Orchid Growing for Beginners
by Bob Roy
Yes, growing orchids for beginners is very easy. They are like any other house plants, they need water, light, fertilizer and, oh yes, you should talk to them or even play some music.
One of the long standing myths that I still hear is that growing orchids as house plants are difficult and finicky to grow. Well, plain and simple, the answer is No. In fact, care for orchids as house plants are easy to grow and will continue to bloom for years. Some orchid plants have been around for centuries.
Here are some highlights you can use as a guide to growing orchids for beginners.
One of the two top items in growing orchids for beginners is Water. The other is light. Orchid house plants and orchid plants in general will need watering periodically, usually you can water once a week. Remember, most orchids are air plants and this means you will see their roots. Their root system, especially the
pseudpods, are very efficient in storing water.
Here is a watering guide you can use: Cattleya, oncidium and dendrobium orchids like to dry out between watering. An easy way to water is to put the plant in the sink and let water flow through the plant for about 20-30 seconds. Remember, let the water drain from the plant before putting it back into the decorative pot.
Plhalaenopsis orchids like to almost dry out between watering. To decide on the next watering is to stick your finger about an inch into the medium which should feel spongy and not bone dry.
Growing orchids like Paphiopedilum and epidendrum should be slightly moist so that watering can be twice a week.
If the humidity in your home is low (below 40%) you may need to either mist the plant occasionally or use a humidity tray. The tray is simply a metal or plastic tray that is filled with pebbles and 1/2 of water. The plant would sit would sit on the pebbles. Be sure not to let the plant or roots sit in the water while on the tray.
The Right Orchid Lighting
Growing orchids for beginners requires the right light. It is the next most important element to growing orchid plants. As a general statement most orchid house plants do well in medium light. This would in a window or an area that could get about 4 hours of sun or bright light a day. Cattleya orchids do well in this light but can also do well in a sunlit area for up to six hours. Phals do well in indirect but bright light.
What about temperature for Orchids?
Most orchids do well in normal house temperature. The low temperature at night do not impede the growth. Here is a little guide you can use. Growing orchids for beginners should understand that there needs to be fluctuation in temperatures in order for the plants to bloom. For example, there should be about 10 degree fluctuation for cattleyas between the day and night temps.
Orchid Genre Minimum temp Degrees F Maximum temp Degrees F
Paphiopedilum (mottle leaf)
Paphiopedilum (green leaf)
Bob`s interest in orchids is evident in the depth of his orchid website,
orchids-plus-more.com with its manhy informational articles. There is also a large selection of stunning orchids.