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Caring for Your Orchids

Apr 15, 2008
Orchids are a delicate plant and caring for them can be somewhat nerve-racking. If you have never had these flowers before then you might be surprised to know that they have more in common with the cactus than any other plant.

Preventing rot in the roots is your main priority when cultivating orchids. To do this you need to be very careful about how much and how you water your plants. The medium in which your flowers are grown in is also very important as this determines how much moisture is retained.

Healthy Orchids

Choosing a healthy plant is the first step to maintaining beautiful phalaenopsis. When choosing your plant there should be some buds that are not yet opened. If all the flowers are open you cannot properly judge if this is a healthy plant. You should also see roots that have taken hold. No visible root network and you don't have a healthy plant.

The leaves should not be a very light green or a very dark green. The leaves should have a color that sits somewhere between the two. The leaves and stems should be clean and there should be no blemishes. Though most phalaenopsis leaves have some mottling on them. The plant should not be overflowing out of its container and neither should the container dwarf it.

Keeping it Dry

Caring for orchids is similar to growing a cactus in that both plants do fine without water for long periods of time. Those delicate blooms are not water hungry at all. In fact watering your phal too often will contribute to its speedy decline and eventual death. It needs to be kept moist but not wet.

When watering orchids be very careful not to get water onto the actual flowers. These blooms should last for several months, wetting them will decrease their life cycle. A good place to keep orchids is the bathroom. Yes, that's right, the bathroom is humid and these plants do well in a humid environment.

Water your new phalaenopsis when you bring it back as it is probably quite dry. To do this take it outside or to the kitchen sink and use lukewarm water to wet the growing media. The growing media should be quite wet and allowed about fifteen to twenty minutes to drain so as to be quite dry again. Do not water again even if you think it looks like it might need it. Water sparingly; it certainly does not need daily watering.
About the Author
For a comprehensive guide to orchids visit Orchid Information Online at http://www.OrchidInfoOnline.com
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