Orchids are very elegant and brilliantly colored flowers that can be grown inside or out. They do take considerable care and attention to flourish, so be sure to check on what conditions your variety needs. There are many varieties and they require different combinations of light, water and growing conditions.
Losing flowers is a normal event for most plants. Flowers bloom and run their course, then dry and fall from the plant. This makes way for new blooms. If your orchid is losing flowers, check the water and humidity conditions. Orchids like a high level of humidity and you can mist them lightly with a spray bottle. They usually need watering every couple of days, although in summer they may need daily watering. Direct sun is usually too harsh, although some sun during the day is recommended. You can check the health by inspecting the leaves, which should be a bright green in a healthy plant. Flowers on the Phalaenopsis orchid should be trimmed when they begin to wilt. The plant will be ready for pruning when the flowering season is over. You can trim your plant down to the second node, and regrowth should be pretty fast.
Water and Soil
Orchids come in so many varieties, it is important to buy plants which suit your environment, indoors or out. They can lose leaves and flowers when too dry, or it is insufficiently humid, or strong light is drying them out. They prefer to be kept moist and can be watered every other day, depending on the kind of orchid. Distilled water is preferable because orchids can be susceptible to pollutants. They need to grow in soil which can hold some water, and there are special orchid potting mixtures available at garden centers. They can contain fir bark, coconut husk, sphagnum moss, tree fern fibers and perlite, and usually have a mix of two or three of these. They get most of their nutrients from the roots so those should never be cut. Many gardeners prefer organic fertilizers for orchids such as Sensi Cal Grow and Sensi Cal Bloom, along with other formulas that enhance flowering and strengthen the immune system of the plant.
Types of Orchids
The best orchids for indoors are of the variety called Phalaenopsis, or moth orchids, and its hybrids. They are the fastest and easiest to grow, and will bloom for many months. They like humidity and do well without very bright light. Placed in a shaded or north window, they will produce beautiful white and pink flowers. You can also find this type with flowers in boldly patterned yellows, candy stripes and some other beautiful color combinations. For outdoors, orchids prefer some shade and warm weather and they need to be shielded from intense sun or dry winds. On very hot days it is important to mist them. Orchids don't do well outdoors when temperatures fall below 48 degrees F. Once the weather gets colder, they will need to move inside.
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