How to Get Orchids to Grow Faster

Overview

Orchids are perhaps the quintessential tropical plant, beloved by aficionados around the world for their exotic flowers. This special plant includes over 30,000 species, reports Orchid Mania, and it forms the largest of all flowering plant families. Wherever you live, there's an orchid that's right for your climate because they occur naturally on all of Earth's continents except Antarctica and some Arctic areas. You can set up a greenhouse or room in your home and create the correct amount of light and warmth for the orchid you want to grow. Without proper conditions, orchids just won't grow well.

Step 1

Create a suitable environment for the orchid you want to grow. Different species of orchids have different needs in terms of temperature, light, humidity and other conditions, so make sure you start right from the beginning of your venture.

Step 2

Plant your orchid in orchid bark in a container that has a drainage hole.

Step 3

Place your potted orchid on a plant saucer filled with small pebbles. When you water your orchid, excess water will flow into the saucer and the pebbles will keep the plant's roots from sitting in a puddle. The water in the saucer will help to raise the humidity for your orchid.

Step 4

Mist your orchid every day with a fine spray of water, but water it thoroughly only once a week or when the potting bark becomes dry to the touch.

Step 5

Fertilize your orchid twice each month,using a plant food designed for orchids. A typical N-P-K reading of orchid food is 30-10-10. If you want to force flowering, switch to a plant food with a lower nitrogen reading, such as 5-10-10.

Things You'll Need

  • Orchid bark
  • Appropriate temperature
  • Appropriate humidity
  • Appropriate light
  • Plant saucer
  • Pebbles
  • Orchid fertilizer

References

  • Orchid Species: Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia
  • Orchids Mania: Orchids of the World
  • Orchids Mania: Orchid Culture

Who Can Help

  • American Orchid Society
Keywords: orchids growing, tropical flowering plants, specialty gardening, houseplants indoors

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides and eHow. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.