General Orchid Care


There are over 1,700 varieties of orchids and some are easier to grow than others. While some varieties thrive in high temperatures, there are those that like temperatures in the 70s during the day and 50s at night. Orchids in the wild grow on branches or trunks of trees in the jungle, where they get their water and nutrition either from the air, rain or through tiny roots. Orchids can be put outdoors in the summer to get some fresh air and rain, but will die if left out in the cold.

Step 1

Place pebbles in a tray that is slightly larger than your orchid container. Put water in the tray to a level that is below the top of the pebbles. Place the orchid container on top of the pebbles but do not allow the bottom of the container to sit in the water. This will provide some of the humidity that the orchid needs to live.

Step 2

Fill a spray bottle with water and leave it open and setting out for at least 24 hours. This will allow any chemicals in the water to dissipate and not cause harm to the orchid. Mist the foliage lightly every morning.

Step 3

Use a small fan to circulate the air around the orchid if there is not proper ventilation or you cannot take the orchid outdoors for any period of time. Orchids require a lot of humidity, but without air circulation the humidity will cause mildew and rot.

Step 4

Keep the orchid in a location that gets at least four hours of sunlight a day. Each type of orchid will have its own light requirement. If the leaves turn a yellowish green or they look pale, the orchid is getting too much light. Dark, grassy green leaves are an indication that it is not getting enough light. Not enough light will also cause the orchid to not flower.

Step 5

Water once a week when the soil becomes dry. Never allow an orchid to set in soggy soil for more than a day to prevent rotting. Again, allow the water to set out for 24 hours to get rid of chemicals and always water with room-temperature water.

Step 6

Use a water-soluble fertilizer made especially for orchids every two weeks while the plant is growing. Fertilize once a month during the cooler weather.

Step 7

Re-pot the orchid every two years. The orchid may outgrow the pot and the soil needs to be replaced as it breaks down. Use a potting soil especially made for orchids; they don't live in regular garden soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Tray with 2-inch sides
  • Pebbles
  • Spray bottle
  • Small fan
  • Orchid fertilizer
  • Orchid potting soil


  • The Garden Helper
  • Grow-n-Thrive
  • Orchid-Thrive
Keywords: caring for orchids, general orchid care, growing orchids

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.