Directions for Caring for an Orchid Plant

Overview

The orchid, with over 35,000 known varieties, is characterized by a slender, elongated stalk topped by a bloom with 6 petals: 2 inner, 3 outer and one cupped. Orchids grow and thrive on every continent except Antarctica, and many species are resilient and easy to care for. While each orchid variety will thrive from a specific set of plant care techniques, you can care for any orchid with a few basics.

Step 1

Place your orchid in a location where it will several hours of bright indirect sunlight daily. Examine the leaves of your orchid for color. A vibrant green indicates your orchid is getting plenty of sun, while dark leaves point to too little sun, and reddish leaves to too much sun.

Step 2

Water your orchid plant according to the variety. Your orchid will need more water during warm summer months and less in the winter. Make sure the soil is able to drain completely, as waterlogged soil will damage the roots of your orchid plant.

Step 3

Fertilize your orchids with specialized orchid food containing nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium once per month. Carefully follow the fertilizer manufacturer's directions regarding distribution.

Step 4

Ensure adequate air circulation for your orchid plant. Good ventilation will help prevent fungus and bacteria from building up and damaging the health of your orchid.

Step 5

Keep the humidity between 50 and 70 percent, as orchids do not tolerate dry environments. Place your orchid pot in a tray containing pebbles and water to provide extra humidity in a dry climate. Make sure the water level falls below the bottom of the orchid pot.

Step 6

Keep the daytime temperature of your orchid room between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower the temperature at night by 10 degrees to promote healthy flowering.

Tips and Warnings

  • Keep the orchid leaves dry when watering.

References

  • Beautiful Orchids: What is an Orchid?
  • Beautiful Orchids: FAQ
  • About Orchids: Understanding How Orchids Grow
  • Beautiful Orchids: Feeding
  • Beautiful Orchids: Humidity
Keywords: growing orchids, orchid care, caring for orchids

About this Author

Lydia Stephens began writing professionally in 2009. She has written online for Nile Guides, SheKnows.com and various other Web sites and has been published in "Stringing Magazine" and "Xiamen Wave." Stephens played competitive soccer for 19 years, has been weight lifting since 2007 and enjoys running, biking and sailing. She has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Texas.