Orchids are delicate creatures that need special care. But all orchids are not created equal; some varieties are easier to grow than others. First-time orchid growers need to pick one of the varieties that is easy to grow and that likes living indoors. Don’t ignore an orchid. Pay attention to the plant and give it the care it needs, and your reward will be a season full of blooms.
Use moth orchids (Phalaenopsis). They are good for beginners because they do well in normal household temperatures and are one variety of orchid that can be grown exclusively under lights.
Plant the orchids in a special soilless orchid potting mix with fir bark or osmunda fern fibers. This will give the plants the drainage they need. Orchids do not like wet feet.
Place the orchids 6 inches under a florescent lighting fixture with two 36 to 48 inch 40-watt florescent light bulbs. Keep the lights on a minimum of 12 hours a day.
Orchids grown in trays need a good watering once a week. Those in clay pots may need more. Water as soon as the soil starts to dry out.
Fertilize once a month with a water-soluble 20-20-20 fertilizer or specialty 30-10-10 orchid fertilizer.
Cut back on watering and fertilizer after the flowering has stopped.
Increase the humidity in the winter by putting the pots or tray of orchids in a tray that contains water and pebbles. Set the plants on the pebbles and put in water until it comes just under the pots. The evaporating water will increase the humidity. Misting the plants with distilled water will help also.