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Caring for orchids can be easy as long as you take the time - like now - to learn about the usual dos and don’ts for growing them.
Types of Orchids
There are many different types of orchids. Although caring for them remains basically the same regardless of which variant you are trying to grow, their appearances naturally differ and some may seem more attractive to you than the others. It could be that some may also seem more “at home” with the rest of your garden’s blooms.
Here are several examples of orchid variants that you may be interested in growing
Cattleya orchids - they are larger than most orchid variants although there are mini cattleya orchids if you are interested in growing miniature blooms; these are also commonly considered as a good choice for beginners because of their low-maintenance needs
Phalaenopsis orchids - these are considered the ideal orchid species for first-time gardeners; they come in a nice assortment of colors as well
Dendrobium orchids - these are a great favorite among gardeners because of the variety of colors they offer
Slipper orchids - these are not readily available in your local garden store but worth taking the time to grow; they are distinct because of the wax-like gloss their petals seem to have
This is your first priority when caring for orchids. Watering requirements vary from one flower to another. With orchids, it is safe to water once a week. In a way, orchids are
easier to water because they are aerial plants or flowers that grow above the ground and have their entire root system exposed. This way, you can make sure that their roots are properly watered.
There are, however, specific watering tips that would help you make a specific orchid variant grow more beautifully and healthily. A few examples of such tips are listed below.
Epidendrum and paphiopedlium orchids have to be watered twice a week because they need to be slightly moist at all times.
Phalaenopsis orchids have to be almost completely dry before you water them again. As such, their watering schedule will depend on various external factors. One way of finding out when it is time for their next watering session is to check the middle layer of the plant’s soil. If it is still spongy, then you have just reached the optimal time for watering it. Wait any longer and it could be too late.
Humidity level for orchids should be at least 40% or somewhere above it. If the humidity level in your garden is below this figure, then you will have to correct the situation. You can either regularly mist your plant (spraying water once in a while) or you can place them on a humidity tray.
A humidity tray is something you can easily set up on your own since it only requires you to fill a plastic or metal tray with 1/2-inch of water as well as pebbles. But if you prefer to purchase a pre-set up tray, there are many gardening stores able to offer one, too. In arranging your orchids on the tray, make sure that they are only resting on the pebbles and do not come into contact with the water itself.
Light is also one of the most important needs of all orchids - right after water, in fact. Generally speaking, medium light levels are sufficient for orchids but if you want to grow your flowers in ideal conditions, it is best to check for tips specific to the variant you are caring for.
Most orchids, for instance, would do well when they receive approximately four hours of sunlight (or the equivalent in artificial lighting for indoor gardens) each day. Cattleya orchids, however, may also grow beautifully if they receive a maximum of 6 hours of sunlight.
Last but not the least, you have temperature. This is only something you have to be worry about if there are extreme changes in temperature between day and night in your area. In most cases, house or room temperature as well as regular temperature drops in your garden would not impede your orchids’ growth.
Keep these in mind and your orchids will be blooming beautifully in no time.