How to Take Care of My Orchid


According to the Louisiana State University Extension, the orchid family has more species than any other family of flowering plants. Most orchids grown as ornamental plants in the home are from tropical climates, while some are adapted to temperature zones as diverse as the Arctic Circle and the equator. Epiphytic orchids are the most common tropical orchids, which have leathery leaves to retain water, while terrestrial orchids, which are usually found on the ground in the wild, are less common cultivars. There are some common care rules for all varieties orchids.

Step 1

Remove the orchid from its pot and shake the excess soil off the roots, and remove any diseased or damaged roots using pruning shears. Repot the orchid every two to three years suggests Kent Kobayashi of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, when the potting media breaks down. Place the orchid in the new pot with the crown slightly below the lip of the pot.

Step 2

Water the orchid every 5 to 12 days suggests Most orchids require a bit of drying out between watering. Too much water will destroy the roots of the plant.

Step 3

Place the orchid plant near a sunny window so that the orchid gets enough light says Kent Kobayashi. Different orchid varieties require differing amounts of light, so check your particular cultivar for its light requirements. Check the leaves to determine if the plant is getting enough light. A healthy orchid will have light to medium green foliage.

Step 4

Fertilize your orchids once or twice a month says Kent Kobayashi. Orchids have minimal feeding requirements. Fertilize using a high nitrogen food such as 30-10-10 when the plant is in a media light in nutrients, and a balanced fertilizer for regular potting soil.

Step 5

Run a fan in the room you place your orchid to increase air circulation. This moves stagnant air and removes the likelihood of fungal infection. Ensure the humidity in the room stays around 40 to 60 percent to keep the orchid healthy.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Fertilizers
  • Pot
  • Media


  • Beautiful Orchids: Orchid Care Tips
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa: Orchid Care for the Novice - An Orchid's Perspective
  • Louisiana State University Extension: Get in the Know to Grow Orchids
Keywords: orchid care, caring for orchids, orchid tips

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.