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The Basics Of Orchid Care

Aug 17, 2007
Orchids are exotic plants that have thrived on this planet for millions of years but many people are reluctant to grow them as they do not understand the basics of orchid care. While orchids can be challenging to grow, their care is really not that complicated and if you understand what they need to florish, you, too, can enjoy these beautiful and fragrant plants.

Watering

One of the big mistakes that people make is over watering their orchids. People assume that since they are tropical plants they need a lot of water and this is not necessarily the case. While they do appreciate the humid environment, over watering can kill them.

The amount of watering necessary depends on the temperature any type of orchid a general rule of thumb is to water once a week. You may want to water more frequently in the summer and a little bit less in the winter. The Cymbidium, Miltonia, Odontoglossum and Paphiopedilum varieties like to be kept with the soil a bit moist even between wanterings while the Ascocenda, Vanda and Phalaenopsis prefer to have their soil become dry in between.

Fertilizing

Proper fertilization is an important part of orchid care as it is for caring for any plant. You want to be sure that you use a fertilizer that is formulated specifically for orchids and follow the directions to the tee.
Fertilizing too much or too little could harm your plant.

Light

Providing your orchids with the right amount of light is important for its care as well as to be sure that it blooms. Some orchids like the dendrobiums and cattleyas like to have a lot of light so you want to place them in a south facing window but take care that their leaves do not burn in the hot summer sun. Paphiopedilums and phalaaenopsis, on the other hand, prefer less light so you want to make sure that they are placed further away from the window. If you notice your good leaves are a dark green this can be an indication that they are not gettingg enough light while a more reddish tone might indicate that they are getting too much light. Generally speaking, you want your work is to get about 12 hours of light a day. if you cannot provide them with natural sunlight you can always get a growing light but be sure that you do not leave it on for more than 12 hours.

Repotting

If you take good care of your orchids they may last for several years and you want to think about repotting them every two years. You want to wait until the plant is not in bloom. Choose a pot that is a bit larger than the one you currently have an orchid and and be sure to remove all the dead roots before putting it In the new pot. Let it adjust to his new home for about a week before you start with your watering and fertilization schedule.

Basic orchid care is not that different from caring for any other plant. Just like other plants they need light water and food as well as a proper home with adequate room for their roots to spread. Getting a good system in place for watering and fertilizing is a great way to ensure that you be able to enjoy these beautiful plants for many years.
About the Author
Lee Dobbins writes for http://www.orchids.garden-corner.com where you can learn more about caring for and growing orchids .
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