Often considered fussy plants, orchids are some of the most striking and diverse plants available for growing. The come in a wide range of colors and produce unmistakable fragrances. These long-living plants can be grown indoors or out. By carefully following some basic steps, your orchid plant can provide you with years of beautiful blooms.
Water orchids in the morning with lukewarm water for about 15 seconds. Do not allow plants to stand in water. Keep the soil evenly moist. The American Orchid Society advises determining the weight of a dry plant, then water the day before it dries out. Another method for testing for dry soil is to insert a sharpened pencil into the soil; it will darken if the plant has enough moisture.
Feed orchids regularly for optimal growth. Any general fertilizer that is used on container plants can be used for orchids. Be certain, however, that the fertilizer does not contain any urea. To ensure that an orchid is not over-fed, apply one-fourth of the fertilizer one a week rather than the full monthly dose. Always water an orchid first before applying a fertilizer.
Plant orchids in terra cotta pots designed specifically for the plant. They have a drainage hole in the bottom and slits along the side. When planting orchids, choose a medium that drains fast; this helps the root system remain healthy. Orchids grows well in bark-based or peat-based mediums. Orchid plants need repotting when they grow over the edge of the container.