Orchid Care and Handling

care handiling how to Orchid tips

LIGHT. Orchids grow well near bright windows, with no direct sun light. An east window is ideal in the home; shaded south or west windows are acceptable. In dull, northern winter climates, a full southern exposure may be required. Artificial lighting is acceptable. Two- or four-tube fixtures are suspended six inches to one foot above the foliage, 12 to 16 hours daily. If leaves are hot, reduced light intensity.

WATER is especially critical for this orchid. The medium should never be allowed to dry out completely. Plants should be thoroughly watered and not watered again until nearly dry, but not until bone dry. In the heat of the summer in a dry climate, this may be every two to three days, whereas during the winter of a northern climate, it may be every ten or more days. Do not allow water to accumulate in the crown for long to avoid contract decaying diseases. Do not sit pots in standing water for long.

TEMPERATURE for Orchids should be above 60 °F at night and between 70° and 82 °F during the day. Although higher temperatures result in fast leaf and root growth, lower light and good air movement must accompany. Do not exceed the limit of 95°F. Temperatures below 78 °F for three to five weeks with good light are needed for initiating flower spikes. Wide fluctuating temperatures and low humidity can cause bud drop on plants with flower buds ready to open.

HUMIDITY is recommended to be between 50% and 80% of relative humidity. If RH is lower than 40% in the home, set plants on trays of gravel, partially filled with water so that pots never sit in water. Grouping plants together can slightly raise the humidity in the immediate surrounding area. In humid climates it is imperative that the humid air is moving to prevent fungal or bacterial diseases to set in.

FERTILIZER should be applied on a regular schedule, especially if the weather is warm when plants are actively growing. Reduce this frequency to every other or third watering when it is cool. Make sure that an ample amount of water is applied to allow some excess water to drain from each pot. Water with a high salt concentration should be avoided.


NOTE: Each individual bloom lasts 80 to 120 days. However, exposure to the fumes and gases from gas stoves, automobiles, and cigarettes can cause all of the flowers and buds to drop prematurely in a few days.

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