchid in a bright location in the home that does not receive any direct sunlight.  Now it is time to care for your gorgeous plant.

Water:

Water your orchid only once a week when it is indoors. To water your plant, take the plastic insert out of the ceramic pot and fully soak the pot and allow it to drain fully before replacing it.

Fertilizer:

Use a water soluable orchid fertilizer every time you water. Read and follow the label when mixing your fertilizer. Every 4th watering it is good to water with just normal water to flush out any extra solutes that may have accumulated.

Repotting:

Orchids can tolerate being very root bound. The general rule of thumb is to repot your orchid after two and a half years. But that leads to the question `How long has my orchid been in this pot when I bought it?`Most orchids are grown for a year in the pot that you purchase, so after a year and a half it is time to consider a transplant. When deciding to transplant, make sure your plant is not in bud because the shock of the transplant may damage the buds.

What to do when your orchid is done blooming:

You can cut the orchid spike back to about an inch and half from the base of the spike. This will promote a large bloom spike in a few months from when you cut it.

Some people are worried they will not get another bloom out of their plants and prefer to leave the bloomed out spike on the plant,  allowing it to die back naturally and cut just above the brown, dead stalk. This will usually result in a second bloom cycle on the same stalk, but fewer blooms in this cycle.

How to get your orchid to rebloom:

One of the easiest ways to get an orchid to bloom is to place it outside in the hot, humid, Southern Ontario summer. Orchids need a 10 degree difference between night and day to stimulate a bloom spike, so although it is very hot outside, the cooler night temperatures are enough to stimulate a gorgeous bloom spike!

Place your orchid in a location outside that never receives direct sunlight. You should check your orchid 2 or 3 times a week when it is outside because it can dry out a lot faster with wind. If necessary water 2 times a week when outdoors.

Happy Gardening!

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