Today I want to share my tips for taking care of orchids at home. I have 3 orchids now, 2 of them I had for a while now (more on that soon) and the last one I got from my mother which didn’t had much success with it, and by that I mean no flowers came out. A few years ago I got my first orchid and I took it as my mission to keep it alive as long as I can! I have always loved flowers and plants (even worked at a plants nursery for a year) but I never had an orchid and it always sounded hard to take care of them so I knew this will be an adventure.
I received my first orchid 3 years ago. We then lived in a smaller apartment with not a lot of sun light and a LOT of humidity. When the bloom was over, the orchid didn’t bloom again for more than a year and a half. So how did I eventually succeed to make my orchids bloom again not once but twice every year since then? I will share my top tips to grow orchids indoor in a bit, but first I want to teach you how to identify your orchid state.
5 Signs your orchid is in bad shape
- Leaves color- when I tried to understand what is wrong with my orchid I have noticed that all though it seems to be okay, meaning it was alive and green but with no flowers, the leaves was getting more and more dark. They received kind of a dark green color. That indicate that the plant doesn’t receive enough light (I will explain how much light and what is the best location for an orchid in your home in the next section). So if your plant have dark leaves and no bloom maybe you just need to change its spot.
- Root growth- a good indication that your orchid is having a great time in your home is root growth. They come out from the middle of the leaves and from the base of the plant. Sometimes the orchid plant will grow roots but no bloom will accord, that means your orchid is well but something is still missing. Remember there are several components that need to work together for an orchid to bloom.
- Flowering- obviously when your orchid blooms it means you did something good, but there is a range of flowering intensity. You might get one spike with 5 flowers, and you might get 3 spikes with branching and tons of flowers (as you can see in the pictures I’m not there yet either, so don’t worry about it). We want to help our orchid to reach its full potential. After blooming and only when all the flowers have dried you need to snip the spikes near the base of the plant.
- Root rot- people mostly kill their plant by over watering it rather by under watering it. When you water the plant to much the soil is always wet and that cause the roots to rot. If you think that might be the case for you there is still a way to save the plant! Take the plant out of its container and remove old soil. Then cut off the rotten roots, and plant again in new fresh orchid mix soil.
- Soil mold- as I mention before, you might be over watering your plant, and that can also cause you soil to develop mold. If it’s only a little bit on the top of your soil then it okay. If it’s more than that you might want to change your plant soil to a new orchid mix soil, orchid don’t grow well on regular soil!
After I told you what to avoid and how to save your orchid from mold and rot, let’s talk about what you should do, and how to help your orchid to bloom and be happy!
5 Top tips to grow orchids indoor
- Light- orchids don’t like direct sun light, it is too bright and it almost burn the plant (you could see the leaves getting a yellowish color) because that orchid is really delicate. On the other hand they don’t like to be in the shade either (as I said earlier when the leaves get a dark green color). So you would like to place your orchid near a window that doesn’t have a direct sun light, preferably near the window facing north. But it might not be the case on your home or office. So try and move you plant if after 4 weeks it didn’t grow roots or the color of the leave didn’t change.
- Water– water is so important! As I said most people kill plants by over watering them, so if you are not sure- water less. I water my orchid ones a week in summer and spring and every 10 days in winter and autumn (I will share more about seasons soon). I water my orchid under running tap water for a few seconds, letting all the soil to get water and then let it drain completely in my sink. Then I take them back to their spot.
- Container- the container comes with the orchid when you buy it is usually clear and I will recommend leave it in that container because we want the root to have access to light. The roots have a great role in the orchid’s life, some of the roots even grow outside the soil in open air. When the orchid is not blooming you should leave the container like that, clear and transparent, but when the orchid bloom you can put it inside a different flowerpot until the bloom is over.
- Seasons– you need to take in consideration the change of the weather in each season. In summer you might need to water more, or maybe change spot during winter time for more sun light. For example I live in near Tel Aviv, Israel and it is a very hot country and very humid in my area, so I pay extra attention to light and water.
- Fertilizer- I do fertilize my orchids with special orchids fertilizer, and I find it very helpful. There are a lot of different fertilizers out there so just go to your local store to find one and follow the instruction on the package. I heard that some people water their orchids with Distilled water, I tried it and it didn’t really made any different in my experience and I think the fertilizer is giving my plant the extra Vitamins and minerals it needs. By the way, once the orchid bloom you can stop fertilize it until the bloom is over.
I know it seems like a lot of work, but after you learn the right combination for growing orchids in your home the fun and exciting part begin! It is so satisfying to see your orchid bloom 🙂
This are only my opinions based on my own experience growing orchids. If you have any more tips and tricks that I didn’t share here, please add them in the comments! I would love to learn more from you guys.