White, pink, purple and even intense blue – on store shelves orchids delight with a fever of colors. Is it worth buying an orchid? Definitely yes! We will tell you how to take care of it!
What kind of orchid to choose?
Orchids in the opinion of many people are considered to be demanding flowers. However, their care does not have to be doomed to failure, just follow a few rules. However, even the greatest efforts will be in vain if you buy a plant that is not healthy. Therefore, when choosing an orchid, inspect it carefully, including the roots! It’s very important to look at the leaves and stems with flowers, so that you don’t buy a specimen with pests (e.g. spider mites, scale or earthworms). It is equally important to look at the roots – do not buy a plant whose roots are rotting. This, unfortunately, is a relatively common affliction of orchids in stores (especially in supermarkets), as they are over-watered there.
Orchid – position
The basis of care is to provide a suitable position. Where to place the orchid? It is best to choose a windowsill on the east or west side. Orchids like light, but only diffused light, so they will not grow very well on windowsills facing south. Also remember that orchids have certain requirements when it comes to temperature and humidity.
These requirements vary slightly depending on the variety. The most popular phalenopsis needs a temperature in the range of 23-27º C during the day and a slightly lower temperature of 18-20º C at night. Orchids feel well in rooms where the humidity is about 60%. Remember that orchids do not like ventilation, so do not put them close to a window, which is often opened in autumn and winter.
What kind of substrate for an orchid?
Orchids will not grow well in a traditional substrate. The best for them is a special substrate for orchids, which consists mainly of bark, coconut fiber and expanded clay. Such a substrate is loose and permeable, it does not collect excess water, so the risk of root rot is lower.
Orchid – watering and fertilizing
When it comes to watering and fertilizing orchids, the saying is apt: “less is more”. Too frequent watering and fertilizing will negatively affect the plant. So when to water an orchid? The right moment will indicate to us its roots – when they are white, it is time to water, if, on the other hand, they are green, it is better not to do it, so as not to lead to rotting.
How to water the orchid? It is best to put the pot in water for 5-10 minutes, then remove it and let the water drain freely through the holes in the bottom of the pot. Remember to water your orchids with water at room temperature. Water that is too cold can damage the plant’s delicate roots. It is also advisable to water your orchids with water with the lowest possible calcium content – distilled or reverse osmosis filtered water is perfect for this. From our experience, we will suggest that rainwater also works very well. A sufficient solution is also to set aside tap water for 24 hours and only after such a time water the orchid with it.
How to fertilize the orchid? Preferably only during the growth period and only with fertilizers designed for orchids, as universal fertilizers have inadequate levels of ingredients.
main photo: pixabay.com/RainerBerns