Orchids come in many shapes, sizes and colors; and create a natural ambience in homes. They fare well indoors as well as outdoors, given that certain conditions are met. Water, fertilizers and the humidity should be adequate so as not to destroy the exotic leaves and flowers of the plant. Although there are many types, most actually thrive even on the harshest conditions that you can literally leave them alone to grow by themselves.
Orchids do not fall under the category of garden plants, as the two have literally different needs. Orchids do not need soil to grow, and usually cling to fir bark, wood and coconut husk. These exotic plants will also thrive with a pot of perlite, moss or fern fibers. Depending on the growth of the roots, orchids need to be repotted every two years.
Depending on the temperature or climate of your area, you should water your orchids two times a week. Once winter, it would be better not to water your plants too much, so once a week is fine. There also a general rule that you should water your orchids early in the morning, when the sun is already out but is not too far up in the horizon. In this way, your potting material has time to dry out during the day and rest of the night.
The potting material will also affect the watering frequency. Since wood and bark dry out faster, you may need to water more frequently compared to when you use moss. To find out if your potting material has dried out, you should poke your finger into the pot to check the insides of the material. The top cover may have already dried out, but the material could still be moist inside. Too much water will kill your plant.
Rain water provides a lot of nutrients for your orchids, compared to tap water – which has been treated with chlorine. But since rain water is sparse all throughout the year, you will have to feed your orchids with nutrients in the form of fertilizers. These nutrient enriched foods for your orchids should contain the following: nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous and a small amount of other minerals needed for optimal growth.
Most orchids can weather any form of climate, as they are tropical plants and have natural resistance to extreme cold and heat. If your orchids are in a greenhouse, you should provide proper ventilation as well as heating; low humidity and extreme heat can damage kill your orchids. On the other hand, high humidity and extreme cold will virtually freeze your plants. So, in part, there should be a combination of average humidity and temperature.
Through the centuries, orchids have always been a favorite amongst many individuals as they calm people due to their beauty. When orchid collecting became popular, forests were stripped off natural wonders. Today, these plants are bred and cultivated for commercial use or sale; and those that are endangered remain protected. Buy only those that have been grown in nurseries, as these will have a better chance of surviving your climate.