Orchid is a well-known flower that becomes everyone’s favorite to be taken care for gardens decoration. This flower has a slender and tall stalk that leads to a delicate flower consisted of three outer petals, three inner petals, and cupped petals that are distinct from other petals. The anatomical features of this flower exhibit a foreign yet fabulous intricacy. The orchid family has expanded for millions years, defying the concept of evolution, Mother Nature, and exploitation from its great opponent: human. It is undeniably one of the most impressive and elegant families of flowering plant that human ever knows. Due to its popularity, many people try to plant this flower at home. For some people, taking care of plants, especially flowers like orchids can be a headache. Despite being a hassle, orchids beauty is very tempting to be added to our garden, as it serves as extraordinary decoration. In the following paragraphs, we will explain about several aspects that need to be considered on how to take care of orchids.
The air movements are important to support orchids life. It has three primary purposes to make sure your orchids stay healthy.
- Cooling effect: gentle wind accompanying the sunshine will prevent your orchids to get sunburn as it cools down the plants, alongside daily rain showers and high humidity.
- Stabilizing temperature: good air circulation controls the temperature to be more consistent. This stable temperature prevents any cold or hot air in one particular spot. This function is very important, especially if you are growing your orchids in the small area.
- Preventing diseases: wet area induces the growth of fungus and bacteria. With gentle air movement, the orchid’s leaves will dry out better and maintain its humidity.
The second aspects is humidity.
More than half of orchids species are originated from the tropical and sub-tropical area, where humidity is a must. Humid air does not equal high temperature. Orchids perspire water and inhale carbon dioxide through its pores. If the area is too dry, the orchids will lose more water than the amounts of water it gains. The consequences of this condition are weakening stem and wilted premature flower. Several methods to maintain humidity in your garden are:
- Putting your flowers on a humidity tray: Fill the tray with water and put the plant on the grate over the tray. You can add pebbles on the tray to give more attractive appearance. Make sure the water does not submerge the pebbles and the pots are not touching the water.
- Misting your flower several times per day: a temporary solution for your drying orchids. Make sure to most your flower before the sunsets as it may dampen the leaves at night and induce diseases.
- Using a humidifier: for those who are growing orchids in closed area, using humidifier is the best solution.
- Install overhead mister: for those who are growing orchids on the balcony, installing fog mister is the best way to ensure your orchids stay moist. This mister also cool down the temperature. Make sure to set it odd after mid-day.
Growing media that can be used to keep moisture root of orchid plants is redwood or fir bark, sphagnum peat moss, rocks, cork, charcoal, sand, potting soil, etc. The right media is an important aspect in how to take care of orchids too .
Another aspect is light.
Light is an essential component in growing plants. Without sufficient illumination, your orchids will not be able to bloom beautifully. It is important to pay attention to the light intensity and duration. You don’t have to know the precise intensity of the light, but the least you should understand is whether your orchid is the type that needs high, medium, or low light intensity. As for the duration, you have to ensure that your orchids are exposed to light at least six to ten hours per day. It does not have to be natural light. You can use artificial lights to help your orchids bloom at its finest.
The next aspect is temperature.
Most of the orchids have a wide range of tolerance when it comes to temperature. Even so, the temperature at night plays a huge role in your orchids health. It usually needs around 9 degrees celsius to 12 degrees celsius cooler than day temperature to initiate flower spikes. For example, an intermediate type may not be able to bloom unless the temperature drops at 13 degrees celsius for two months or more. This is the reason why orchids grow poorly on enclosed environment with constant temperature. It is difficult to grow orchids that do not favor your home natural condition if you have no greenhouse with sophisticated thermal control.
So the best way is to choose an orchid that is suitable for your environment. If you experience occasional cold spell, try to put your orchids on a heat mat to ensure they will not going to freeze. Make sure your mat is not too hot that it will burn your plants. You can also put your plants in a clay pot. It will help you cooling your orchids. Using fan is also a possible alternative.
The last aspect is water.
Water is an essential need of any living creature in this world, including your orchids. Watering does not hold the concept of the more the better. Many orchids are dead due to excessive watering from its owner. The frequency of your watering is depended on your growing condition. Based on its appearance, orchids with big pseudo-bulbs, thick base of the stem that store water and nutrients, does not require too much water and prefer drying out. On the other hand, orchids with no pseudo-bulbs need constant watering. You can also water your plant whenever the potting becomes dry.
If your pot seems to be lighter that how it is supposed to be, then it is the time to water. Orchids do not favor water with many minerals, such as hard water. But there are orchids that more tolerant of dissolved minerals. Rainwater and reverse osmosis water are the best water for your orchids.
To find out more details on how to take care of orchids you can read many useful articles in Orchid Care category.