The Orchidaceae comprises of about 28,000 presently acknowledged species, dispersed in about 763 genera. The count of orchid species is almost equal to the count of bony fishes, further than twice the count of bird species and about four times the count of mammal species.
The orchids are very delicate and beautiful flowers, simply a pleasure to one’s eyes. One can easily distinguish orchids from other plants as it has some special and unique characteristics. Similar to their unique appearance, orchids are also unique but easy to grow. It was once thought that orchids could only be grown in tropics or at home if you have the facility of the greenhouse, but today it’s not true. Nowadays, many people use to grow orchids in their home; it is now considered to be as affordable as any other flowering plant. Just make sure you know the exact requirements of this precious flower, some of the orchid growing conditions are discussed below :
Being exceptional orchids are very strict about the temperature range they can bear. The ideal temperature for orchids is 65-80 degrees, but temperatures to 100 degrees are also bearable. According to temperature requirements, there are four different orchid types.
- Warm-growing orchids: These orchids favor winter nights, not bearing temperatures below 60F.
- Intermediate-growing orchids: These orchids favor a winter night having range 50-55F.
- Cool-growing orchids: These orchids prefer a range of 45-50F.
- Hardy-orchids: These orchids are grown outdoors all around the year.
Orchids enjoy both daytime and nighttime, provided that their most favorable conditions are satisfied, for example, orchids requiring constant temperatures will not bloom in variable temperatures.
Humid Conditions (do orchids like humidity?)
Orchids in-home require proper humid conditions; these flowers are fond of humid environments. The perfect morning humidity for orchids is 50% to 70%. In summers, as the days are hot and dehydrated, humidity can be amplified by two easy techniques:
- Inserting plants in a small bowl or dish having pebbles and water in it. Be confident of maintaining the water just underneath the trimmings of the pebbles.
- Placing several plants together also increases the humid conditions in summer by the concept of transpiration.
- Place the flowers in windows using plastic containers; this will also help in increasing humidity for the flowers.
Orchids love light. Blooming of orchids depends mainly on the light; that’s why they are said to be placed in east, west, or south sided windows for proper flowering. If an orchid does not bloom, it clearly shows a fault in lights. The windows heading towards the north are the least preferred because they receive the smallest amount of sunlight. The quality of light is more important as compared to its quantity. Increasing the duration of light will not help in improving the quality of light. Thus, not facilitating the flowering of these plants.
Frequency of Watering
Ideal watering of orchids is only one time in a week throughout the winter and two times in a week when the weather becomes temperate and desiccated. The volume of the orchid pot also helps decides its watering frequency, i.e., how repeatedly it is needed to be watered, despite the consequences of environmental circumstances. A 6-inch pot demands water every 7 days, whereas a 4-inch pot demands water every 5 to 6 days.
All types of plants need proper fertilizers. Likewise, orchids demand a timely supply of fertilizers for good growth. Orchids need less fertilizing in winters than in summers. Initially, the plant needs to be fertilized one time in a week and then decreasing it gradually. Once the plant becomes latent, stop fertilizing it.
If the orchid starts drying out too frequently, use plastic containers in place of clay or a fine mud pot. If you are a frequent waterer, use clay pots with a rough mix. The massive differences in usual garden containers and the one used for orchids include the amount and size of drainage holes in the container.
Good Quality Soil
The soil used to plant any flower-bearing plant, or any other household plant play a crucial role in its growth. This soil should have an adequate amount of fertilizer mixed into it. It should be free of any insects or other pests that may harm the plant. If infected, it should be replaced as soon as possible.
Correct Time of Repotting
Orchids are special from other flowers as they need to be repotted at proper timings of the year. Otherwise, they won’t bloom. This is because the plant grows new roots and shoots after every flowering season. Repotting helps them to bloom more than once in a year.
Safety From Pests
House plants are the most frequently attacked plants by pests or other viruses. Proper cleaning of the pots and ensuring good quality are essential. These insects can sometimes be picked up from the pot or removed by using cotton dipped in alcohol, but once they increase in number, horticultural oil or insecticides are required to save the plant. If neglected, these pests can kill the plant.
Fungal diseases can catch a plant and kill them no matter how good the water, light, or humidity is. These fungal diseases are diagnosed initially by a white discoloration on the plant. It can affect any part of the plant, whether the leaves or even on the stems. Timely application of antifungal medications can save the plant.
Air movement also plays an important role in plant growth and growing orchids as proper air movement helps the plant to decrease the chances of fungal diseases and getting caught by other infections.
Thus, taking care of all the points mentioned above, one can successfully growing orchids in his house and enjoy the beauty and fragrance of these majestic flowers.