Orchid care: information on growing and caring for this flower

Orchids, some of the most delicate flowers, are distinguished from others by the fact that most of them are epiphytes, ie plants that procure their food independently, using other plants as growth support - usually trees. Growing and caring for orchids is consequently different from other flowers. But it is worth the effort: orchids are among the most spectacular plants, almost indispensable in floral arrangements and from the homes of plant lovers.

content

  1. Secret care orchids in pots

1.1. Caring for epiphytic orchids

1.2. Care of terrestrial and semi-terrestrial orchids

  1. Caring for orchids in summer
  2. Caring for orchids in winter

 1. Secret care orchids in pots 

If in the jungle orchids grow on tree trunks and branches, in the apartment they can grow very well in pots, but on a substrate consisting of peat, tree bark, coconut fiber, concentrated humus and nutrients. There are over 30,000 species of this plant of tropical origin and many more hybrid species. But various types of orchids grow all over the world, in nature, even in areas with other climates.

In Romania, too, several species of this family grow in the spontaneous flora. The most common are Lady's Slipper, Limodora Violetă (Gârbița), Sângele Voinicului (Musucel), Coriophora (Ploșnițoasa), Poroinicul etc.

Unlike those that grow in their natural environment, the roots of orchids grown in pots must grow aerated - otherwise they may rot. Therefore, ordinary soil is not recommended for them. However, it is good to know that there are certain differences between orchid varieties: they can be epiphytic (growing only on tree trunks or branches), terrestrial or semi-terrestrial. Depending on these characteristics, their care may also differ.

 1.1. Caring for epiphytic orchids 

For example, Phalaenopsis, one of the most common orchid varieties, is a plant epiphyte, which needs a well-drained environment. The roots of this plant grow to support it, but also contribute to photosynthesis. At the same time, they absorb water and nutrients from the substrate. It must contain pine bark and it is recommended that the pot be transparent so that the light reaches the roots, which do not need to be completely covered. The substrate must be loose and not retain too much water.


 1.2. Care of terrestrial and semi-terrestrial orchids 

Terrestrial orchids (including Calanthe, Cymbidium and Bletilla) require a denser substrate, which, in addition to the bark, also contains coconut fibers. The ratio of pine bark to coconut fiber should be equal. Their roots should be completely covered in an opaque pot and the substrate should always be moist but not oversaturated.

For semi-terrestrial orchids, including Paphiopedilum, Selenipedium and Vanda, the same substrate is as suitable as for terrestrial orchids, which are always moist.


 2. Caring for orchids in summer

In summer, orchids can suffer from so-called "heat stress". The hot temperatures are not good, and the maximum heat that most can tolerate is 34 degrees Celsius. Water the plants 2-3 times a week, preferably in the morning. If watered too much, the roots may rot quickly. If you are not sure how much water to put, you can use the indirect watering method: on the saucer on which the pot is located (necessarily with holes in the bottom) put a few pebbles, then about 1-2 cm of water. After the water has been absorbed, wait another two days before adding it again. The plant will draw as much water from it as it needs on its own. Fertilization every two weeks is recommended. The plant should have light, but it is not good to be exposed to direct sunlight, which can burn it. Humidity in the air should be between 55 and 75%.

 3. Caring for orchids in winter

In winter, orchids are fertilized less often: only once a month. Light and watering conditions are the same as in summer. Instead, a temperature below 16 degrees Celsius can kill the plant. Temperatures below 20 degrees can prevent the emergence of seedlings or the destruction of existing ones. With good care, you will always have fresh flowers in your home, which you can even offer to your loved ones at special ocasions, so that you can show them how much you value them.

So, if you follow all these tips, nothing will stop you from growing in your own home not just one, but several orchids, even several types. It is important to know their type and the specific needs of each species.


Photo source: Pixabay.com