Orchids are beautiful flowering plants that are associated with luxury and elegance. This is why they make such excellent gifts for all occasions. If you buy one for yourself or if you receive an orchid plant as a gift, it’s important to take care of them so that they bloom over and over again.
The first thing to remember is the way that these plants grow in nature. They attach themselves to trees and the are not directly exposed to the sun. The leaves of the tree shield this plant from direct exposure but they do enjoy plenty of indirect sunlight. It’s important to ensure that you place your orchid in a spot that offers indirect sunlight.
Most orchids grow naturally in rainforests and similar environments. The conditions in such locations are humid with moderate to warm temperatures. Orchids do not like cold weather so when the winter comes, it’s important to ensure that they are not placed in a cold spot. Special lamps can be used for lighting and they also help maintain a warmer environment around the plant.
Regarding the humidity of the rainforest, this is somewhat easier to achieve. Firstly, your bathroom is the most humid of all which is why orchids enjoy this space. Alternatively, you could place the pot on a tray of pebbles and fill the tray with water. The water will not be absorbed by the potting mix and, instead, it will evaporate. In this way, the water will increase the humidity levels around the plant.
Remember not to overwater. Your orchid will be in a loose potting mix but, in nature, their roots are not anchored in soil but rather attached to a tree. If you water too much or too often, the roots will rot and the plant will die. Check the soil regularly and, when it’s dry, it’s time to water. This is usually every week or every two weeks depending on the weather.
Once your orchid has come to the end of its blooming cycle, you might believe the plant to be dead. It is not yet dead and is, in fact, in a dormant phase. During this time, it’s a good idea to help boost your orchid’s energy by adding fertilizer designed for orchids. Remember to follow the instructions carefully. Keep the orchid in a somewhat cooler spot but make sure that it still enjoys plenty of indirect sunlight. You will see the flower spike emerge and as soon as it reaches 5 inches in height, you will need to support the spike.
If your orchid is not blooming, there could be a number of reasons. Here are some possibilities to consider:
- Insufficient light
- Too much light
- Wrong room temperature
- Lack of nutrients (use fertilizer)
- Not enough water
- Outgrown the pot
- The plant is dormant (care for the plant and wait)