The key to every beautiful thing is care and patience. Orchids are such plants that require less care but the right method. Many people who plant Orchids in their homes do not know the right conditions in which the plant needs to be kept and thus comes the stigma for orchids being a very difficult plant to take care of.
There are over 22,000-30,000 species of Orchids that belong to the same family and each family has 1,000 different types which are called genera. Each year there are new species and/or genera that make the Orchids the most diverse plant on the face of the planet earth.
It is never easy giving a general guideline for such a diverse flowering species but the Orchids are generally of three categories— Epiphytes, Lithophytes, and Terrestrial.
The majority of the Orchids are Epiphytes. Epiphytes mean “air plants”, those plants which grow in trees but are not parasites. Orchids use the tree to affix themselves and the roots are out in the air to absorb nutrients and to dry out the excessive water.
The second major group of Orchids grows on stones or rocks which does not provide nutrients to the plant. And the last group is terrestrials that grow on the forest floor.
Different Types Of Orchids
With many varieties in the Orchidaceae family, the best ones for beginners are those that are easy to take care of. Here are some of the most popular and common Orchids that make a great indoor plant and are easy to take care of listed below to look from if you are new to gardening.
It will provide you with a basic idea of what to do and what not to do in order to take good care of Orchids indoor.
- Phalaenopsis Orchid : The most popular indoor Orchid among beginners is the Phalaenopsis Orchid. It is also known as ‘moth Orchids’. These genera prefer indirect lighting and humidity and can survive the clumsy mistakes of beginners. Phalaenopsis Orchid generally bloom throughout the year on and off and is easy to take care of. These plants can survive the repotting better than its other species. It is advised to plant Phalaenopsis Orchid in the bathroom or kitchen where the sunlight is not direct and humidity is present. The average height of this Orchid is one to three feet.
- Cattleya Orchid : Another one of the most popular species among the Orchid growers is Cattleya Orchids, also called ‘corsage Orchids’. This species comes in a variety of colors and smells because of heavy hybridization. The average height of this species is three inches to two feet. Cattleya Orchids bloom best in warm climates. If you plant them indoors use bright indoor lights or shady outdoor lighting.
- Vanda Orchids : Having as much as about 80 recognized species in this genus, Vanda Orchids have various kinds of color, fragrance, and long-lasting blooming flowers. These Orchids generally grow in spacious hanging Orchid baskets and require high humidity and lighting. The roots come out of the hanging baskets and suck in oxygen directly from the air. Venda Orchids normally bloom two to three times a year but it can be difficult to take care of it sometimes because of its requirements. The average height of it is three inches to three feet.
- Dendrobium Orchids : One of the most beautiful and easy to take care of the genera in Orchids is the Dendrobium Orchids. It has 1,800 different registered species with different ranges of size, smell, and fragrance. The most common variety of colors one can find is yellow, white, lavender, blue. The blue Dendrobium Orchids are also known as Ocean breeze Orchids. It is a great choice for indoor plants as it is easy to care for and requires less light and water to bloom. It is generally six inches to four feet long.
- Brassavola Orchids : There are more than 20 species in Brassavola Orchids. It is also known as ‘lady of the night Orchids’ because of its fragrant scent release in the evening. Its flower is of white and greenish color.
- Catasetum Orchid : This species is unique because of its wax layered flowers. Catasetum Orchids naturally lose their flowers during winters after becoming yellow in color. This species produces both male and female flowers. The male flowers when triggered shoots pollen spontaneously.
The Lifespan Of Orchids
we often take Orchids for granted for their sturdiness. The lifespan of an Orchid depends on the different species it belongs to. With the right care and nurture, Orchids can live up to indefinitely or twenty to twenty-five years depending on the species.
When the Orchids are brought at home it is generally in a plastic pot or covered with moss.
If the plant is still not bloomed then carefully repot it. If the plant is set to bloom then wait till the blooming period is over to repot it. It is important not to repot the plant when it is in bloom because it will not be able to live through the transition and might die.
You must know when to repot Orchid in order to make it live.
Methods To Repot Your Orchids And Soil Mix
When you bring your Orchid indoors you must be mindful to make a perfect ambiance for it to grow and thrive on. If you bring a new sapling then its first bloom will be soon. Species like Phalaenopsis go into the resting phase after their first bloom.
In this resting phase, the plant stores its energy for the further blooming cycle.
In this phase the blooms fall and the stems become grey. Many owners think of it as it has died and throws away the plant. But it is important to note that it is the most crucial time to take care of the plant. While repotting the plant it should be done with utmost care and patience.
While repotting one must keep the fact in mind that Orchids do not grow in garden soil. One should use avoid using garden soil or any kind of compost as a component of potting mix. For Orchids use tree bark, charcoal, coco chip, perlite, sphagnum moss, rock, small pieces of woods as potting mix.
Use a pot or basket specially designed for Orchids. If you do not find Orchid basket then make holes parallelly in the pot you would plant the plant. These holes will let the roots come out and hang in the air.
The Right Way To Water Orchids
Believe it or not, Orchids do not need watering very often. Orchids have adapted themselves to survive in all odds where water is scarcity. You should ideally water Orchids once every week or two weeks. Place the potted plant in your sink and drench the Orchid with water.
Let it dry itself on-air by hanging the pot. One must ask how should I know when to water my Orchids again? Press a thumb onto the surface of the potting mix about one inch.
If the potting mix is dry water your plant and if it is wet let it be.Orchids are not made to survive in garden soil and enclosed baskets or heavy watering.
If Orchids are left in the enclosed water-clogged baskets they might die of root rotting. Orchids are very easy to take care of and if you are one of those who forget to water their plants and take care of them then Orchids are best suitable for you.
The Blooming Process And Timings Of Orchids
The Orchid blooming cycle depends entirely on the Orchid species if it is kept in the right environment. Some Orchid species bloom only a couple of days whereas some Orchid species can bloom for months. Moth Orchids and Slipper Orchids can have flowers for a long period. If you are looking for long-term bloom then go with these species.
Some species can bloom only once a year and some can bloom two or three times a year depending on their species. Some other very important factors are important to make an Orchid bloom such as temperature, watering, right environment, and last but not least its overall growth.
some Orchid species take only a few months to reach the required growth. Some take seven to eight months to grow till it blooms. In any case, you have to keep your patience to get the bloom.
Take A Note On How Much Sunlight You Should Feed Your Orchids
One of the most important keys to nurturing an Orchid is by exposing it to the right amount of sunlight. Most of the Orchid species require shaded lighting and needs to be avoided from direct sunlight.
For indoor Orchid plants, it is important to keep it in humid places such as the kitchen, bathroom, basements where the sunlight can not reach directly. And if the plant is stored outside then keep it in a shady place away from direct reach of sunlight.
Fertilizers Are Key To Healthy Plants
It is important to keep your Orchids healthy for them to survive against all the odds and to grow and bloom. Orchids need to be fertilized to sustain healthy growth and to be kept from diseases. One can use either liquid fertilizer or solid fertilizer.
Before feeding the fertilizer to the plant dilute it aggressively. One very important thing to keep in mind is that you should only provide fertilizer to the plants when they are inactive in growth.
The ideal time to give fertilizers to Orchid plants is in mid-winter or/and right after repotting them.
Propagation Might Expose Your Patience
Unlike other flowering plants, it is much difficult to propagate Orchid plants because the seeds of Orchid do not have their own nutritional issues. To grow Orchid plant from seed it needs to bring in closer proximity to a particular fungus.
This fungus then penetrates the root system in order to make required nutrients so that the seed can grow. This process is very time consuming and can test a person’s patience. If everything works out then the first bloom might take place between three years up to eight years.
Hope you know about how to care for orchids indoors.
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