There is a vast selection of orchid varieties to use for orchid houseplants. These varieties provide a range of colors. According to the American Orchid Society, some gardeners will only grow one or two orchids initially, but soon their homes are filled with a variety of orchids as they become avid orchid gardeners. Learning some basic orchid growing tips enables you to have thriving orchids throughout the year.
Orchids require ample light in order to maintain their green foliage and bloom. The ideal color for orchid leaves is a light-green. Dark green leaves, yellow leaves and blotchy leaves are indicators of improper lighting. According to the American Orchid Society, allow orchids to obtain as much morning light as possible. Increase air flow and humidity in rooms with orchids to give additional light without risking leaf burn or the plants becoming too hot.
Water for orchids is a little tricky. The key is to keep the soil moist without creating a soggy medium. Higher house temperatures and direct sun exposure require additional humidity for orchid houseplants to flourish. According to the American Orchid Society, it is better to underwater orchids than to over-water.
Check the weight of the pot or test the soil for moisture weekly to determine if the plant needs watering. Water the base of the plant under tepid tap water and allow drainage. Orchid containers can rest on beds of pebbles or rocks filled with water for additional humidity.
Orchids require potting soil that will hold a little water but drain well. Heavier soils tend to hold too much water and increase the risk of root rot.
The American Orchid Society recommends using diluted fertilizer mixture of 20-20-20 fertilizer without any urea content each time growers water orchid houseplants. Only water wet soil to prevent burning the plants.
The general rule of thumb for repotting orchids is to examine the root area. Crowded foliage area is not a problem, unless there is no room for the roots. Roots that grow outside the pot or plants with weakening root systems need repotting.
Orchids grow offsets or keiki. Growers will notice these on the orchid plant with small roots protruding from them. Cut the keiki off of orchid and place in an appropriate pot to propagate. According to the American Orchid Society, it takes one to three years for keiki to mature enough to produce blooms.