They gave you an orchid and you don’t know how to cure it? Or do you already have a plant and don’t know how to make it bloom again? In this article, we will answer these doubts and give you other useful tips for caring for orchids.
Need for light from orchids
Most orchids need a lot of light, which favors their growth and future blooms.
We recommend placing them near the brightest window, avoiding direct sunlight.
If your window receives sunshine for a few hours but has curtains, have no doubts: the plant needs a large amount of dimmed light.
Cymbidium orchids, in particular, can be placed outdoors for most of the year. Look for a corner protected from direct sun during the central hours of the day and put them indoors when temperatures start to drop.
How to water your orchids
One of the things that surprised me most in my first Phalaenopsis was seeing the tangle of roots through its transparent vase. It particularly struck me, perhaps because we are not used to seeing the roots of plants. The use of semitransparent pots is not accidental: the appearance of its roots will allow us to understand if we should water our plant or not.
Some varieties of orchid are epiphytes: it means that in nature they grow on the branches of the trees to which they are attached. They are not parasitic plants, they only use them as support, so we should not be surprised to see the roots above the soil, or that come out of the pot. This is normal and necessary, as those roots also do photosynthesis.
Returning to irrigation: I recommend using bottled water if the water in your tap has a lot of chlorine, keep in mind that in its natural habitat it lives only on rainwater.
We must avoid water stagnation, it is therefore important that the pots have a draining soil or let them drain well after irrigation.
The rule on watering frequency depends on the ambient temperature. It is advisable to let the soil dry out almost completely or to observe the appearance of the roots in plants with semi-transparent pot. If they have an intense green color they still have enough water when they change to a grayish-green it is necessary to water them.
Spray the plants
Since these are plants in whose natural habitat there is high environmental humidity, it is recommended to spray them regularly avoiding that the waterfalls on the flowers.
We can also increase humidity by placing it in a potholder in which we will add expanded clay and a little water.
Water must never touch the base of the pot that contains our plant, we are not looking for capillary irrigation.
Orchids can absorb nutrients both through the roots and through the leaves.
For this reason, on the market we find fertilizers to be added to the watering water or for spraying on the leaves.
The best thing is to alternate, following the indications and the dosage recommended by the manufacturer. These plants follow a process similar to others that we can have in the garden: they bloom, enter a period of “pause”, then grow and give flowers again.
To help them in each of these phases, we follow the fertilization steps explained in our post entitled “Fertilizing our plants”. To encourage growth, we suggest an extra supply of nitrogen and, for flowering, phosphorus, and potassium.
I would like to conclude this article by sharing a personal experience with my first orchid. It is a Cymbidium that was given to me and I transplanted without hesitation because it was wrapped in a very small pot. The plant seemed to suffer from it and I simply did as it does for the other plants we see no longer have space.
Well, this Cymbidium took 3 years to bloom again. He devoted all his energy to growing in his new soil and until it was still “tight”, he did not grow any flowers. Since then, I have not transplanted them until it is necessary or I want to remove dead roots or replace the soil.