According to Dotty Woodson of the Texas Cooperative Extension, the orchid is the largest plant family in the world with 600 genera and 30,000 species occurring naturally in the wild and over a million different hybrids bred in greenhouses. Growing conditions for orchids depend on the specific variety, which can be very diverse, but many orchids need similar conditions for planting and growing properly.
Purchase orchid plants that are ideal for your conditions or are able to adapt, says the Texas Cooperative Extension. Many orchids are tropical and require 50 to 80 percent humidity at all times, requiring indoor conditions or a greenhouse.
Plant orchids in a soil-less planting mixture or attach them to a piece of bark or wood if of the epiphytes variety. Buy a commercially prepared orchid growing mixture, says Clemson Cooperative Extension.
Choose a clay or plastic container for growing your orchid, suggests the Clemson Cooperative Extension. Clay is the best due to its porosity.
Water orchids once per week, allowing the soil to dry slightly, but not dry out completely. Water every three to four days when the humidity is high, says the University of Arizona. Use soft water to prevent salt from collecting.
Fertilize orchids using a balanced fertilizer such as 20-20-20, alternating with a fertilizer at 30-10-10, says the University of Arizona. Add a high-phosphate fertilizer (10-50-10) in the fall to encourage blossoming.