Orchids grow both on the ground and on the bark of live, dying or dead trees. Orchids growing on the bark of trees develop a root system that holds the orchid on the bark. Different types of orchids bloom at different intervals. Some orchids bloom once per year, others several times per year and some varieties are in continuous bloom. Varying your fertilizer through the year encourages blooming. However, proper light is more important than fertilizer for blooming. Once your orchid has bloomed, taking care of the plant and flowers properly extends the life of the flower spike.
Keep your orchid in an area with 50 to 80 percent relative humidity. Room humidifiers help, as can placing your orchid on a humidity tray. A humidity tray is a plastic or ceramic tray filled with pebbles and water. Set the orchid pot on the pebbles. The evaporation from the tray will maintain a "bubble" of humidity around your orchid.
Water flowering orchids regularly, but do not over-water. Orchids like to be damp, but not wet. Water your orchid with enough water to moisten the roots whenever they begin to look a little dry. In general, watering every 5 to 12 days is sufficient. Too much water can result in problems such as root rot.
Fertilize your orchids as indicated on your orchid fertilizer's packaging. In most cases, a 30-10-10 fertilizer is best for orchids growing in bark. Orchids growing in soil do well in a balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer. The frequency of fertilization will depend on the brand. Read the package instructions carefully.
Place your orchids in a safe location once they have flowered. Some orchid flower spikes are very delicate and can be knocked off by a person or a pet walking by.